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Title: The Oracle of Dating
Author: Allison van Diepen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
May Contain Spoilers
For five bucks, the Oracle of Dating will tell you:
* How to flirt
* If that cute guy you’re crushing on likes you, too
* Whether your new romance will last through lunch period
* And much more
What she won’t tell you? Who she is.
No one at Kayla’s school knows she’s the famous Oracle of Dating–the anonymous queen of dating advice. She doesn’t even have a boyfriend. Two relationship disasters were enough to make Kayla focus on everyone else’s love life.
But then her advice backfires on her own best friend. And Kayla starts to seriously obsess about Jared Stewart–the very cute, very mysterious new guy in school. Suddenly, the teen queen of advice needs her own oracle of dating–and she knows just where to find one…
I think the premise of The Oracle of Dating is very cute. Kayla runs a blog that offers dating advice for the lovelorn, even though she isn’t exactly tearing up the dating scene herself. She is your typical teen, juggling school and a job at the local grocery store, as well as trying to find time for her tight-knit group of friends and her family. She hates her job, and dreams of a day when her blog will be raking in the cash, so she can quit her dreary position as a cashier and concentrate on being the Oracle, whose wisdom far exceeds her years. With the help of some reference guides and organizational skills that help her give a personal touch when dealing with her clients, Kayla is determined to help true love bloom.
Too bad things don’t go quite as smoothly as Kayla envisions. First, she allows her personal feelings to interfere with her advice, and then she can’t seem to catch a break with hunky Jared, her classmate and resident bad boy. After her words of wisdom go awry, Kayla realizes that even the best intentions can have disastrous results. And when Jared starts going out with the most popular girl in school, she hits a new low. She just can’t seem to catch a break, and it looks like she’s doomed to slave away at a job she hates. Afraid to give out bad advice, she starts to question if she has the right to be the Oracle anymore.
Though I thought the pacing was a little slow, I enjoyed this book. Kayla’s dry observations kept me amused, and I was invested enough in the story to want everything to work out for her in the end. Her secrecy regarding being the Oracle causes her a lot of grief, and when she gets her friend in trouble, she is consumed with guilt and remorse. Even though she had the best intentions, she still tried to manipulate her buddy into doing what Kayla wanted her to, without thinking about the ramifications. Though her initial reaction was to run from her problems, she finds the courage to confront them and own up to her mistakes.
Though I was hoping for a little more romance, The Oracle of Dating was a fun read, with a quirky, down to earth heroine whose snappy commentary kept me smiling.
Review copy provided by publisher