Book Review: The Dating Quiz by LJ Young

datingquiz

I was ready for something fluffy, light, and romantic after the last few books I’ve read. The Dating Quiz falls easily into the first two categories, but I’m just not convinced on the last one.

The Dating Quiz is a Destiny Romance and I’ve read a few of that publisher’s other titles and they never disappoint when it comes to the modern chick-lit feel. I don’t expect to find any virgins pining after Greek tycoons, put it that way. Our heroine, Dani, has a plethora of friends and workmates who are used by the author effectively in light comical situations, meaning the book falls neatly into that sweet, easy to read chick-lit area.

The plot is a basic reworking of Austen’s Emma. Dani devises a dating quiz for her single friend, Harriet… Whoops, I mean Susie. The plan is to set up Susie with any guy whose answers have a high enough percentage matching hers. The quiz itself is rather a silly plot device because Dani basically just sets Susie up with every single male she knows. Except for ‘Robert Martin’ who lives downstairs, obviously. Until the end of the book, obviously.

This match that is eventually made for Susie, and the matches that are made for Dani’s other friends and acquaintances are, although quite obvious from the onset, sweet and fun. And I enjoyed that part of the book.

But this is why the book was lacking too, in my opinion. Young concentrates so much on the lighthearted banter between Dani and the minor characters that she forgot about developing the relationship between Dani and her intended, Josh.  I just didn’t find any chemistry or attraction between Josh and Dani jumping up from the page, I’m afraid.

You see, even though Dani is busy matchmaking for others, she has decided to never again date anyone herself. When a new photographer starts at her workplace, she asks him to complete the quiz (for Susie) but he refuses, telling her he doesn’t date. After their ‘snap’ moment, they decide the best way to not date is to ‘date’ each other. That is, they will actually ‘not date’.

The longwinded explanation of ‘not dating’ gets old really fast and seems rather unnecessary. It’s not like no one has ever written/read that trope before. In fact, it’s one of my favourite tropes: the ‘dating’ of a friend to keep everyone else off your back about going on a date/stopping your friends from setting you up with losers. In this case, I don’t think it works so well.

If I had to pinpoint why it didn’t work for me, I’d say the time Josh and Dani knew each other before they started ‘not dating’.  It seemed a little short.

The secret to the ‘not dating’ trope, I think, is that the participants have been friends, or near relatives as in Emma, for a long time. Dani and Josh only meet in the beginning of the novel, and as they have an instant attraction and not the ‘oooooh, I’m attracted to yoooouu!?!?’ moment, it doesn’t work for me.

BUT!!!!! Despite all my grumbling, I will still recommend the book. It’s still a lot of cute fun and an escape from reality that I needed.

I give it a 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

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