Book: Under A Dancing Star
Author: Laura Wood
Genre: YA historical fiction
In grey, 1930s England, Bea has grown up kicking against the conventions of the time, all the while knowing that she will one day have to marry someone her parents choose – someone rich enough to keep the family estate alive. But she longs for so much more – for adventure, excitement, travel, and maybe even romance.
When she gets the chance to spend the summer in Italy with her bohemian uncle and his fiancée, a whole world is opened up to Bea – a world that includes Ben, a cocky young artist who just happens to be infuriatingly handsome too. Sparks fly between the quick-witted pair until one night, under the stars, a challenge is set: can Bea and Ben put aside their teasing and have the perfect summer romance?
With their new friends gleefully setting the rules for their fling, Bea and Ben can agree on one thing at least: they absolutely, positively will not, cannot fall in love…
A long, hot summer of kisses and mischief unfolds – but storm clouds are gathering across Europe, and home is calling. Every summer has to end – but for Bea, this might be just the beginning.
My Rating: 5 STARS
Under A Dancing Star is set in the 1930s and is about a young girl and her journey of choosing what to do with her life when everyone else have already decided what she must do. At the beginning of the book Bea is sent to live with her uncle in Italy and from there she starts to experience and think more about her life and what she wants. Under A Dancing Star is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing play, which I’m not familiar with so I don’t know how much it sticks to the original story.
Under A Dancing Star is such a wonderfully written story and I loved it. The settings were so vivid in my mind, from Bea’s cold dark house in England to the sunny warmth filled house her uncle owned in Italy.
I loved Bea, she is probably one of my favourite characters. I loved her honesty and how she just said what she felt there and then. I’ve read a few books where a character has that particular trait and they somehow sound cruel but Bea’s character never felt like that. She was straight forward and to the point but also had care of other people’s feelings and I loved reading that. I loved how she questioned everything in a scientific way and how keen she was in learning, she really had her own passions.
I liked the romance of this book and how it starts off as an experiment between Bea and Ben, I really liked how Bea talked openly about her feelings about Ben to Ben. Their interactions were always so funny and I liked how the romance didn’t overtake the personalities of the characters.
I loved Bea’s journey of finding out what she wants to do with her life. It was interesting reading from Bea’s perspective as a young woman in the 1930s and how limited she felt in choosing her own path in life. I was fully caught up in the emotions of her thoughts and feelings and I liked that.
Overall this is a wonderful story with beautiful descriptions and an unforgettable main character. The writing really gets across the emotions in this book and I loved reading it.