Sunday, 28 December 2014

Review: Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan

Publication Date:  03 July  2014
Publishers:  Bloomsbury Childrens
Source:  Borrowed from Library 

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Bea Hogg is bullied regularly by her former best friend Pearl, so going to school isn't the best or favorite part of her day. As Bea leaves home each day, happy and light, she turns inward and becomes quiet, shy Bea for school. 

When it’s announced that a prominent dance competition show is coming to their school, Bea is dying to compete. However, Bea’s best friend Kat ditches her for Pearl’s dance crew the Pink Ladies, and oddly enough, Bea finds herself paired with Ollie—the cutest guy in school (and the object of Pearl’s affections). Bea’s life is transformed as she finally gets her time in the spotlight. She overcomes her shyness, learns how to jive, and gets her first kiss!


There was so much buzz going around on Twitter about this novel that when I saw it in my local library, I knew I had to see what all the fuss was about. I am so grateful I did!

I first heard about this novel on twitter through some of my favourite book bloggers Lucy Powrie of the Queen Of Contemporary blog and Jim of the Ya Yeah Yeah blog . A few bloggers posted selfies where they matched up their face to the cover models and I thought it looked like such fun. 

I had to push back reading this book a little because of books that needed to be read on my ever increasing TBR, but as soon as I started reading it I could not stop. I sat down with this book and a cup of tea and read the book from cover to cover in a single three hour sitting. I was captivated, entertained and in love with the novel from the start. 

The first thing I loved about the novel was the many things in it that I , or anyone who has gone through being a young teenager, could find myself relating to as I compared it to what it was like for me when I was 14 and in secondary school. The anxieties and the worries that are surrounding Bea in this novel seem so trivial and silly to 19 year old me, but I know that at that age how important and big these things can be. I found Bea's character so easy to relate to and really felt a deep connection to her as a character as I read the novel. Seeing Bea's character develop and grow over the course of the novel from shy, timid, anxious Bea into confident and proud Bea made me connect to her and love her character so much. The character development was well paced and so well written.

The characters in this novel were so great. I loved reading about Bea's friends and family. I think the quirky family unit in this story was one of my favourite things to read about. Bea's little sister Emma was so fun to read about as she acted like a typical toddler. Bea's grandmother was probably my favourite character in the novel as she was crazy, funny, adventurous and believed in Bea so very much throughout the novel. She provided great comic scenes but what I loved most was her supportive and caring relationship with Bea. 

The other characters in this novel were also great. Bea's group of friends were crazy, unique, quirky and so much fun to read about. I liked reading about her friendship with Kat, her best friend and loved the character of insane and over the top Betty. She was definitely a stand out character for me. I loved the back story of their friendship and how the ladybirds story was weaved into the plot. I loved-to-hate mean girl supreme Pearl and am looking forward to hopefully finding out more about her character in upcoming novels in the series. 
I also loved reading about the relationship and friendship that develops between Bea & Ollie as I really liked Ollie's kind and sweet character. 

The plot was so sweet that I could not put the book down once I started reading. I flew through this book as I was so caught up in the dancing, the characters and the plot. The plot surrounding the dancing competition was really interesting to read as I've never read a book about dancing or someone entering a competition. I loved reading about the dancing and how Jenny described Bea's instant love for dance and how it made her feel really made me want to give it a go! I honestly loved everything about this novel and can't wait until the release of "Love Bomb" in March 2015, which is the sequel centered around Betty's character. 

 Jenny's fluid, funny and heartwarming novel will definitely captivate the reader until the end. I would definitely recommend this novel to all YA Contemporary fans and would recommend gifting it to anyone 14 and up as it is the perfect novel to inspire someone who doesn't read often to fall in love with reading.


Five Star Novel 

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