Book Review: "Perfectly Dateless" by Kristin Billerbeck

Daisy Crispin has 242 days to find the right date for the prom. There's only one problem—her parents won't let her date or even talk to a guy on the phone. Oh, and she's totally invisible at school, has to wear lame homemade clothes, and has no social skills. Okay, so maybe there's more than one problem. Can she talk her parents into letting her go to the prom? Or will they succeed at their obvious attempt to completely ruin her life?

I have been a big fan of Kristin Billerbeck's adult chick lit for years so I was really excited when I heard she was going to be writing a YA novel. Her style of writing is excellent and I've been able to introduce many Chick lit fans who normally don't read Christian fiction to her books. I was hoping that with this book I would be able to do the same with the YA crowd. That being said, we have a winner here.

Ah prom. This book brought back to mind so many memories of that dreaded event. It makes me want to laugh at how much emphasis is placed on that night and how silly it all is. I could totally relate to Daisy and her quest to make it to that night and all the planning she wanted to put towards it. I remember being that age and thinking the exact same things she did. I've seen other reviews mention that they didn't like Daisy's character so much because of her attitude and the fact that she would be rude at times. Well if I had parents like she did, I would be the exact same way! Daisy also appears to be a bit in the dark about how to act in social situations. This can be blamed on her parents as well as they do not seem to encourage her being in social groups. Either way, it's realistic and gives off the feeling that she is not someone who is always doing what her parents say and has her own mind and feelings. Her feelings about boys in this book are genuine and realistic. I love her diary and the comments she made about them. It almost felt like reading my old teenage diary.

While I really enjoyed the story and Daisy's character, I can't say the same thing about her parents. Everything is explained by the end, but that doesn't make up for their behavior for the majority of the book. Her parents are portrayed as stereotypical, over the top, controlling Christian types who I personally abhor. I really did NOT like the way they treated Daisy. Some of the things I could understand like clothes, make up and dating. Even though they are a little overbearing on those, she is still living in their house and I can see where she would need to respect their decisions. However, it really made me angry when her father refused to listen to her about her college choices. It's one thing to not like what your kid chooses to do for college but it's a complete opposite to forbid them to go simply because it's not what you would have done yourself. And what really got me was that Daisy's wants to study neuroscience which is an extremely advanced field AND she's totally capable of doing it. However her father thinks it's not Christian to study science and refuses to even listen to her. It just really floored me. Also the fact that they kept hiding so much stuff from her really got on my nerves. I was horribly embarrassed for her during the school assembly scene. Say what you want about them loving her, what they did was EMBARRASSING. I hope by the next book they will have changed.

I just want to say I absolutely love the color of this book. It's so simple yet the colors and design really make it stand out. It's one of the best Christian YA covers I've seen and other publishers need to take note. If you want to get the attention of the general market crowd, this design is a keeper. This appears to be the first book in a series so I am looking forward to reading more of Daisy's adventures. This is definitely a series I will try to recommend to all YA readers.

Perfectly Dateless by Kristin Billerbeck is published by Revell (2010)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


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