Saturday, December 23, 2017

Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan

Summary From Goodreads:
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.
This is another book that’s been on my radar for quite some time. I love dancing. And I love British books. And I saw some review a while back that compared this to one of my all time favorite authors: Louise Rennison. I decided this was going to be my travel back home book from Chicago. I read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on my way in. I read Fahrenheit 451 there. And I read this on my plan ride back to Boston.  It was too short though! I finished it with a whole other hour to spare on the plane –where I was jealously watching my boyfriend still reading his book.
Any way, I read it super fast because it’s short, but also because it’s fabulous. I knew I’d love it. It did remind me quite a bit of the Georgia Nicholson books, which, coming from me, is a major compliment. The little sister in this book had to be inspired from the little sister in the other series. She just had to. There can’t be two little sisters out there (fictional or not) that are this strange. No giant fat cat in this one though. I miss Angus.
This was a sweet romcom of a book. But, it also dealt with some serious bullying. There’s a lot out there now about bullying and about mean girls, but never have I felt the mean girl bullying to ring more true that I did in this book. It’s not just about mean girls, it’s about the girls who see the bullying and don’t do anything. It’s about how little kid friendships don’t last forever. It’s about realizing who your real friends are. This book just got so many things right. Things about bus rides, school lunches, crap friends, and loneliness.
I loved the grandma character. I loved the dance coaches. I loved the boy. I was so happy to find a boy who also hated the word “retard” as much I do. I loved him for not liking bullies. I loved his relationship with Bea. I loved the sense of humor to everything. And I super loved watching Bea come to her own and stand up to her bully. I can’t wait to get started on book 2, which I learned is about another character I loved from this book. All in all, I give book 1 an 8/10.

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