Wednesday, August 2, 2017

[Jen's Review]: "Disasters in Dating"

romance novel covers, contemporary romance, Disasters in Dating by Danielle Allen
Disasters in Dating by Danielle Allen
Publisher: Danielle Allen (July 8, 2017)
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Chick Lit

Dating is hard. 
Dating online is hard. 
Dating online in your thirties is hard. 
Dating online in your thirties after being in a ten-year relationship is hard.

What’s not hard? 
Meeting men who aren’t really single.
Having your time wasted.
Receiving unsolicited pictures of genitalia.
Said genitalia.

When did dating become so complicated?

I just want to find a nice, good looking man who replies to my entire text message and doesn’t text me “WYD” every hour. I just want to find a fun loving, intelligent man who doesn’t have a Master’s Degree in Cheating and isn’t fluent in lies. I just want to find a man who is actually the height he listed in his dating profile. 

I jumped back into the dating scene with tempered expectations. I didn’t think all the men I would meet were going to be amazing, but I didn’t think so many of them were going to be disasters. 

Where to Buy*:
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Jen's Review:

Look, I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the truth is, a great cover can really pull me in. Especially in romance, where I have to admit, I get a little tired of looking at glossy six-pack abs and ladies in flowing pastel dresses. Enter Disasters in Dating by Danielle Allen, a book with a striking and gorgeous cover. Combined with a charming blurb, and this moved right up my list. Sometimes I just want to read something with a little more humor, and this seems to fit the bill.

Desiree is about to enter the world of online dating after a ten year relationship that collapsed. One of the charms of the book is how smoothly Danielle Allen showed me Desi’s excitement and nervousness about this new world. Desi can’t believe this is the way dating works now and wishes it could be more “organic.”  If, like me, you’re a reader who has never had the experience of online dating, reading this book is hilariously awkward and uncomfortable and left me wondering more than once, OMG is that really how it works?? Meanwhile, everyone else will likely laugh, giggle, and nod along as Desi navigates the pick-ups, text chats, and dick pics that are dating in 2017.

Desi is a strong, likable character with a crew of best friends helping her through the journey. They prop her up, give her advice, and encourage her to move past her ex-boyfriend, Troy. The relationships with her girlfriends, and Desi’s relationship with herself, are what make this book so appealing. The bad break-up was a year and a half ago, and Desi has given herself time to figure out who she is and what she wants. The beginning of the book starts with a series of 4 painfully bad dates, and rather than letting men act like fools, or let herself be taken advantage of, she stays true to herself and isn’t afraid to tell men how she feels. It’s pretty great.

In terms of the writing, my observation is that this book does a lot of telling and not showing. A lot of her relationships are conveyed through the texts and messages they send each other, and there is lots and lots of dialogue where Desi describes how she is feeling. Some of her dates aren’t in the narrative, instead Desi retells her adventures to a friend. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just a different kind of pacing. I found myself wanting a little more action, and a little less of Desi in her own head. However, I do think that Danielle Allen has a knack for dialogue. There’s a lot of fast chatter and back and forth with her friends and dates, and the book has the cadence of sitting in coffee shop overhearing a conversation between girlfriends.

As a warning: Disasters in Dating defies a lot of what I expect in romance novel. At first, I was frustrated that I couldn’t figure out which man Desi was going to end up with, but once I started reading it as a book about Desi figuring out who she is and what she wants, I decided to enjoy her dating journey. HOWEVER, I must warn you that the book has an unannounced cliffhanger ending. Luckily, the next book comes out on August 6th. I’ll admit that I am intrigued with the description of the next book, Brink of Disaster: “Brink of Disaster: This one. Brink of Disaster: This One. Two Guys. Two Endings. Two Books. How do you want the story to end? The Choice is yours.” I honestly do not even know how I feel about a Lady or the Tiger romance novel ending! Talk about a cliffhanger. Maybe Danielle Allen should take Molly O’Keefe bowling. Sheesh.


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Jen read this on Kindle Unlimited.

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Thanks for the review, Jen!

That cover is gorgeous, so I can see why it would jump up your list! It's too bad that things didn't quite work out with the romance/ending (ugh, surprise cliffhangers need to die!), but it does sound like otherwise it was an enjoyable read, if just for the conversations and friendships!

How would you all categorize this one? More chick lit / women's fiction than romance, since it's unclear who she's going to end up with?


Until Next Time,

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