Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book Review: Perfectly Dateless by Kristin Billerbeck

Perfectly Dateless: A Universally Misunderstood NovelPerfectly Dateless is teen fiction written from a Christian worldview. It is the story of Daisy Crispin, a senior in high school who wants nothing more than getting a date to the prom. She thinks that her life would be perfect if only she could get a boy to ask her to the dance and have their picture taken to prove she is a "somebody". The entire book centers around her goal and her attempts at becoming popular before she graduates.

As I read this book, I felt so out of touch with today's Christian youth (if, in fact, this is how they think and act). I have three teens of my own (as well as one who's 21 and one who's 11) and unless they talk to their friends differently, I don't see all this angst and silly behavior going on in their lives nor in the lives of their friends.

Now, I'm not so naive to think that my children are immune to such behavior and speech, but I think maybe the author went a little too far in her descriptions of this subculture, unless it is actually how the kids in California live. I know I don't know everything that goes on in my children's lives, but are they really THAT selfish and rude? We must be sheltered here in Eastern Tennessee.

Ok, off my soapbox. I did like the character development in this book, as well as the way that the main character matured throughout the book. I just wish that she was not so rude to her parents or others in her school and youth group. Maybe I'm asking too much. 

I guess I wouldn't be a good Christian teen fiction writer. I would probably portray the adults as smarter and wiser than the ones in Perfectly Dateless. And, I would not focus so much on "worldly" pursuits, but I would want the teen characters to be more respectful and obedient. Apparently, that would be a boring book, if we compared it to this one.

I give Perfectly Dateless a 3 out of 5 stars.

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

What about you? What are your thoughts on teen or "young adult" fiction, especially those published by Christian publishers? Have you read any that you have liked? Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on the subject? Am I being too harsh? Do I sound like an old "fuddy-duddy"? Please, tell me what you think. 

I'm listening.

(I received this book from Revell Books for review purposes. I received no monetary compensation for this review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.)


bluerose_shelnut said...

I completely agree with you!! I know on some of my reviews I end up sounding like a "goody two shoes" but there really is a lack of respect in books I've read lately, especially non-Christian. I've been shocked at some of the books I've read this year. I wrote in one of my reviews that it seems like authors are trying to give lessons on how not to be a parent, because the kids will be disrespectful, but then the parents are never around.
I haven't read this book, though. :)

Carrie said...

I am right there with you! I think motivating teens to behave as you've laid out here is the right way to go!

If you're an old fuddy-duddy - then I've been one since the ripe old age of 15. ;D (Well, ah hem. Maybe I am.)

I think that spending the teenage years locked up in romances is not only dangerous (for where such emotions might drive you) but also a waste of time! Of course, hindsight is 20/20 but I still think that there is so much that can done in life as a single person. Opportunities can fly away if you aren't careful to grasp hold of them even at 15,16,17, etc.

All that to say - precisely my reason for not reading a lot of romance novels - Christian or otherwise. I think chick lit is sometimes very fun but if they are younger than 25 then I tend to not be interested.

Desiree said...

It is funny you would bring up this subject. I am the coordinator for our new church library. I am beginning to develop a children and teen (YA?) section. I asked an 11 year old from my church what she likes reading and she said she read all of the Twilight books. I was shocked and have been upset by this for days. I asked a mom what her 10 year old likes to read and she said anything with dragons or war and is currently reading Tom Clancy. I feel very out of touch and like an "old fuddy duddy". I would love some advice about good christian world view fiction for young readers through teens. Are their some websites dedicated to this?