First Date

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Title: First Date
Series: The Dating Games
Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: Revell
Published: October 15, 2013
Pages: 224

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Devon has just transferred to the Christian Northwood Academy and is bored not only with school but with the environment and the lack of attention boys give her. So determined to make her junior year something to remember, she decides to try ad get her and her new friends to get dates to the dance coming up and break the daze everyone seems to be in.

Devon, Emma, Cassidy, Bryn, and Abby are completely different from each other but they all have one thing in common: none of them have been on a “real” date. So determined to get a date to homecoming, the girls decide to make a pact and start a secret club they call the DG (Dating Games) that has just one objective – dates for the dance. If only it turns out as easy as it sounds.

As the girls overcome insecurities and try ad nab dates, they learn a lot about themselves and each other. However, just when it seems like everything is going okay, the girls seem to get on edge and start bickering amongst themselves turning what was a good idea into a disaster. If they can get along long enough they might just grab dates to homecoming, but if they can’t they might just fail in their main goal.

Can the girls get dates to homecoming or will their differences year them apart? Is the DG a good idea or is it a bad thing waiting to happen? Can DG be something good for them all or will it turn into a disaster? What will each girl learn along the way about themselves and the other girls in their group? Can the girls combat dating and still keep their values or will they sacrifice them to get a date?
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Melody Carlson has been a favorite Young Adult author of mine ever since I discovered her a few years ago and ever since then I have looked forward to her ingenious stories and engaging storyline. So far there has never been a book by her that I haven’t liked and this book was no different. In fact, I found this book dramatic but fun and an awesome idea on how to date for teens.

The concept at first sounds a but weird and I couldn’t help but view the club, at first, like Cassidy. However, the more the story progressed and the more each girl’s limits and values came to light, I started to change my views and by the end of the book I felt that this is an incredibly genius way to date safely and smartly for teens. Not only do the girls group date, awesome idea, but they share about their dates and experiences so that the other girls I the group can assess whether said guy is good or bad for them. It’s genius! I might have to initiate this for myself someday.

Each character in this book are different, some in more ways than others and I thought it was really neat how the author played upon each character’s strengths and weaknesses and made each one part of the story. I also liked seeing the transformation in the characters, some changed quite a bit and some definitely need some work but all changed somewhat and it was nice to see how each changed and grew, tough I would’ve liked to have delved more deeply into their lives just a bit.

I always say it but Melody’s grip on teens and the way they think astounds me every time. Though a bit of her slang could be updated, the overall tone of the book is very teen-like and I always feel like a teen wrote it whenever I pick up one of Melody’s books. I think this newest book’s club is a genius idea and something teens everywhere should consider doing, particularly since girls love talking about their dates anyway. I absolutely loved the teen tone and felt it hit the nail on the head as far as relatibility goes.

Melody Carlson has written over two hundred books and though I haven’t near that many from her, I still know that her writing is amazing and her style is completely teen. I love her books so much and even though I won’t be a teen for much longer, I feel like I will read her books for years to come, even as I venture into a new chapter in my life. This author’s books come highly recommended, particularly this one.

Overall, I really liked this one. I would’ve liked to have delved more deeply into each character’s life, but I still really liked this book and the idea of a dating club stuck with me and I can’t wait to see what other hiking the group will get into. This book is perfect for fans of Young Adult fiction. This book is perfect for teens and YA friendly adults, though it’s probably best to keep it out of children’s hands just yet. I give this book a four and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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