Hi folks! I’m so happy to be participating in the Dating Makes Perfect blog tour, hosted by Hear Our Voices Book Tours! As a biracial Asian-American reader, I always love shouting about #OwnVoices YA novels starring Asian-American teens. Read on for more about the book and my review! And be sure to check out the rest of the tour schedule here and visit some of the other stops on the tour.
AUTHOR: Pintip Dunn
CATEGORY/AUDIENCE: Young Adult
GENRE: Contemporary, romance
RELEASE: August 18, 2020
PUBLISHER: Entangled Teen
LINKS: Bookshop | Goodreads
Note: I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and will receive a small commission if you choose to purchase via the above link. This is a way to support indie bookstores & the work I put into this blog!
Orrawin, or Winnie, is the youngest of the Tech sisters. Winnie and her older sisters, twins Ari and Bunny, have never been allowed to date in high school. But as soon as Ari and Bunny are off to college, their parents begin pestering them to get engaged. In an act of rebellion, they announce that they don’t plan to marry for years–at least, not until they’ve had plenty of time to date. Winnie’s mother is devastated and, in fear that Winnie will do the same as her sisters, she makes a decision that shocks the whole family: it’s time for Winnie to start dating. But Winnie doesn’t get to date anyone she wants. Instead, her mom will be planning and scheduling the dates, and picking the guy–and it just so happens that she’s picked Winnie’s archnemesis.
Dating Makes Perfect is a sweet, light-hearted and fresh take on enemies-to-lovers starring two Thai-American teens. Winnie is a funny, creative, and silly main character who reminded me so much of one of my all-time favorite protagonists, Lara Jean Song Covey! Meanwhile, Mat is her former best friend and current enemy. When Winnie’s mom starts arranging dates between the two of them, Winnie is infuriated–but buried feelings between Winnie and Mat start rising to the surface. I love that this novel is about repairing a broken friendship and finding your way back to each other. Seeing Mat and Winnie rekindle their friendship while also struggling not to give into their feelings was so much fun. Winnie’s mom models their dates off of rom-com movies that she likes, which I thought was such a cute touch.
What really makes this YA rom-com special is the #OwnVoices Thai representation and the relationship between Winnie and her sisters. Both Winnie and Mat come from Thai families, and their culture and identities are definitely an important part of the book (including plenty of food descriptions that will make you very hungry!). Winnie, Bunny, and Ari are super close and my favorite scenes were definitely the ones with all three of them. I would so love to see Ari and Bunny get their own book!
In terms of diversity, Dating Makes Perfect has a central cast of Thai and Thai-American characters, with some background/supporting characters of other races and ethnicities, and one bisexual character. When recommending this book at my library, I’ll try to pair it with some YA rom-coms that have more queer rep and a range of BIPOC characters, like The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar or You Should See Me In a Crown by Leah Johnson.
Dating Makes Perfect is a cute, fluffy YA rom-com perfect for fans of enemies-to-lovers, fake dating, and friends-to-lovers tropes–there’s also a bit of a love triangle that many romance readers will enjoy, too! This romance by Pintip Dunn touches on sisterhood, family, first crushes, identity, art, and so much more. I’ll be purchasing a copy for my library’s teen collection and will be recommending it to YA readers who enjoy Gloria Chao, Jenny Han, and Maurene Goo. I already know that this contemporary romance will find a home with many teen readers!
Thank you to Entangled Teen and Hear Our Voices Tours for the review copy!