Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Book Review: 29 Dates

I’ve always been a fan of Melissa de la Cruz, which started when I first read her Blue Bloods series (which I still wish could be turned into a movie or TV series in the future). Since then I’ve made it a point to check out her other books whenever they came out. When I read on Twitter that she had a new book called 29 Dates, I decided to give it a try.

Cover credit: Harper Collins

29 Dates is a young adult book about a young Korean girl named Jisu, who her parents have moved to the United States for her studies, where she is also being setting up on blind dates with fellow Koreans to ensure a good future for her. Each chapter of the book features the outcome of each of her blind dates as she also tries to make a home for herself in the US. She falls for the typical bad boy but later finds out that she was going to find the right one during one of her blind dates after all. 

One would think that getting older would mean that I would not enjoy young adult books. These are stories that seem light and simple considering that this is about the romance of a much younger set of people. Usually, I have no problem with that, but for this book I do. I love Melissa de la Cruz, I really do, but this is not her best work. 

I felt that the story was a little boring and I was dragging and forcing myself to finish it out of loyalty to the writer. The storyline was also a little too predictable for me and I wasn’t too happy about that either. I actually knew from the first time that the guy she would end up in was mentioned in the book that he would be the one in the end. It was that obvious.

Despite the things that I did not like about the book, I did appreciate that this was about an Asian main character and that there was a mix of various cultures in the book such as Korean, Filipino, and American. I know that Melissa de la Cruz got a lot of criticism for writing about a Korean experience even if she was not Korean. I may not be Korean but I do not think that people should be too bothered about that. She wanted to show a different story, she did her research and presented one point of view. I don’t think her book intends to be THE representation for Koreans or Korean Americans, it’s just meant to be one story out of many and people should not make too much out of it. 

If you are looking for a light and quick read about young love and a story that features Asian lead characters, this might be a good one for you. If you’re the type who overthinks things and looks for something a little deeper, then I suggest that you look for something else.


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