Title: Dating Makes Perfect
Author: Pintip Dunn
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone
I hadn’t read any works by Pintip Dunn before this book but when I read the premise of Dating Makes Perfect, I was hooked. I was lucky enough to join as a tour host (coordinated by Hear Our Voices) for this book and I’m so glad!
Winnie and her older twin sisters grew up being barred from dating. Winnie’s sisters were each other’s prom dates! But once they graduated and went to college, their parents started demanding that they date and find a suitable husband. The sisters, shocked from the sudden turn, said that they will NOT get engaged any time soon because they never practiced dating.
Hence, their parents decide to try a different tactic with Winnie. Winnie, who has been interested in dating, will now HAVE to date. The worst part? She has to date whom her parents choose for her and the dates will be under their terms.
She hopes to date the new boy in town who is totally the boy-next-door type. But her parents’ first choice is Mat Songsomboon—Winnie’s ex-best friend and current sworn enemy.
This is a RIVALS-TO-LOVERS, FAKE-DATING teen rom-com with Thai-American main characters that will have you swooning.
- I really liked the plot.
First of all, the plot is SO appealing! Winnie and Mat were childhood best friends who became rivals in middle school. Since then, they haven’t had a single civil conversation. Now, Winnie has to date Mat in order to “practice dating” under her mother’s terms.
But they’re lovers, so of course there’s a ton of snark and sass in their conversations. It was super fun to read their conversations full of banter and witty remarks.
- All the first love feels.
Since this is the first time Winnie is dating, we go along with her and feel with her. It was SO ADORABLE to watch her experience dating and being with someone she likes for the first time.
I was honestly smiling wide for about twenty minutes sometime during the book because it was hella cute.
- Thai culture representation!
First, ALL THE FOOD. There were so many food descriptions and they were written so well, I was drooling even though I did not personally know of those dishes. It intrigued me enough that I looked up images of the dishes that were mentioned.
Food is not just a sliver of our culture but also a thread that connects the entire tapestry of who we are. We use it to socialize—and to take care of one another.
Second, the Songkran festival occurs during this book which gives the readers a glimpse into the traditional Thai festival with their amazing food and dances.
There were many other bits and pieces of Thai culture sprinkled throughout the book as well.
- All the relationships!
The main relationship that I appreciated seeing was the sisterly bond. Winnie is really close to her sisters but her relationship with them is not completely normal as she is forever like a third wheel to their twin bond. I’ve never seen this portrayed in books before so it was interesting to see the relationship dynamics in that situation.
Asian kids have complicated relationships with our parents. Even if we love our parents, we will not tell them everything because they have completely different ideals about what’s right. Asian parents also have contradicting ideals like what is shown in this book where Winnie’s parents don’t allow dating but expect a fiance within months of going to college. They want the best for us but their idea of the best can be very different.
The plot in this book was one such scenario. I liked how an Asian expectation was taken and put into a rom-com context which is generally not seen in Young Adult books. And while it was light-hearted, the author did explore how differing views can widen the gap between parents and children.
Sometimes, I get so bored of this respect. Yes, it’s important, and yes, it’s my parents’ due. But respect also prevents us from admitting our infractions—and talking about them.
- Minor Goan representation!!
Okay so this was the one part of Asian representation in this book which I became very excited about. Winnie’s best friend Kavya is Konkani which is a small group from the west coast of India. Konkani is also the official language of Goa, a state in India.
I like that the author did not go half-way with this representation even though Kavya is only a supporting character. The author introduced who the Konkani people are and also brought in a bit of the culture through food highlights.*
*Pintip Dunn really loved torturing me with all the food descriptions while I’m stuck at home and unable to order.
It was a light-hearted and cute read which is very easy to read. I finished it in about two days, I think.
If you’re looking for a book that will put a smile on your face, pick this up. If you’re looking for rivals-to-lovers with funny car decorations, pick this up. If you want to know about Thai culture while also getting a cute story, pick this up.
I’m a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. I graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received my J.D. at Yale Law School.
My novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. In addition, my books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award; and a Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Book of the Year. My other novels include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and MALICE.
What are your favourite tropes in books? Have you read any other books with Thai representation?