Entwined by Heather Dixon

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Title & Author: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Publisher/Year: Greenwillow Books/2011

Source: Amazon

Format: Kindle eBook

Other Books by Author: Illusionarium, Perchance to Dream: Classic Tales from the Bard’s World in New Skins

My Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Oh my goodness, let me start this review off by saying I freaking LOVED this book. This is my first ever fairy tale retelling I’ve read and I am so, so, sooo happy it was my first as well. With fairy tell retellings being on the rise lately, I kind of turned my nose up at them and didn’t think I’d be interested. I was participating in a challenge on Goodreads where the one option was to choose a retelling based off of a fairy tale, myth or legend. I knew I didn’t want to read the same ones everyone else had been reading (and even raving about lately) so I looked up lists on Goodreads and that is where I came across Entwined. Before finding Entwined I had never even heard of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which made this is ideal book for what I was looking for.

I was immediately sucked into Entwined. I loved the characters, the storyline, the setting. To put it short, I loved absolutely everything about this book. I don’t even know where to start with it. Overall it took me 2-3 days to finish during the work week and I spent a majority of my free time outside of school work reading. I loved the main character Azalea. She was such a strong, independent female lead character. Her sisters were just as amazing as she was and I would love to see sequels written for some of them. The whole palace and it’s garden and the silver forest was described in such detail it seemed magical.

As for the storyline, I feel like I can’t say too much without giving spoilers away. I thought the storyline did an excellent job retelling and extending the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It had romance thrown into it, along with some magic/supernatural moments and quite the action packed ending. The girls love of dancing was clear throughout the novel and their will to continue dancing although they were in their year of mourning showed how determined they were to continue doing what they and their mother loved.

I honestly would recommend anyone looking for a new book to get lost into to read Entwined. Don’t pass it by because it’s a retelling. If I had done that to Entwined, as I had done to so many other retellings, I would have missed out on an amazing book which is now definitely on my favorites shelf. If you love fairy tales, then there is no doubt you will fall in love with Entwined like I did.

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Flirty Dancing (The Ladybirds #1) by Jenny McLachlan

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Title & Author: Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan

Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury Children/July 3, 2014

Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Love Bomb (The Ladybirds #2) – Coming March 2015

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

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.  

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

It took me a few hours to finish Flirty Dancing and I loved it and cannot wait to read the rest in the series. Being a dancer in the past I was instantly drawn to the storyline of this book. The dance groups are usually always my favorite on America’s Got Talent and since the talent competition in Flirty Dancing is compared to Britain’s Got Talent, I had a feeling I was going to really enjoy the book and of course I did! It was a quick, light read and it was refreshing to sit and enjoy the book without having to do much thinking. I was nervous after seeing a friend on Goodreads rate it low and say it was predictable. I wouldn’t say it was predictable at all because I actually didn’t expect the ending.

I loved how clean Flirty Dancing was when it came to the romance, but was a bit shocked how nasty the bullying got at times. To me (I’m 22) the characters seemed very young to be so nasty over a boy or a dance competition, then again kids these days may be like that. I did like that the romance in the book never went beyond a kiss. Any further would have been a bit much for freshmen. I also loved how even though this took place over in the UK, the author didn’t make a ton of references that I had to look up because I had no idea what they meant. It also put a fun, quirky twist on the references made that I did understand.

I liked the main character, Bea, for the most part. I wish she had stuck up for herself before the very end of the book because that would have given me some satisfaction. I also liked how dedicated Bea was to her dancing especially since she wasn’t learning a “modern” style such as hip-hop, tap or jazz that most girls learn when they take lessons, but she was learning how to jive. Reading the parts where Bea and Ollie were learning their routines actually made me want to learn how to jive as well. Ollie was just a total sweetheart and at first I had the wrong impression of him but I liked the way he turned out. As for the other characters Kat and Pearl, neither were on my good side. Kat was supposed to be Bea’s best friend but wasn’t really much of any friend at all throughout the book. Pearl on the other hand was, and excuse my language, a complete bitch. Considering the amount of times she called Bea that, she probably should’ve taken a good long look in the mirror at herself.

Overall I really enjoyed Flirty Dancing and was happy that I didn’t let my Goodreads friend’s review influence whether I read the book or not. That is why every time I write a review on a book that wasn’t exactly my favorite, I always stress that no one should let my review change their mind on a book you want to read. If you really just want to sit back and enjoy a fun, flirty, quick book then Flirty Dancing is perfect for you. I cannot wait until March when the second of The Ladybirds books is published so I can see what happens with another character.