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Sunday, August 16, 2020

Review: Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn @entangledteen @pintipdunn

Dating Makes Perfect 
by Pintip Dunn

Thank you Entangled Teen for this copy.

Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publish Date: August 18, 2020
400 Pages
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed.

Until now.

In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school.

In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster.

The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him.

If only he weren’t her sworn enemy.

My Review:

Well now - wasn't this just the cutest read!  It was exactly what I needed between my darker reads.  I love seeing Asian American representation through this Thai family.  Winnie also represents every teen girl out there who wasn't allowed to date in high school, who wondered how their first kiss would go, who wanted to be the perfect daughter, who still needed to find the courage to stand up for what they wanted and not what they thought was expected of them. 

Imagine your parents all of the sudden allowing you to practice dating by sending you on fake dates with the suitor of their choice!  I love that Winnie's mom plans her dates out based on the popular romantic comedy movies we all love.  And I love that Winnie felt like an absolute real teenage girl in all her angst and perpetual self pressure.  Now, I admit that some of the dialogue between Winnie and Mat was a bit eye rolling and some parts felt more "forced" than realistic.  Or maybe I'm just jealous. 😉

Beyond the funny moments of Winnie and everything she takes in stride, I absolutely love the underlying lesson in how immigrant parents have to adjust to American life and how us children of immigrants need to realize how hard that can be at times.  I appreciate that Dunn does this in a very subtle but powerful way.  The conversation where Mat was talking about how they would always get chocolate flavor instead of vanilla because they couldn't say vanilla was hilarious. I know my mom certainly would adjust certain things if she couldn't say certain phrases or words.  It was a definite part of my childhood that I do remember but never really took into consideration as it was just normal to me.  

"It hasn't been easy to reconcile the way I was raised with the pace of life here in America." 

If you like 10 Things I Hate About You, then this book needs to be on your shelves.  This #ownvoices young adult romance is a bright light.  Full of cultural references I absolutely could relate to and adore - Winnie is a refreshing breath of fresh air.  You get exactly what you expect out of this read.  


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