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4.2 out of 5 stars
Perfectly Dateless: A Universally Misunderstood Novel
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Well...this Novel was DEFINITELY misunderstood. At least by this reader.
What started out as a potentially lighthearted, good message story, quickly derailed into some teenage drama that came out of nowhere. I kept checking to see if I had somehow skipped a page as the story seemed to jump all over the place in the end. And...not to sound shallow...but the fun bits of a make-over story (ie. the new clothes, the new haircut, etc.) these moments were completely skipped over. It would start off with Daisy about to start shopping, or at the salon, then the finished "improved" product was never even mentioned. After all Daisy's moaning about not having "store bought" clothes, I would have thought the author would at least spend a paragraph or two discussing what she buys once she goes to the mall and gets new clothes. I was disappointed in that.

Also, alot of the characters seemed completely unrealistic to me. For instance, Daisy's parents seemed a bit over the top. So sheltered and backwards in the way they choose to live, then we find out it's b/c Daisy's dad has medical issues? That doesn't even make sense to me. And then at the end they suddenly are totally different? And Chase is this nice guy who becomes popular in his Senior year, and then suddenly becomes some "scary guy who tried to date rape a girl"? Where did that come from?

Overall I found this book to be slightly missing something. Whether it was the way the story was set up and then played out or the way the characters were written, always changing their fundemental elements, and becoming something else, I'm not sure. I kept reading it to the end, mainly hoping it would get better, and instead it just ended up in some twilight zone scenerio where Daisy and Claire are being forced by their school principal to work at the prom. ??? #confused

This was not the book I was expecting it to be. It seemed like the messages to "deny the world and follow God and nobody's perfect" were too forced. Almost as though they were after-thoughts. Trying to make this book have some deep, moral message instead of just letting it be a nice, good, clean read. Disappointed. :/
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2010
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
In classic Kristin Billerbeck style, this tale weaves wide and long... drawing you in, wringing you out, and lifting you up in the process!

Aimed at young adults, yet readable for anyone who ever passed through that age as well. I not only felt kinship with the main character/s, I found myself questioning how I might respond differently... or accordingly, and can only imagine the impact such a novel could have on young women still in the throws of it all (especially with some guidance and great discussion as they plod along through the intricately woven tale/s.

I will most certainly be recommending this to all the young ladies in my life or whom cross my path and allow such recommends.

A winner, indeed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
1 out of 5 stars. I must be a part of the group of people who have misunderstood this book since I just didn't like it at all. I dunno, I mean the message of the book was good. And don't get me wrong I have read some Christian fiction books before and there were a few that I did like. But this one rubbed me the wrong way I guess. I really can't stand "preachy" books and Daisy's parents were very "preachy". However, I will admit that I liked how Daisy dealt with her parents, and she was a good main character. I'm not to sure about her best friend Claire. I really think Daisy should have found a new best friend, since while I thought Daisy's parents were "preachy", Claire pushed her views onto Daisy too and I have never liked that about people.

Side note -- I just have to say ... where can I order myself a Max?! ALSO -- she has a great "fairy godmother" of a boss, which after you read the explanation of him is kind of surprising.

Review By: From Me to You ... Book Reviews
(read more of this review and a teaser on my blog)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
There were some things I enjoyed about this book and some...not so much. I loved how weird Daisy was, but not how she talked to her mother and father. I've met some rude teens in my life, but whoa, is this one more rude than most, and not just in her thoughts. It was like a Christian version of Rosanne. Remember that TV show? Anyway, I'm not all that into fashion and never have been, so some of the vanity stuff and importance of looking good in all the right brands went right over my head.

On the other hand, the whole thing with her life being a wreck was pretty fun to read, and her desire to be noticed as she experienced typical teen issues closely resembled my recollection of high school. The Christian humor was classic and will definitely be universally misunderstood if read my non-Christian teens. But that was part of what made it funny. Loved the journal rants and the author's "voice," too. This author has a quit wit with her dialog and snappy comebacks.

The overall style of the book was so classic Billerbeck. That was one of the things I liked best about it. This comment probably seems out of balance since I mentioned above what I didn't like, but that wasn't my intent. I admire Kristin's accomplishments as an author and her writing in particular, so I don't want this review taken the wrong way. Perfectly Dateless was a quick read and had some great insight, which I've come to expect from Kristin's novels. I loved the mini-sleuthing that was part of the plot, and the whole deception with the boy that she had her eyes on. Would loved to have seen a continuing storyline with her boss, Gil. The reaction from her peers to her makeover at the salon was completely skimmed over, too. Sigh.

Regardless, I loved how things worked out in the end and how Daisy learned some important things in the process. Daisy had a pretty good moral compass despite her tendency toward rudeness. So here I was smiling and feeling all happy inside, then the book was finished right when something really cool just happened (if I mention it then it will be a spoiler.) I looked inside the novel and saw no mention of a sequel. Ack! It felt so NOT over, but yet it was. Even a few more chapters would've tickled me as pink as the gorgeous cover.

I would really love to see more of this story, but fear that this will be a one book wonder. Wah! Now that I'm done fussing, I will say again that this storyline was pretty good, though I'm thinking overall I like Kristin's style better as a straight chick lit author, rather than YA. You can be as snarky as you want with your adult friends and somehow that just comes off in a better light. That said, I'll be looking for more books from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
The prom countdown has begun...

Daisy Cristpin has 196 days to find the perfect date to the Senior prom, an event she is determined to attend, so she can have her picture taken with the perfect guy. She even made a list of names, possible candidates to be her date. But there are problems. Number one on the list is that Daisy is somewhat of a nerd. She's totally invisible at school, possesses no social skills, and her parents won't even let her talk to a guy on the phone.

There is more at stake that the extremely far-out possibility that her parents might let her go to the prom. If she someone did manage to get their consent (thought that in itself would take a miracle) she would need help getting guys to even notice her. Especially the popular jock types she's targeting.

Daisy's best friend, Claire, doesn't understand Daisy's obsession with the prom, or the preppy jock that Daisy likes best, but she's prepared to do her part to help get Daisy noticed. But the trouble is, Claire's help could ruin her life...

PERFECTLY DATELESS is the first teen book I've read by Ms. Billerbeck, and it's a winner. Totally and completely realistic, and sadly, a reality probably felt by all the smart girls in school--the ones that the jocks ignore, unless they want help with their homework or cheating on a test.

I enjoyed getting to know Daisy. Her sarcasm is absolutely hilarious, and at times shocking and a lot rude (the reason it isn't 5 stars). This is a book that I could hand to my teen daughter and not be concerned that she's reading something inappropriate. If you have a teenage daughter, pick up a copy of PERFECTLY DATELESS. $9.99. 257 pages.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I have been a big fan of Kristin Billerbeck's adult chick lit for years so I was really excited when I heard she was going to be writing a YA novel. Her style of writing is excellent and I've been able to introduce many Chick lit fans who normally don't read Christian fiction to her books. I was hoping that with this book I would be able to do the same with the YA crowd. That being said, we have a winner here.

Ah prom. This book brought back to mind so many memories of that dreaded event. It makes me want to laugh at how much emphasis is placed on that night and how silly it all is. I could totally relate to Daisy and her quest to make it to that night and all the planning she wanted to put towards it. I remember being that age and thinking the exact same things she did. I've seen other reviews mention that they didn't like Daisy's character so much because of her attitude and the fact that she would be rude at times. Well if I had parents like she did, I would be the exact same way! Daisy also appears to be a bit in the dark about how to act in social situations. This can be blamed on her parents as well as they do not seem to encourage her being in social groups. Either way, it's realistic and gives off the feeling that she is not someone who is always doing what her parents say and has her own mind and feelings. Her feelings about boys in this book are genuine and realistic. I love her diary and the comments she made about them. It almost felt like reading my old teenage diary.

While I really enjoyed the story and Daisy's character, I can't say the same thing about her parents. Everything is explained by the end, but that doesn't make up for their behavior for the majority of the book. Her parents are portrayed as stereotypical, over the top, controlling Christian types who I personally abhor. I really did NOT like the way they treated Daisy. Some of the things I could understand like clothes, make up and dating. Even though they are a little overbearing on those, she is still living in their house and I can see where she would need to respect their decisions. However, it really made me angry when her father refused to listen to her about her college choices. It's one thing to not like what your kid chooses to do for college but it's a complete opposite to forbid them to go simply because it's not what you would have done yourself. And what really got me was that Daisy's wants to study neuroscience which is an extremely advanced field AND she's totally capable of doing it. However her father thinks it's not Christian to study science and refuses to even listen to her. It just really floored me. Also the fact that they kept hiding so much stuff from her really got on my nerves. I was horribly embarrassed for her during the school assembly scene. Say what you want about them loving her, what they did was EMBARRASSING. I hope by the next book they will have changed.

I just want to say I absolutely love the color of this book. It's so simple yet the colors and design really make it stand out. It's one of the best Christian YA covers I've seen and other publishers need to take note. If you want to get the attention of the general market crowd, this design is a keeper. This appears to be the first book in a series so I am looking forward to reading more of Daisy's adventures. This is definitely a series I will try to recommend to all YA readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
In Kristin Billerbeck's first YA book, she shares the story of Daisy, a sheltered teen, who just wants a prom date. I was very excited about this book since I have been a fan of Kristin's for several years and since YA books are my favorite (teaching middle school does that to you). I was slightly disappointed. The plot line of a sheltered young girl wanting to fit in is a great start, but the book didn't have much spark. It took me a few weeks to finish because I just wasn't that interested in the characters or what would happen to them.

The qualities that make Kristin such a great writer (unique voice and colorful characters) aren't in this book. Daisy isn't well-developed, and the high school private school is unrealistic (at least compared to my private high school experience). Another reason Kristin is one of my favorite authors is that she doesn't "preach" in her books, but this book felt like there was an agenda, which is annoying, especially to teens.

Overall, the book is pretty good. Writing adult chick lit is different from writing YA books, and I think Kristin's second YA book will be much better!

[...]
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Perfectly Dateless by Kristin Billerbeck is a YA (Young Adult) novel about a high school senior named Daisy who is determined to find a date for the prom, despite her low social status. In an often amusing story, Billerbeck shows that she's in touch with teen culture, even if her tale derails at the end.

Daisy Crispin lives in a world controlled entirely by her parents, who do not permit her to date or talk on the phone to boys. They have committed her to marriage by courtship. Not only that, but Daisy is forced to wear clothes homesewn by her mother to her elite Christian high school in California. As if that isn't bad enough (I mean, her clothes alone practically spell "social outcast"), Daisy feels invisible at her high school and her church youth group. Despite her circumstances, Daisy has hope that she will make it to the crowning event of her high school experiencer-her senior high school prom. She records her thoughts on prom, potential dates, and the like in her pink, frilly prom journal.

While I thought this book might mirror my own Christian high school dorkdom, it was far from my own life. In fact, my small school didn't even have a prom; we had a junior/senior banquet (no dancing) and a dress code that eventually matriculated into uniforms. As far as I'm concerned, Daisy has it made, except her for the fact her parents don't allow her to experience any sort of freedom in Christ. Daisy's eccentric parents change their attitudes towards the end of the book with little explanation, which just seems like poor plot planning. Also, while the book appears to be a whimsical read, cutting is mentioned and there is a huge plot turn involving roofies and implied date rape. Is this a serious book or the equivalent of chick lit for teens? I don't know because the "serious" parts seem terribly out of place putting a dark backdrop on a pleasant little read.

The truth about life as a Christian teenager, like cliques and bullying prove that Billerbeck is knows teens. Yet the plot derails towards the last third of the book, which is a big disappointment for this reader. And the characters don't seem all that realistic. Even as a teenage girl and youth leader, I never met boys who were quite so open with in declaring their feelings to girls, especially weird girls. Daisy's best friend, Claire, seems more like a mean girl than a gal pal. Plus, how did these kids not get expelled from Christian school for throwing a wild party that involved both drinking and drugs?

Even for a YA book, Perfectly Dateless is entirely unbelievable with a shoddy plot development and undeveloped characters. And this is the thing--the book started out great; it just ended poorly.

*With thanks for Revell for a review copy of this book!*
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Review by Jill Williamson

Daisy Crispin is not allowed to date until she's eighteen and had moved far away from her parents watchful eyes. Still, she has one dream for her senior year: attend prom with a date. T minus 196 days and counting. Daisy has a list of five possible candidates. But there is one other small problem. She is invisible, wears sad homemade clothing, and her only social skill is to spout random statistics. Not cool. Still she is determined and sets off to win the prize of having a date to senior prom.

This was a fun read. Daisy is a quirky character who tries really hard to do the right thing. And when she fails, she fails big time. I read this in one sitting because it was too much fun to watch Daisy bounce between boys, fashion, friends, parental stress, and her job. A fun read for teen girls.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a great story that I wish had been around when I was a teen! Kristin Billerbeck has captured the frustrations of a teenage girl whose thinks her parents are "old fogies" with their rigid beliefs and the limits that place on Daisy. I loved Daisy's perfectionist streak and her longing to rebel just a little! But when her night on the "wild" side turns into a fiasco, she discovers that her folks know a little more than she gives them credit for and that some of their rules have more wisdom than she realized. The wit and clever bantering in this book made it a fun read, and I'm passing it right along to my girl.
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