Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Book Stops Here: Review of Perfectly Dateless by Kristin Billerbeck

From the back cover:

The prom countdown has begun.

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.

My thoughts:

I first fell in love with Kristin Billerbeck's writing several years ago when I read What a Girl Wants. Because I enjoy this author and I love teen fiction (maybe because I still am one at heart), I had high expectations with this novel. And I am happy to say, I was not disappointed. I'll even go one step further and say I totally loved this book!

As mentioned in the blurb, Daisy Crispin's #1 goal her senior year is to find a prom date. She even keeps a Prom Journal to track her progress. But there are a few obstacles along the way, such as her practically invisible status at school and, of course, her eccentric and borderline fundamentalist parents who believe in courtship and won't permit her to date.

Daisy is easy to like. She is basically a good Christian girl who knows right from wrong but is frustrated with her parents inability to see her for who she is instead of trying to mold her into who they think she should be. This causes not only frustration, but some poor choices on Daisy's part. But, these choices come with consequences, which Daisy ultimately has to face.

The writing is wonderfully crisp and witty. Each character is so well crafted, from Daisy to her parents, to Daisy's best friend Claire, to all of the other minor supporting characters we meet along the way (Daisy's boss, fellow students, and "love interests"). The storyline was fast-paced and clever, and never did I feel a "lull."

A few themes and messages are woven throughout, pertaining to perfectionism, priorities, consequences of choices, and the importance of a healthy parent/child relationship. Every aspect and loose end was wrapped up nicely, but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing a sequel to this book, possibly from best friend Claire's point of view.

Definitely saving this one for my daughter to read in another year or two (she's now 13), but it's a great read for both teens and parents, alike.

“Available July 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thanks to Revell for providing me with a copy of this book to review. A positive review was not required and all thoughts are my own.**

Kristin Billerbeck is the author of more than 30 novels, including "What a Girl Wants" and the Ashley Stockingdale and Spa Girls Series. She is a fourth-generation Californian, who loves her state and the writing fodder it provides. Learn more at


kathy taylor said...

Lynda, I've enjoyed your review and would like to read the book too. I taught 8th grade language arts & high school English in drama and have read tons of YA. Perfectly Dateless is making my reading list, and I'll be able to pass it on to the young ladies at church. Thanks!

Lynda Schab said...

I'm confident you'll love it, as much as I did, Kathy! :-)

Diane said...

Sounds like a good one. :O)

Faith said...

I read this recently and really enjoyed it, too! My review goes up next week, I believe :) Glad to wave "hi" to another Billerbeck fan!

Amy Tate said...

Oh my that takes me back! I always bought my dress before I had a date. Isn't that awful? But it was the perfect mother/daughter shopping trip and an excuse for us to go to the mall. I'll definitely put this on my to-read list.