Winner of the 2021 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing
Evie Vanhoutte is a teachers’ pet, a basketball star and the most beautiful girl in the year level. Evie Vanhoutte is tall, has long dark hair, a great smile, and for the past four years, Evie Vanhoutte has been the object of my most ardent, heartfelt, and passionate affection. Unrequited affection, of course.
Patch is out of place at Mountford College: she wears the wrong clothes, she’s not sporty or popular, she lives in a small flat above her dad’s record shop a world away from the leafy suburb where she goes to school. And she has a secret long-term crush on basketball star Evie Vanhoutte. Evie barely knows Patch exists until an accident involving a bottle of ink and Patch’s school uniform sparks a friendship that’s equal parts exhilarating and terrifying, and very, very confusing.
As if that weren’t enough, Patch is also trying to deal with a jealous school bully, forgetting to be supportive of her transitioning best friend, Edwin, and worrying about how a potential new stepmother could throw everything off course.
Dancing Barefoot is a feel-good romance about growing up queer, figuring out your place in the world, staying true to yourself and your friends, finding love, and learning to embrace the obstacles life throws in your path.
‘I loved everything about Dancing Barefoot—its strong characters, its laugh-out-loud moments and its irresistible narrative voice that engaged me from the first page.’
‘Sweet, funny, charming and romantic. I adored it.’
‘Dancing Barefoot brings a warm and uplifting queer contemporary romance to the #LoveOzYA, #AusQueerYA and #OwnVoices scenes…a queer hipster’s dream.’
‘If you’re ever in the need for a feel-good, heartfelt romance, or simply a book to cosy up to like a warm, fuzzy blanket by the fireside, I recommend Dancing Barefoot….Beautifully written with a natural laugh-out-loud humour, [it] encapsulates the angst and seemingly apocalyptic emotions teenagers feel towards love.’
‘Phenomenal…I want to spread my love of this novel as far as possible!’
‘An uplifting, romantic comedy.…While debut author Alice Boyle shines a light on the serious issues of sexuality, gender identity and bullying the joyful characters and plot twists ensure this is a highly engaging read.’
‘Heartwarming…Delightful…[A] story about fitting in, believing in yourself, being a good friend and navigating first love, whatever that may look like.’
‘[A] breath of fresh air…[and] a sweet novel about young love.’
‘Both heartfelt and hilarious…This is an empowering and queer-positive coming of age story that romantics will adore.’
‘Gorgeous contemporary realism that reads like a warm hug.’