book reviews

The Dating Game by Kiley Roache

The Dating Game by Kiley Roache


Publication Date: March 26th, 2019

The Social Network gets a romantic twist in this fresh and engaging new read from the author of Frat Girl, Kiley Roache. Experience the whirlwind ups and downs of college life in this authentic and entertaining new novel!

When a notoriously difficult class for future entrepreneurs leads to three freshmen developing the next “it” app for dating on college campuses, all hell breaks loose…

Type A control freak Sara lives by her color-coordinated Post-it notes.

Rich boy Braden wants out from under his billionaire father’s thumb.

Scholarship student Roberto can’t afford for his grades to drop.

When the three are forced to work together in one of the university’s most difficult classes, tension rises to the breaking point…until, shockingly, the silly dating app they create proves to be the most viable project in class. Late nights of app development, interest from investors and unexpected romance are woven into a true-to-life college drama that explores what it means to really connect online and IRL.

I received this e-ARC from Netgalley! But this won’t affect my review in any way!

I’ll be honest, this was a strangely addicting book… but I didn’t rate it higher because the plot near the end had so much potential… and then it sort of fell flat.

It starts off really fun and it feels like I’m watching a PG-13 sort of rom-com style version of The Social Network and I was here for it! The characters are interesting and fun to follow (even if rich boy Braden really got on my nerves) and I liked getting into each of their minds.

In the beginning, I had to take a moment to make sure I got acquainted with the characters since when the chapters change, it’s in first person POV and that took a second to get used to. I liked reading in each of the characters’ voices and I especially appreciated Roberto because he was really the only sensible one and the fact that he really cared about his family was really great.

Now, when reading this story, I was all for watching the drama unfold knowing full well that the app they decide to create for a class is pretty disgusting (and Roberto says that when they’re making the app, so it made it interesting–I’m a sucker for morally grey areas!). It was great seeing the inner turmoil based on the fact that the app wasn’t exactly helping people.

The first half of the book was fun, especially because it seemed to be leading to a big climax and what I was hoping would be a big crash and burn since the book was moving pretty fast paced and that’s what it SEEMED to be leading to…

HOWEVER, the big crash and burn that could’ve been never happened. What was meant to be a big surprise reveal just seemed like a plot that was too rushed. The last quarter of the book seemed like the author had a bit of a page limit and so the ends were tied too quickly and a bit roughly. I feel like the ending could have been paced out and had a nicer dramatic touch to it, but alas, that was not the case.

What made up for the flatness was that I really enjoyed the characters (especially Roberto and Sara.). The dialogue and their inner monologues made it interesting and fun, especially with the little sub-plot romance.

I especially enjoyed the female friendship between Yaz and Sara. In the beginning, the I was incredibly worried that when Yaz was introduced the author would automatically pit the two females against each other because they’re in a competitive class, but I was pleasantly surprised when they actually became good friends.

The other sub-plot I enjoyed was Roberto and his family (can you tell I love this man?). But I don’t want to spoil it because that was one of the highlights of the book. And although I really didn’t like Braden because he was a spoiled white rich kid, I did think there were some good moments with him and it really added to the interesting dynamic between the three characters!

It was a strangely addicting book that fell flat but had its perks. I would recommend this to someone (if they’re mentally prepared for that plateau) who enjoys a good college drama, hating on really rich guys that take their parents’ money and act all high and mighty, cute cinnamon roll coding nerds that end up creating an app and getting in way over their heads, and some fun and cute moments here and there.

3 thoughts on “The Dating Game by Kiley Roache”

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