Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Perfectly Dateless by Kristin Billerbeck

I've loved Kristen Billerbeck for years, reading everything she's ever written in chick lit. When Donna at Revell offered me the chance to read Kristen's new novel, I immediately said "Yes!"

I was in for two huge surprises. First, "Perfectly Dateless" is a YA/Teen novel...I believe it might be Kristen's first one. Second...I totally LOVED IT! Reminded me of my own high school years, only Daisy Crispin is way cooler than I was!

Raised in an ultra-conservative family and attending a Christian school, Daisy doesn't have much freedom in her life. She has a job at a check printing company...and that's about it.

No cell phone, no designer or even designer knock-off clothes, no makeup...and no dates. Her parents encourage (read-insist on) courtship. End result, Daisy feels like the freak of all freaks at her high school.

But now it's Senior Year, and Daisy is determined to do one thing and to do it no matter the cost: go to prom. And not just GO to prom, but go with a date. Thus, her prom journal, documenting Operation Prom.

Hoping to enlist the aid of her best friend Claire, Daisy attempts to work up the nerve to tell Claire about the journal. Turns out Claire has secrets of her own that blow Daisy's out of the water.

Which raises the question: do you ever REALLY know anyone? Are the cool kids really all that cool, and what are they hiding? Why are parents so intent on keeping their kids safe and insulated from the world?

Without really picking a side, Kristen gives us a good look into the life of Daisy and how her restrictions affect her life. Then Kristen very nicely allows us, through Daisy's eyes, to see how it all affects her parents.

Lots to be scene, noted and acted upon if everyone could just step outside their fears and insecurities and communicate better.

Love the unexpected ending, an ending I myself ended up with as I finished my high school career. Proves God is in control and has a sense of humor, and just loves us to bits.

I was totally entertained and educated at the same time, but I had one issue. The font used to print Daisy's journal gave my eyes fits at times. Maybe if we get a sequel, a less loopy font for older eyes enjoying the story,

I love seeing Kristen stretch out into the YA/Teen audience. She has a lot of wisdom written through fiction and filled wit and snapatude. I highly recommend moms and daughters read this one together, and that some book groups begin to discuss what they uncover in the story.

I'm hoping for more from Daisy Crispin and her crew, and for more from Kristen Billerbeck. Thanks again to Donna for sending me a copy of "Perfectly Dateless" it.

Giving this one four out of five bookmarks with a hotdog hat as a charm. "Perfectly Dateless" is available today, and it the perfect summer read!

Happy Reading!



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