Saturday, 5 July 2014

Flirty Dancing, Jenny McLachlan

Pages: 256
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: 3rd July 2014
Edition: UK e-proof, review copy

A warm, hilarious bestseller to be. Geek Girl meets Dirty Dancing meets Lousie Rennison’s Tights, all rolled into an irresistible story of friendship, bullies and how to to steal a heart on the dancefloor.

Bea Hogg is sky but fiery inside. When national dance competition Starwars comes to her school looking for talent, she wants to sign up. It’s just a shame her best friend agreed to enter with school super-cow Pearl Harris. Bea will fight back! But when school hottie, Ollie Matthews, who also happens to be Pearl’s boyfriend, decides to enter the competition with Bea, she will have more than a fight on her hands.

This warm, nuanced, hilarious story about friendship, fortitude...and dancing is impossible not to fall in love with. Jenny’s voice is fresh and convincing, and she handles both darker and lighter elements of the story with unequal panache.

While Flirty Dancing is cute and fun, it didn’t wow me.

Bea is shy and hides her personality from the second she leaves for school in the mornings to the moment she gets home. She lets her ‘friends’ push her around and the school bullies make her life miserable. And then Bea’s Nan puts her in a jive class, and it just so happens that the school hottie is her partner.

With the introduction of dancing, Bea starts to come alive. She starts to stick up for herself, realise she deserves more, starts to think that she could actually have something to offer in the Starwars competition. I really enjoyed seeing bits and pieces of the real Bea popping up. And yet I still didn’t connect with her. There was very few things about her that I sympathised with and I never really got the feeling that I could be her friend.

There was a little something lacking in Flirty Dancing for me, but it’s a cute, fun read for fans of dancing and utterly ridiculous little sisters.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for the review copy!


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