Dating Makes Perfect – Pintip Dunn – Entangled:Teen – Published 18 August 2020
The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed. Until now.
In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school.
In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster.
The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him.
If only he weren’t her sworn enemy.
What would you do if the only way your parents would let you date in high school was to date your sworn enemy/ex-best friend. That’s what happens to Winnie in this fun and flirty YA romance. Alongside an awesome sister relationship, a series of dates that have come straight from the movies (literally) and two cute love interests, Dating Makes Perfect is #OwnVoices and lots of fun, perfect if you are in the mood for something lighthearted.
Winnie doesn’t have any intentions of dating during high school, no partner for the prom. It’s a family rule that the Tech sisters are not allowed to date in high school. But when her mother asks Winnie’s older sisters why they haven’t found partners yet now they are in college, the girls turn the tables on their parents and convince them that Winnie should be allowed to date in high school. But their parents have one condition: they will choose who Winnie dates and where they go. Winnie is horrified that, despite a perfectly handsome new boy in town, her parents decide she is to date her sworn enemy Mat Songsomboon.
I know Winnie and Mat are meant to be sworn enemies, but it’s easy to see their feelings underneath their hilarious ‘fighting’. Their insults and arguing is more like banter and flirting. But there is some hurt buried after their friendship broke down and I loved that they are able to finally talk about this and offer each other an explanation. This book is more best friends to lovers than enemies to lovers romance, simply because it’s hard not to imagine Mat and Winnie together. The other love interest just provides some motivation, shall we say.
While the romance is sweet and lots of fun, it is Winnie’s family interactions that I really enjoyed in this book. She has two amazing, supportive sisters. Even though they are away at college, two home visits and plenty of video and phone conversations mean they are key characters. I loved their twin, wordless conversations and Winnie’s love for them. It’s a really positive relationship. I also enjoyed the representation of Winnie’s family and Thai culture. From epic going-back-to-college parties to a Songkran Festival celebration, there are many opportunities for Winnie to share her love of food (yum) and cultural traditions.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction
Themes: Romance, dating, sisters, Thai culture, movies, art, humour, food, relationships.
Reading age guide: Ages 13/14 and up.
Advisory: References to sex in movies, orgasms. Sexual references.
Representation: Main characters and secondary characters are Thai American. Best friend character is Konkani (Indian). One side character is referenced as black. Heterosexual relationships. One secondary character is bisexual and references a homosexual relationship.
Published: 18 August 2020 by Entangled: Teen.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 400 pages.