First Date (Melody Carlson)

Friday, November 1, 2013

As she whooshed past the group of days, she had to suppress the urge to giggle at their naïve oblivion. Because if she had her way, it wouldn’t be long until those very guys would be wondering what hit them. Let the Dating Games begin.

Book: Dating Games #1: First Date, The (The Dating Games) by Melody Carlson, Revell Publishers, 2013
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 13-18
Subjects: Dating relationships, Friendship, God’s will
Summary: Devon may be new but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know something is up here. She flirts and flirts and it gets her nowhere with the guys. So, much to Cassiday’s dismay, she comes up with a plan to secure a date, not only for her, but for all the girls in the group she hangs out with. By the time the Homecoming Dance arrives, every one of the girls will have a date. The newly formed Dating Games group guarantees it.
Notes: The first in the Dating Games series, First Date is the story of five girls who have never been on a real date. Devon, the sort of rebel of the group, leads them to form a club with the objective of helping each other get dates for the upcoming dance. The spiritual element comes primarily through Cassidy, a girl who takes her faith seriously. She has a lot of concerns about this whole club and dating in general. She had made a vow to not date, but now is wondering if that was the right decision. A talk with a mentor encourages her to evaluate whether it is God’s will her for her to avoid dating or if she’s just making extra rules for herself and being legalistic. She encourages Cassidy to be sure that God is giving her peace about whatever decision she makes. Cassidy is also encouraged to truly show love to Devon and the others, recognizing that being a witness means showing God’s love, even to those she disagrees with. So about a fifth of the book contains some spiritual content. The rest of it is more just a focus on the various relationships each girl finds herself in, whether friendship, dating or relationship with parents. This author goes back and forth. Some of her books really encourage the reader to grow spiritually, some have next to nothing for spiritual content. This one does a pretty good job in the sections about Cassidy.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.


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