Young Adult: Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan

Young Adult: Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlanFlirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan
Series: Ladybirds #1
Also in this series: Love Bomb, Sunkissed, Star Struck
on 3rd July 2014
Pages: 245
Format: Paperback

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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.

Flirty Dancing is just as cute as the title suggests. Beatrice (Bea) Hogg is excited when TV dance competition is looking for talent. She’s danced as long as she can remember but when her BFF Kat enters as part of a team which doesn’t include Bea, it seems like all hope of taking part is lost. But Bea’s Nan won’t let her granddaughter miss out on this opportunity and takes matters into her own hands. Bea is signed up for jive lessons and her partner just happens to be the cutest boy in school – but also her nemesis’ boyfriend

This book is adorable. Bea is a great character to follow as she manages to navigate teenage crushes, high school humiliation, mean girls and annoying-yet-loveable little sisters. I liked how she handled the pressures of changing friendships along with her relationships with her family members. Her three-year old sister Emma was such fun and I thought the author managed to capture how incredibly irritating and embarrassing young siblings can be whilst still showing the love and wonderfulness that goes long with it. Bea’s Nan was a great cheerleader for Bea and I loved reading how supportive and enthusiastic she was about Bea – in the competition but also Bea’s life in general.

As for the flirtyness – Bea is one of those somewhat awkward girls who doesn’t quite know how to handle the boy she likes knowing she exists. It’s very sweet and (dare I say it) adorkable when Bea is thrown together with Ollie for her chance to audition for Starwars. I found her discomfort and nervousness regarding him to be realistic and wonderful. I really liked how their relationship went from strangers to dance partners and then to friends. Also – I think TrampABBA sounds like so much fun!

The dance competition part of the book is fun but this book also has a more series side too. Bea has to face being bullied and publicly humiliated and we get to see just how harsh girls can be to each other. It’s a fairly sensitive issue which I think was dealt with in a realistic a believable way.

Flirty Dancing was an entertaining read aimed at readers around 12 years and above. It’s flirty and cute with some funny moments but some equally serious scenes too. I enjoyed it more than I was expecting and this was mostly because the book was deeper than I first anticipated. The characters are realistically authentic and all in all I found this to be a great read.

Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy


  1. I rated it the same as you! x) I liked it, but it was a bit young for my personal preferences. (And a little bit predictable if I’m going to be honest.) But Bea was a fantastic narrator and I loved her and Emma’s relationship. Crazy siblings. 😉 Ollie and Bea made a very adorable little dance trio.

  2. I thought this was super cute as well! I got a little annoyed because it was taking her so long to stand up for herself but overall, it was really fun and left me smiling. I’m glad you liked it! Wonderful review Kate!

  3. I absolutely adored Flirty Dancing, more so than everyone. What made it so memorable for me was the comedic timing, it was brilliant. I was snorting with laughter. It’s rare to find a book that a wide range of age groups can enjoy. Awesome review Kate, do you think you’ll continue on with the series? The coming books are being told from each one of the Ladybird’s points of view. I’m really looking forward to them.

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