Readers will not be too surprised by the girls' findings, but they may be disappointed that not all of the plot points resolve (perhaps Breaking Up Is Really, Really Hard to Do, due out in June, will supply the answers); the still-open story line about Lina's growing obsession with her young teacher is especially disturbing. Holly, Madison, and Lina are best friends, sophomores at a magnet school in a wealthy California town.In THE DATING GAME, the first book in a new series by Natalie Standiford, three friends set up an online dating quiz as part of their school project.Yet the girls' struggles come across as authentic, and the writing can be both funny and honest (especially Holly's painful experience with "the double standard, how it was good for boys to have a wild rep and bad for girls").
They have their own strengths and weaknesses, and are honest about them.
Readers will laugh out loud and emerge from the story satisfied with the cheerful resolution.
Kirkus Reviews, December 18, 2013 A wish, a shared birthday and some theater magic transform the lives of two young teens.
There are implausible moments, but the courage in Claires consistent refusal to change herself to please others always feels genuine.
VERDICT An engaging tale of unwavering self-acceptance.