Thursday, July 15, 2010

Perfectly Dateless

Perfectly Dateless: A Universally Misunderstood NovelJuly seems to be the month without end this year. I'm not sure why, but it just seems to be dragging on forever. June zipped by before I could catch my breath. Maybe it's because we're going camping at the end of the month (which is still two whole weeks away!), or maybe it's because I didn't have as many things planned in it. Whatever it is, I'm sick of July! It's also been day after day of incredible humidity alternating with drenching rain. Great for farmers, not so great for RA sufferers. I'm sure that August will fly by because the end of summer will be in sight, and I won't be ready for it to end. Isn't it funny how time is such a relative thing? For me, July is never-ending, but I'm sure for others, they don't know where the time has gone. I guess my impatience is showing; I'm still working on that.

Perfectly Dateless by Kristin Billerbeck is the first in the Universally Misunderstood series. Daisy Crispin wants her senior year to be different. Her parents are over-the-top about being stingy with money as well as way over-protective of their only child. She attends a Christian high school, but wears homemade clothing more appropriate for a Denny's waitress, and she's not allowed to date..ever. But Daisy wants a date for prom to show that her time in high school wasn't a complete waste, and she's sick of being perfect. Perfect grades, perfect daughter, hard working, etc. But there are cliques in her high school, just like any other, and despite attending school there for three years, she's virtually invisible to anyone with popularity, except for life-long crush Chase, who would be her ideal date. I had a hard time liking Claire, Daisy's best friend. Claire can't seem to ever say anything even remotely nice, and she refused to listen to anything Daisy had to say, regularly disregarding her feelings. But Daisy is a stand-out heroine. She is occasionally misled, but her intentions are so good and her thirst for life so strong, it's impossible not to love her. At first her parents seem like any other set in YA Christian fiction, well-intentioned but misunderstood by their children, but as the book progresses, the reader discovers that Daisy's parents are truly every teen's worst nightmare. They refuse to listen to anything she has to say or consider her point of view because they are so completely obsessed with her not repeating their mistakes. Their character growth as well as Daisy's makes the book a terrific read for teens as they realize that parents can make mistakes too, and are works in progress, just like they are. I do hope that Billerbeck writes more books using these characters, especially Claire who is in desperate need of best-friend rehab.

Thank you to Revell Books for providing me with a copy of this book for review. Available July 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.