And now for book two! I was so, so excited to read this one, because it’s literally been five years since Billerbeck had a new book out. I also read her blog regularly, so I had the added bonus of knowing how much time, effort, and research went into this one.
Perfectly Dateless – Kristin Billerbeck
Daisy Crispin has 196 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, wears lame homemade clothes, and possesses 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 attempts to completely ruin her life?
Perfectly Dateless is hilarious, shocking, and totally real. You’ll fall in love with Daisy’s sharp wit and resourcefulness as she navigates the world of boys, fashion, family, and friendship.
In this novel, Billerbeck has crafted a relatable, realistic teenager with eccentric parents and a best friend who I think I actually liked more than the main character, Daisy… oops!
The story is a growth tale for Daisy, who starts off without a whole lot of backbone and grows into her own skin over the course of the novel. She makes plenty of mistakes along the way — some a little surprising and impulsive, just like you might imagine a teen would — and has to face the consequences of these actions when things inevitably go wrong.
What I liked about this novel is what I tend to like about all of Billerbeck’s works: No one is perfect. Daisy’s parents are very eccentric, strict Christians who mean well and want the best for their daughter, but under their put-together front, they have their own secrets and blemishes. All good people have faults. All ‘bad’ people have some good. That’s life, and no one can be painted with just one brush stroke.
What I didn’t like about the novel is, again, what sometimes irks me about Billerbeck’s works: The dialogue seems to get wonky at times. Sometimes I don’t see a logical flow through people’s conversations, and I have to re-read entire sections to figure out what the heck people are talking about. But then I wonder, since this happens consistently in her novels (note that it hasn’t deterred me from reading & enjoying her books), I wonder if this is a geographical thing. Maybe they really talk like that in California! Who knows!
Without giving away anything from the story, I was also a little disappointed that Daisy’s desire to study neuroscience in college wasn’t addressed to completion. I found her resignation at the end of the novel and the lack of further discussion with her parents incomplete — she gave in too easily, instead of fighting for her dreams. At least, that’s how it seemed to me… but I think there may be more books featuring Daisy in the future, so maybe that was left unresolved for the sake of addressing it in later books. I wish I could elaborate more on this particular point, but I don’t want to give anything away!
Billerbeck’s latest is a sweet tale for Young Adults, particularly Christian teens whose parents seem too strict in their eyes (so… all teenagers in the history of the world, is what I’m trying to say… haha). It’s the author’s first foray into the YA genre, but I think she pulled it off well and her writing style suits the audience.
If you know a Christian teen who might need to read a book like this, put it on the Christmas list! Or, add it to your church library… or just go grab a copy and read it for yourself If you enjoy it, be sure to pick up one of Billerbeck’s adult novels as well (I recommend Split Ends).
About the Author
Kristin Billerbeck is the bestselling, award-winning author of several novels, including What a Girl Wants. A Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year, Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. She lives with her family in northern California.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc. Available now at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.