Title: Flirty Dancing
Author: Jenny McLachlan
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format Read: Paperback, 174 pages
Publication Date: 3rd July 2014 by Bloomsbury Australia
Synopsis: “Bea Hogg is shy 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 equal panache.” (Taken from Goodreads)
Well that was certainly a surprising read! I was definitely not expecting to like a fluffy book that much, but I guess I was in the mood for a fluff read. And my needs were fulfilled!
Flirty Dancing is basically just as the title goes – it is about a girl and boy dancing a flirty jive in the hopes of winning a tv contest. Bea is a shy and reclusive person who shrinks into her shell every time she’s in school or just out in public. Her best friend Kat is the opposite, and then there’s Pearl, her ex-bestfriend who has made it her goal to make Bea miserable because she’s dancing with Pearls’ ‘man’.
The book is made up of a delightful cast, especially Bea’s baby sister Emma who is a force to be reckoned with. This always naked toddler made me laugh every time she came into the scene with her animal costumes and quirky talking. She definitely stole the show for me, and I kinda wish there’s a book about her when she’s grown up.
Bea’s nan was also a delight. She’s just as quirky as Emma and liked to dress inappropriately for her age. But her love and belief in Bea, and her support for Bea during her toughest times really made her a loveable character. Bea starts off not being able to even stand up for herself, but she gains more confidence with her nan’s support and encouragement to go and audition with the school hottie, Ollie.
Bea’s shyness, personality and actions were a little hard to read about in the beginning. I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t stand up for herself when Pearl picked on her and called her nasty names. But the more time she spent hanging out with the right people, the more she blossomed into a confident young lady (ha! I sound like her nan). In the end, she was a completely new person, and wasn’t afraid to stand on her own two feet.
This was a quick read, full of fluffy moments and of course a happy ending. It deals with issues like bullying, confidence and growing up. I liked the characters and the plot a lot – definitely worth a read if you’re looking for a fun summer book.
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.