Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Flirty Dancing and Love Bomb by Jenny McLachlan

Flirty Dancing (The Ladybirds #1) by Jenny McLachlan
Published July 3, 2014 by Bloomsbery
Source: the publisher
Rating: 3 stars

From the blurb: Bea Hogg is in deep trouble. She entered a TV dance competition with a mystery partner...who turns out to be the unbeliveably hot Ollie Matthews. Boyfriend of the school's meanesy girl.Now Bea must prepare for the fallout as national humiliation beckons. And at school she face something far worse: Peal Harris.Bea is sooo dead.

Flirty Dancing is the first in a 4-book series, The Ladybirds, by Jenny McLachlan. The title of the series originates from the kindergarten that the 4 main characters, Bea, Betty, Kat, and Pearl, attended. Unfortunately as the girls grew older the group split, Pearl became the cool, mean one, Bea and Kate remained friends, and Betty found new friends. Pearl makes life so hard for Bea at school that her whole personality shifts when she leaves home in the morning, Bea goes from being her funny, outgoing self to shy-Bea. Fortunately Bea has a wonderful Nan who encourages her to try out for a reality TV show and Bea discovers that she loves dancing, especially the jive, and dancing with the hottest boy in school isn't bad either.

McLachlan has capture that transition from girl to teenager perfectly in Bea, she's in year nine but still seems quite young, though she's also keen to grow up. It was nice to see some growth in Bea's character as her weakness and unwillingness to stand up for herself is really ruining her life, but dancing gives her the confidence she needs.

I loved the scenes at home with little sister Emma, she was hilarious, as was Betty, someone who finds her way back into Bea's life and provides support and encouragement.

The book has a total Georgia Nicolson vibe, so if you loved that series as I do, be sure to check these books out. They're fun, sweet, and McLachlan also manages a more serious element that provides a contrast to the frivolity of the dance competition.

I've had this book on my shelf for over a year and I'm so glad I finally picked it up, I knew I was going to be in for a fun, lighthearted read and I got just what I was expecting.

Thank you to Bloomsbury for my review copy.

Love Bomb (The Ladybirds #2) by Jenny McLachlan
Published March 12, 2015 by Bloomsbury
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars

From the blurb: Betty Plumb knows nothing about boys and her only passionate kiss was with a cat. So when the gorgeous Toby explodes into her life Betty needs help!Her best friend isn't speaking to her and more than ever Betty wishes her mum hadn't died. But when Berrty finds letters from Mum hidden in the attic she realises what true love is all about... Is Betty ready to fall in love? Will she finally have her first kiss?

Love Bomb is the second book in Jenny McLachlan's The Ladybirds series, and this time the main character is Betty Plumb - hooray! Betty was my favourite character from Flirty Dancing and I was thrilled to find out this book would revolve around her.

So, onto Betty! Betty lives with her Dad and her cat, Mr Smokey. Her mother died of cancer just before Betty's second birthday, and since then it's just been them. But after spotting a few clues, Betty is shocked and annoyed to find her father has started dating a lady named Rue. Betty discovers this on her fifteenth birthday, a day that her father gives her a card written by her mum before her death. This year is to be the last card as her mum ran out of time to write more, but Betty discovers her mum hid four more letters for her in the attic and they've come at the perfect time as Betty is struggling with her priorities when it comes to friends and boys.

Betty is such a wild and fun character, she's creative, spontaneous, and adorable. It's easy to see why she'd be offended by her dad dating, and why she'd ditch Kat in favour of new boy Toby. I totally warmed to Kat in this story, she's a much nicer friend to Bea and Betty now, even Pearl seemed to have matured, though she's more of a minor character in this book.

I mentioned the serious element in book one, it was a nice contrast to the hi-jinks the girls get up to, and Betty's story was really sad and sweet. Each time she read a letter from her mum I got teary, they were so beautiful. It was a really nice addition to Betty's story, and provided her with the love and guidance she felt she'd missed out on.

Again, if you're a fan of the Georgia Nicolson books, or fun UKYA stories, I highly recommend these books, they're the perfect amount of fun and I guarantee you'll be entertained.

Thank you Bloomsbury for my review copy.

I decided to do nails for Flirty Dancing, starting with a base of Sinful Colours Fly Away.

I used L.A Girl Glow for the dots, and acrylic paint for the rest.

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