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Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn

Dating Makes Perfect (edition 2020)

by Pintip Dunn (Author)

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324602,738 (4.17)None
Title:Dating Makes Perfect
Authors:Pintip Dunn (Author)
Info:Entangled: Teen (2020), 400 pages
Collections:2016 books

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Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn


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Every time I cracked this book open, the joy infused me and I was grinning like an idiot.

It's a perfect little YA romance. It's not shallow, it's joy-focused, but it doesn't ignore challenges of immigrant families, clashing cultures, and family (or community) expectations. It just doesn't sag underneath them in any way whatsoever. And for me, the pacing and writing were straightforward but lovely.
"Hi," he says.
I laugh a little wildly. His greeting strikes me as hilarious, when I've spent hours planning this scene.

And frankly, any author who has trouble with sexual tension need only look here. Or relationship tension-it was just fantastic. This is trope-tastic all rolled in one: enemies to lovers, friends to lover, fake dating. Take your pick.

"We're good at that, aren't we? Willfully misunderstanding each other?"

He looks directly at me. His expression is so steady, his eyes so clear, that I know he hasn't been drinking from the punch bowl. "I don't want to be," he says quietly. "I don't want us to misunderstand each other anymore."

Winnie is the dutiful youngest daughter who wears cat skirts despite her allergies, who loves her friends, and who adores her sisters and doesn't seem to mind that she's constantly in their shadow-after all, they are her favorites too. Mat is the ultimate in respectful suitors, who sees her shine even though she often doesn't get the spotlight and they truly bring out the best in each other. Their parents set them up to fake date, but they've experienced a multi-year rift in their friendship and Winnie doesn't quite understand why. Mat and Winnie's antagonism is perfectly underscored with humor, vulnerability, and history and feels warm even though they have things to piece back together. It takes a while to trust, but the book doesn't move slowly, and just really...it is a delightful YA romance. ( )
  samnreader | May 22, 2021 |
I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Entangled Teen) in exchange for an honest review. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative.

This was the cutest YA rom-com!

Okay so first I just have to talk about the #OwnVoices aspect. As a Filipino American, I know how important it is to have your stories told, so I was so happy to finally see a book about the Thai American experience. I had never read a book about the Thai American experience before so I was super eager to read this. From food to the Songkran festival, there was a lot of Thai culture woven throughout the novel.

The premise of this book is adorable. I loved how the dates were inspired by romantic comedies including some of my favorites, “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Always Be My Maybe.”

I found this book to be highly relatable. As an Asian American, I could relate to some of Winnie’s experiences. For example, at one point, Winnie’s mom jumps to the conclusion that Winnie could be pregnant. Winnie replies, “Must you always skip fifty million steps? I haven’t even kissed him yet” (pg 126). Yup. My mom is like that too. You start dating a boy and their mind immediately goes to pregnancy. There’s also the quintessential bringing weird food to school moment that Winnie mentions in passing. Lastly, I related to how Winnie talks about respect towards her parents. She states, “Sometimes, I get so bored of this respect. Yes, it’s important, and yes, it’s my parents’ due. But respect also prevents us from admitting our infractions— and talking about them. That’s what I want. For us to talk. Not as friends, exactly, but certainly without this yawning chasm between us” (pg 237). I think that is so true. There can often be this divide between Asian parents and their children because of this notion of respect.

As for the romance, I thought it was so cute. It’s the classic childhood friends to lovers and enemies to lovers tropes but I thought it was done very well. Winnie and Mat had a lot of chemistry so I loved them as a couple.

Overall, I recommend this #OwnVoices romance! This book gave me a ton of “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” vibes, so if you like that movie or the books, you’ll probably like this! ( )
  oddandbookish | Aug 20, 2020 |
**Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**

This is the rom-com you need in your life.

The story was so cute and wholesome all the way through. I loved all the characters and thought the plot was so much fun!

It also includes an ownvoices Thai-American main character. Dunn writes about the Thai-American culture in a beautiful and lively way that invites the reader in.

I've been trying to figure out why I just loved this book so much. And I think a huge part was that the pacing was so good. There was never anytime I felt the story dragged, and still, there were slower times where the characters just interacted and we got to know them. I was immediately hooked by the story. And every time I picked it up to read more, the story re-caught my attention within a few sentences. It was also so much fun. There are plenty of references to other rom-coms in the most enjoyable way ever. The relationships in the book felt real and fleshed out, both the family relations and friendships.

Sometimes I struggle to fully love rom-coms, because many plots rely on characters making morally gray decisions(in terms of what is or isn't cheating, consent, obsession, etc.), but I didn't at any time feel that way with this book. And the characters actually communicating and opening up with each other was great!

Dating Makes Perfect is the ideal book to pick up if you're in the need of a fun, lighthearted, enjoyable read. Highly recommend!
  AColorfulReader | Aug 18, 2020 |
Enemies become best friends and more in a super cute back-and-forth, which leaves giggles, smiles and all sorts of good feelings

Winnie is the third of three Tech sisters (Tech because their last name causes difficulty for most Americans to pronounce). Her older, twin sisters are perfect in every way, leaving her in shadows she can never surpass. There's only one problem. The older sisters insist they won't get married for at least twenty years thanks to not being allowed to date in high school and having no 'guy' experience. The parents realize that their rule of not dating in high school (but yet, they expect their daughters to be married quickly thereafter) might have backfired. So, Winnie gets the chance her sisters never did; she should date. Of course, the usually dating process in the US won't do. Instead, they want her to 'practice' date...which would be weird but okay. Unfortunately, they choose the one guy Winnie would rather die than date. They choose her worst enemy.

This book is sweet and oh-so-cute. The setting—parents from India trying to maintain the ethics and culture in the US—might strike some readers as odd, since the idea of marriage is a bit different. But that makes the story that much more fun. The girls aren't really against their parents' ideas...not completely. But on the other hand, they do have some of their own ideas they stand up for. There's a wonderful sense of family as especially Winnie struggles to find her own way when stuck between the very two different worlds. I love the fact that she never loses respect for her parents and the traditions, but tries to weave everything together as best as she can.

The romance side of this one is simple adorable. Winnie's dislike for Mat, her arch-enemy, has history, and it's easy to understand why things have run amok between them. But the chemistry is also there from the very start. It's hilarious to watch the two go back and forth as they try to handle the situation. All along there are the other issues surrounding her family and friends. It slides together nicely to form a tale, which is easy to read and simply a delight to join in on. I received an ARC and found this one a treat to read and hard to put down. ( )
  tdrecker | Aug 2, 2020 |
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To my beautiful A-ma, who loved fiercely and without hesitation. I hope you and my dear mama are together once again.
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The Tech sisters don't date in high school.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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