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Continuing with The Alphabet Challenge Variation (read 18 books where the title/author name begins with the letter A, then B, C, etc. through R).

Letter “D” for Dating-ish

For letter “D,” I decided to see what many were raving about and pulled out Penny Reid’s Dating-ish published in 2017. (I previously read her book, Neanderthal Seeks Human, which I gave a B+. I liked it enough to seek Reid’s other work out.)

This book has been ably described in the AAR review posted here: https://allaboutromance.com/book-review/dating-ish-by-penny-reid/. However, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much. I can see what the reviewer sees in the story. It’s certainly very different and I appreciated all of that. In fact, I will list the things I liked about it first and then mention what made this less enjoyable for me.

What I liked: I really enjoyed the two main characters and their courtship story. Matt, the hero, was adorable and Marie, the heroine, was smart enough to fall for him pretty quickly. Neither of these people were stupid, they just didn’t reveal enough to eliminate all doubts about each other … and of course if they did, the story would be very short. I loved their banter and I understood their insecurities. Another thing I loved was the opening of each chapter, which featured a little abstract about a real — I think — AI development that was fascinating. I was also interested in Matt’s research, which we only really hear about rather than “see.”

What I didn’t like as much: I wasn’t as thrilled about something which I probably should’ve expected, i.e., the tired trotting out of a group of couples who are all beautiful, accomplished, terribly in love and protective of their women. The couples who are all friends. In regencies, these are the “secretive spy club,” “the devilish dukes,” “the penniless sisters,” “the wallflower duchesses.” I am not a fan of those series of books, nor am I of the contemporary version. I don’t mind stories about the different couples, but bringing them all together and having them interact was insufferably cutesy and confusing. They are all so similar — to me — that I had difficulty telling them apart. Can’t they have friends who are not all the same? Different ages, shapes, sizes, sex preferences, and ethnic backgrounds? You know, like real life in the city of Chicago. As for my second turn off — I guess this is more personal — but I found some of those practices Marie was trying out for her article to be downright creepy! Cuddling? Okay. That’s nice. But dry humping (isn’t that basically lap dancing?) and orgasm meditation?! Geez! I don’t know. And, to tell you the truth, the fact that the author did not have the characters actually go through with either of the latter in the story should tell us something, huh?

In any event, I don’t know. The book clearly is very different. I liked much of it, but I didn’t love it. “B-“?

The Alphabet Challenge Variation – 2 down, 16 to go (R, D…)