Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review - The Dating Game (Dating Game #1) by Natalie Standiford

Summary: (via back cover)
Take the Quiz
1. You can't stop thinking about Sean, the hottest senior boy in the school. You are a sophomore girl with next-to-zero boy experience. You:
a. Have your best friend set you up on a blind date with Sean.
b. Get more experience with the guy who has the school's worst rep.
c. Date Sean's best friend, so you look sexy and mature.
d. All of the above.

2. Rumors about how you "put out" are all over school. You:
a. Say, "Thanks a lot," and start a super-popular sexy Web site.
b. Consider paying another girl to parade around in her underwear, so everyone will talk about her.
c. Start dating one of the nicest guys in school.
d. All of the above.

3. You are madly in love with your teacher. How do you let him know? You: 
a. Send a love poem about him to the literary journal.
b. Share an intimate moment with him at the high school dance.
c. Go to his house.
d. All of the above.

Seventeen Magazine meets high school science project, that’s The Dating Game described in less than ten words. And although I’m not a fan of confining a work in the this-meets-that type of way, I really don’t feel bad in this case, because this series is just that light and silly that it would be wrong to try and over-analyze its literary purpose.

So…what's this book about? (Clearly, even if the back-flap description is entertaining, it certainly isn’t very informative.)

The Dating Game is the story of three high school sophomore named Holly, Madison and Lena, who decide to spice up the dating scene for the 800+ students of RSAGE High by launching a web-based dating service called "The Dating Game" (or DG.)

In order to participate and be set up on a blind date with a fellow classmate, students must answer questionnaires about themselves, their dating experience and complete a sting of quizzes. The site becomes an instant hit – in the something-to-talk-about-on-your-way-to-your-locker type of way – but when Holly, Lena and Madison decide to add themselves to the dating pool, things start to get heated. Fast!

Madison, who is the least experienced and therefore most desperate to start dating, is in love with high school jock Sean Benedetto. Now it becomes her mission to discover which screen-name of the hundreds of male DG participants belongs to him so that she can set up a convenient match.

Holly has a false reputation of a being a slut. Getting guys to go out with her has never been difficult, but what she really wants is to meet someone who will look beyond those ugly rumors.

Lena’s interest in DG is purely academic. Her eyes are set on something beyond inexperienced high school boys. In her dreams she drools over only one man: her teacher, Mr. Schulman.

Every chapter of this book begins with a hilarious horoscope prediction about what’s to ensue. And indeed, what ensues is (for the most part) stuff that belongs to the “mortifying confessions” page of a magazine. Interspersing the story are some silly interactive quizzes, meant to rate DG participants (and also you) on a wide variety of topics (see question examples in the story summary above.)

Ever since I read How to Say Goodbye in Robot, I knew that would love Natalie Standiford forever! And now, in my post-The Dating Game state, I still love her just the same. This author gets teens, she gets relationships, and she has humor. I thought I would think this series was too childish (and in a way I do), but I still find it funny and addictive despite myself…and really, what more can you ask from a book than for it to trick you into wanting more.

Lit Snit Verdict: B

Books in the Dating Game Series (in order) and their Lit Snit grade:
1. The Dating Game (B)
2. Breaking Up is Really Really Hard to Do (B+)
3. Can True Love Survive High School (B+)
4. Ex-Rating
5. Speed Dating
6. Parallel Parking

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