Google+ Reading Teen: Review: The Oracle of Dating by Allison Van Diepen

Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: The Oracle of Dating by Allison Van Diepen

The Oracle of Dating (Harlequin Teen)

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373210094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210091

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. 

Sixteen-year-old Kayla is just your average, ordinary teenager by day, but at night, she becomes a dating superhero.  Kayla’s super hero name?  The Oracle of Dating.  And like most superheroes, Kayla’s identity is a secret.  Ok, she’s not actually a superhero, but Kayla did start a secret Web site to help those needing advice on love and relationships.  She has an extraordinary ability to tell the dating-challenged exactly what they need to hear, even if it’s not what they want to hear.

Unfortunately, when her friend asks for advice, Kayla lets her personal relationship get in the way of her good judgment.  On top of that, Kayla can’t get Jared Stewart, the new boy in school off her mind.  If only she could learn to take her own advice.

-Kayla is a wise-beyond-her-years girl who isn’t afraid to share her knowledge with her followers and friends and even her 20-something older sister.  She actually gives really good dating advice most of the time.

-I really like that she has standards and values and isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes.  She’s an intelligent girl who is kind and thoughtful, and cares deeply for her friends and family, and they care deeply about her.

-The use of Web sites, Facebook, and Paypal add another dimension to this book that hasn’t been present in any of the other books I've read.  It's nice to see a teen girl who has a sense of business and responsibility. 

-I didn't think the story was that great.  I actually put the book down for a couple of weeks when I was probably 80% done.  That's not a good sign.

-I felt like it would appeal more to younger teens than older ones (especially from the look of the cover), but there was a lot of talk about sex, especially with Kayla’s older sister who was in her twenties, and a ton of raunchy sexual comments and innuendo, and quite a bit of mature language. 

-But the biggest thing that bothered me was the way that Jared treated Kayla.  He did treat her really well sometimes, but other times he was seriously a jerk.  I don’t want to give anything away, but I didn’t like that he tried to push a girl (not Kayla) to have sex with him so that she would break up with him, and this is shown as a good thing because he’s sparing her the humiliation of being dumped.  

Overall, this was not my favorite book.  I'm sure there are people out there who will love it, but it just wasn't great for me.

3 out of 6


Parents:  For a more complete content review, go to The Oracle of Dating on Parental Book Reviews.

This book was provided to me by NetGalley for advanced reviewing.


  1. That was my first thought when I saw the cover before reading your review (that the books looks like it is for younger readers). Thank you for the warning (although I am a much older reader;).

  2. I love the idea of your blog! I'll be back to follow later, when Google Friend Connect decides it wants to work for me again. ;)

    I'm a former teacher and I love to keep up on the current YA lit so I'll be current when/if I go back to teaching.

    Stopping by to welcome you to SITS!


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