Lisa's Dance

The Young Romance Series

Young Adult - Romance
88 Pages
Reviewed on 08/29/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite

Lisa’s Dance: The Young Romance Series is a young adult novella by Brett Galen. After a seemingly destined, but accidental, kiss in the high school hallway, Cole Douglas apologizes to Lisa Mathers, one of the most popular girls in his class. Their kiss lingers in his mind, and when she unexpectedly shows up at his house and kisses him again, he is truly perplexed. He suggests a date, and despite his indecisiveness, fumbles his way into a friendship with Lisa. Lisa cleverly hints at a dance she wants to have with Cole, but he doesn’t know if he can risk the embarrassment of dancing in public and the heartbreak if Lisa doesn’t have feelings for him.

Brett Galen has mastered the art of relaying a powerful love story without inappropriate situations or language. Having a level of character development within the pages without material some readers may find offensive is refreshing. The characters make wise decisions in their love lives, but their choice in entertainment and Cole’s motivation to push himself beyond his physical limits shows their youth. Cole’s dream ties into the theme well and its meaning is revealed at the perfect moment. Galen dangles the potential for a happily ever after between the characters in front of his readers, as they hope Cole and Lisa will unite. Even though the story is under one hundred pages, readers can become invested in Cole and Lisa’s happiness. Full of romance, persistence, and determination, Lisa’s Dance is a great selection for young adults and mature readers alike.

Kimberlee J Benart

Lisa's Dance is one of five books in The Young Romance Series by Brett Galen. Intended for teen readers, these clean and sweet romances feature high school-aged protagonists. Lisa is one of the “cool” kids and a sports celebrity, having brought a state championship in volleyball to their school. Cole is a talented athlete, too, but insecure socially. Nicknamed “Coleslaw” by the popular kids, he keeps to himself except for his best friend Linus, who is dating a friend of Lisa’s. When an accident in the hallway brings Lisa and Cole together in an unintended embrace and a first kiss, their separate worlds collide in ways that neither expected, and both struggle to understand. Can a mere acquaintance grow into something meaningful after such an awkward start?

In Lisa's Dance, Brett Galen gives us a charming tale about two teens from different social circles who are attracted to each other and must sort out if they will pursue a relationship. I enjoyed the story. The narrative moves at a good pace and includes some surprises along the way. Cole is an utterly lovely guy despite his repeated fumbles with Lisa. Thank goodness he has a friend like Linus who offers sage advice about how a guy should treat a girl with respect, and he’s willing to take it. Lisa demonstrates both strong-mindedness and compassion as they sort through the ups and downs of their relationship, pushing Cole to communicate when he might otherwise be reluctant to do so - an engaging read.

Edith Wairimu

In Brett Galen’s charming romance novella, Lisa's Dance (The Young Romance Series), romance blossoms between two teens after an unanticipated incident brings them together. Cole arrives at school ready to start the day. After glancing at his watch, he discovers he is almost late for class and dashes across the school hallway. Before he realizes what is happening, he begins to slide, and Lisa Mathers also starts to slide toward him. They hold hands to keep each other from falling. Intimidated by Lisa’s popularity, Cole hesitates to believe that anything could come from the incident. Their connection, however, develops, and they grow closer. As the couple spends more time together, miscommunication and Lisa’s close friendship with a popular school actor threaten to derail their relationship.

Galen aptly portrays Cole and Lisa’s relationship. As the main characters, they are realistic and well-developed. The conversations in the story feel authentic and help develop the characters. Secondary characters were adeptly developed, too. I loved the couple’s story, from its unexpected start to the beautiful ending. Young adult readers will relate to Cole and Lisa and the issues they encounter as their bond deepens. The story is an easy read with some surprises that keep it engaging. It includes helpful lessons for teenagers regarding misunderstandings and how communication can help handle them. A lovely, compelling addition to the series, Lisa’s Dance by Brett Galen features a delightful romance told through likable characters. Readers will enjoy its fabulous dialogue and wonderful ending.

Miche Arendse

Accidents occur and sometimes they happen for a reason, or at least that’s what Cole ended up hoping for in Lisa's Dance: The Young Romance Series by Brett Galen. In what can only be described as a scene out of a cartoon, Cole finds himself smacking lips with none other than Ms. Popular, Lisa Mathers. This incident sparked unexpected feelings in Cole. At the insistence of his friend Linus, the two form a bond. Things seemed to be going well, that is until another guy asked Lisa to the upcoming school dance. Can Cole win back Lisa’s affection or will she end up going to the dance with someone else?

Lisa's Dance by Brett Galen is a charming story about two teenagers who normally wouldn’t even notice one another, but who start to form a relationship after an unexpected incident. The slow-burn progression of their relationship is so sweet and heart-warming that you can’t help but root for the two to just get together. The story as a whole was well-written and I liked that the focus was mainly on the development of the main characters' relationship and also their personal growth. Cole, although having been a loner, definitely came out of his shell by the end of the book and I feel that Lisa became more open-minded. The tale was a breath of fresh air with its sweet and clean romance, comedic relief, and a bit of teen angst at times. I enjoyed this book and I think any lover of wholesome YA romances would enjoy this as well.

Amy Raines

Lisa’s Dance: The Young Romance Series by Brett Galen describes how an accidental collision in the hallway at their school caused Lisa and Cole to interlock their fingers and share an unexpected kiss. Lisa is the local volleyball hero who also happens to be very popular socially as well. Cole felt guilty about something he overheard and tried to find ways to make everything between them normal again. Lisa spent time with Cole and another boy named Grayson which caused Cole to experience some unfamiliar emotions that left him a bit unsettled. Would Lisa forgive him for their collision in the hallway? Are Cole and Lisa just friends that shared a kiss or is there something more burning just under the surface?

I loved Lisa’s Dance by Brett Galen from beginning to end. The high-speed emotional roller coaster the characters go through makes this book feel fun-loving and energetic. I enjoyed the high-school sweetheart vibe that mingles with the possibility of a love triangle and keeps the story flowing while the potential for romance plays out. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fast-paced romance that is an entertaining quick read with unexpected twists. I hope that this talented author has many more stories to come in The Young Romance Series that will share the tales of Lisa and Cole as well as perspectives of other romances that have blossomed in their high school. The narrative has everything romance readers appreciate the most about love stories, and so much more.