Monday, June 5, 2017

Review: "Dating-ish" by Penny Reid

Author: Penny Reid
Title: "Dating-ish"
Book 6 in series Knitting in the city
Main characters: Matthew "Matt" Simmons and Marie Harris


'Dating-ish' can be read as a standalone, is a full length 100k word novel, and is book #6 in the Knitting in the City Series.

There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris: 1) She's fed up with online dating, 2) She's so fed up, she's willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and 3) She knows how to knit.
After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of humankind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:
Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?
But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he's not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different--and crazier--solution to her dilemma . . .
As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?

I got an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review :) after finishing this story there are so many thoughts running around in my head, that I don't think I'll be able to read anything else until I write them down and get all of that out of my system... ;) and I mean that in the best possible way :) I am a huge fan of Penny and her writing style... I feel like I should mention that upfront with you :) but if you think that my love influenced my opinion in any way, that I was biased before even reading this book, then... you are correct ;) but not in a way you think :) it's because I am such a huge fan of her previous work, it raises the bar with each of her new books... I expect more, because she taught me that... she showed me that it can be done... you can write smart and funny romances, that at the same time make you think and mention much more serious topics... she is the reason why I am ruined every time I finish one of her stories... like after this one... I have a total #BookHangover :) here I am sitting here and sighing... unable to pick anything else up to read, until I fully process everything... it's the best feeling in the world, because that shows how much of an influence a book has on you... :) it's the best compliment I can possibly give an author... that after finishing her book, I can't read anything else... :) it's even more impressing, because I'm the sort of person who constantly reads... I finish one story and then jump into another, because I simply cannot imagine myself without a book in my hand... :) so it really takes something special to make me stop and think :) and Penny does it every single time :) ok, I feel like I need to get into some more details about this particular book, because trust me... I could go on and on and on about how awesome Penny and her stories are, but we don't have that much amount of time to spare ;) so let's jump straight into...

Our main couple :) since this is the sixth book in a series, we actually met both of them in previous stories :) but I feel the need to explain, that this story, as well as other ones in this series, can totally be read as a standalone... you get all the informations necessary to enjoy each installment, but I personally would recommend you to read them in order :) first of all, because they are absolutely amazing ;) and second of all, because then you will have the wonderful opportunity to spend more time with these fantastic characters and understand so much better all interactions and connections between them :) ok, now let me go back to Marie and Matt :) Marie is part of the knitting group, hence the name of the series ;) so we actually met her, as well as all other ladies, in the very first book of the series ;) or I'm pretty sure we met ALL of them then... it's been a while, and my memory is a bit foggy on the details :) but the point is, we met her before :) she's a journalist and kind of a bad-ass... ;) the thing is... it's impossible to describe her in just a sentence or two like I usually do in my reviews... I mean, who has the time to read a whole essey about just one person? ;) the same thing can be said about Matt :) we met him in the previous book, since he lives next door to the main couple of said story :) he's a professor invested in a very cool... I guess you can call it an experiment but again, it's a hufe oversimplification... :) and additionally, I don't want to spoil anything :) so it is exceptionally hard for me right know to tell you more about them... so how about I say this... and it's true with every Penny book out there :) I love her characters, because they are so different from one another... each of them an individual, with their own lives, dreams, personalities... none of them perfect... far from it actually :) they are flawed and I love it... because they are flawed in a human and relatable way... and at the same time they are strong, in many different ways... not to mention that there is always some sort of journey for them in their own story... they are never the same at the end, as they were at the beginning... you can see the development and it always teaches us something about ourselves... at least that is my experience each time I read one of her books :) it's very true what I heard many times when people describe Penny and hew writing: she writes smart books and respects her readers... even expects something from them... to think for themselves... :) she never forces her own opinion, but rather approaches certain subjects and starts a conversation, showing us different sides and encouraging us to think it through... :) it's one of the reasons I love her books so much... and why they always give me the biggest #BookHangovers :)

The same thing can be said about Marie and Matt :) their relationship is... well... :) the best way to describe it is simply looking at the title :) because trust me, after reading this story I can assure you that the term *dating-ish* is spot on :) I won't get into details, because I want you to be able to experience this story without any spoilers or biased opinions whatsoever ;) but I will say that they start with a mutual agreement to help each other with work related things... some may call it a blackmail, but let's not put labels on it... ;) and it develops into friendship first :) but that is everything I'm willing to say about it :) well, when it comes to particular details, because I will add, that their conversations were my absolute favourite part of the story :) smart and hilarious banter is definitely my kryptonite in books :) if I'm being totally honest with you, I did not expect to love this story as much as I did... I am actually very eagerly anticipating the last book in this series, so as much as I was curious about Matt and Marie... it is a new Penny book after all ;) I was treating it more like a stop on my way to that last book :) huge mistake... :) because this story... unexpectedly stole my heart... :) I didn't even know when that happened... here I was, reading it, enjoying my time... and before I knew what was going on... BAM!!! I realized I'm in love with it :) so here I am, smiling from ear to ear, sighing sporadically, trying my best to put into words all the wonderful feelings I have about this story, without actually giving anything away :) hopefully I'm doing a good job so far :)

When it comes to secondary characters, I have to say... Penny is a master in creating strong friendships, that allow each parties involved to be better versions of themselves wihout forcing them to change in any way whatsoever... they love and accept each other, supporting one another when it's needed, and at the same time encouraging growth by sharing knowledge :) every time I read a scene from one of the knitting evenings, I long for a group of friends just like those ladies... and some honorary ladies in the midst... ;) you get that joke if you read previous stories ;) but in all seriousness, it's such a beautiful change to be able to see a group of women, discussing all sorts of topics ;) and not only hilarious and sexy ones, but serious, vulnerable and controversial ones as well... again, not forcing any opinion onto us, but rather starting a discussion :) there are seven women in that knitting group, and six of them already have their own stories... I could go around and try to introduce you to all of them... and their significant others, but once I would start, I probably wouldn't be able to shut up about them :) they are a very diverse and interesting bunch :) so I won't do that and hopefully you'll forgive me :)

The majority of the book is written from Marie's perspective... only in the epilogue we are able to glimpse into Matt's head... :) and if I could change one thing about this story... and every story in this series actually, is to have it be written more in 2 POVs :) that comes from my own personal preferences as a reader, because that's my favourite writing style ;) also, I know how amazing Penny is with that, because her other series is written that way :) (Winston brothers for all of you wondering) :) especially since men in this series are just as diverse and interesting as women... and I would absolutely love to be able to see more of their thoughts... ;) but it's just me being greedy... ;) you should know by now, that when it comes to my favourite authors, I always tend to complain that their books are too short... ;) they could be 800 pages and I would still want more :) but that's one of the best compliments you can give an author... that you can't stop reading their work :) and Penny's books... man oh man, they are ruining me... one story at a time :) they are always smart, unpredictable and different... each of them unique in their own way... so don't go into them expecting a fluffy and easy romance... don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with stories like that :) but her stories... they will have an impact on you... they will stay with you for days after you finish them... you will think about them at random times... picking them up unexpectedly to read a favourite part... they will make you think and you will be forever changed... expecting more from books and stories... :) they will help you learn things about yourselves you didn't know, showing you new things and opinions... *sighs happily* I could spend days telling you how amazing she is, and how wonderful her books are... how this particular one surprised me... how it stole my heart, and before I knew what was happening it was gone... lost between the pages of this story... beating somewhere between Matt and Marie... it took my breath away and I have no shame in admitting that... hopefully by this time I convinved you to give this book, and this absolutely lovely author in general a try :) because if you don't know her yet... you have no idea what you are missing out on... go and check her out... let her change your lives for better as well :)

About the author:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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