Last Chance Dance

Last Chance Dance
Age Range
Release Date
February 21, 2023
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An utterly charming YA romance perfect for fans of Elise Bryant and Leah Johnson.

"An ode to love in all its beautiful chaos. Leila is funny, irreverent, and next-level charming, and her story is an actual joyride. Sheer delight through and through."--Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Leila is crushed when Dev, her boyfriend of four years, breaks up with her right before graduation. Just when she’s thinking she wasted her entire high school experience on a dead-end relationship, her best friend Bree reminds her that Last Chance Dance is just around the corner.

A high school tradition, the Last Chance Dance gives all the students one last opportunity to find love before they graduate. All Leila has to do is submit three unrequited crushes to the dance committee and if any of her crushes list her too, they’ll get matched. Presto: new relationship, just like that. To her utter amazement, Leila is matched with all three of her choices—and with someone she never expected, Tre Hillman, her chemistry partner and low-key nemesis. 

Though at times skeptical, Leila embarks on her Last Chance Dance mission—trying out her matches and going on dates. If Dev wasn’t her true love—then maybe someone else is. She knows it’s definitely not Tre, even though he seems more and more determined to convince her he’s right for her.

But as graduation and the dance approaches, and each date seems to change her mind (and her heart)—Leila must figure out what—and who—she really wants. It’s her last chance, right?

Editor review

1 review
charming YA contemporary
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LAST CHANCE DANCE is a heartfelt YA contemporary. Leila has been one half of the best couple since before she started ninth grade when a chance meeting with a boy at the store led to the best first date (and only) of her life. She and Dev have been the perfect couple for four years, and they are still very in love and planning how they will make long distance work in college.

However, out of the blue, Dev breaks things off a few weeks before graduation. Leila is completely heartbroken, but her BFF Bree reminds her that the Last Chance Dance is coming up and might be a great way for her to stretch her single wings. The Last Chance Dance is when seniors submit a list of their crushes and also fill out a small survey. They have the potential to be matched with three of their crushes as well as a wildcard from the survey algorithm. They then date around and get to decide who (if anyone) they want to attend the dance with.

Leila finds she gets four matches, and her wildcard is her enemy, so she decides she has three chances to find a date to the dance. Dev has wasted no time in moving on, so she is going to do her best too. As she experiences the dates, Leila begins to learn more about herself and what she wants, as well as others she may have overlooked in the past.

What I loved: This was an enthralling story about finding yourself and determining what you want. Leila's life has been defined in a lot of ways by her long-term relationship with Dev. She loves Dev and is happy with him - but when she starts going on other dates, she learns that what she wants and going for it is important as well. Leila away from Dev is not the same person as in the relationship. While these changes may be subtle, they end up being important as well.

Themes around kindness, second chances, family, falling in love, healing, and dealing with breakups are all really well done in the story. Leila's family is a bit complicated, as her view on love was formed by her parents' divorce. She also has a 10yo sister, who is into documenting everything, and while this can be annoying, she still loves her deeply. Her friendship with Bree is also really strong, and while they have some missteps, it's always great to see such a strong friendship.

While the beginning of the book was heart-wrenching, bringing the pain of the breakup to life for the reader, the rest of the book was much more uplifting about healing and second chances. It was quite an unputdownable read, and I ended up reading it in only a couple sittings. I found the story to be very compelling and perfectly paced.

Final verdict: LAST CHANCE DANCE is a delightful YA contemporary that makes for a fantastic read about love, healing, and finding your own way. Highly recommend picking this one up!
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