Title: Dating-ish (Knitting in the City #6)
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: 16 May 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Humour, Romance
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My rating: 5 Stars
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 human kind, 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'm a huge fan of Penny Reid and have been reading and loving her books ever since she released her debut romcom Neanderthal Seeks Human back in 2013. Her stories, though contemporary romance and quite realistic in some aspects, are also so wildly imaginative and full of unexpected fun and curious facts that I always find myself utterly delighted reading them. She takes her readers on crazy fun rides with every story she writes and this one was no exception.
Penny Reid creates romances that weird and awkward and geeky but mostly so much fun and some deep meaningful social commentary hidden behind all the hilarity.
The hero in Dating-ish, Matt, is a robotics engineer hero, delightfully socially awkward, with hidden sex appeal and domineering streak. He was so certain and confident in the things he knew and (he thought ) understood, but he was genuinely perplexed by the things that didn't fit his neat view of the universe. And of these things was Marie. And he got totally enthralled by her.
As much I loved Matt, I want to give Penny Reid special thanks for writing Marie, the quiet, loyal friend that far too often fades in the background. People often fail to see her, even her friends, yet they all rely on her in times of trouble. She is strong, independent, efficient, deeply romantic, looking for her perfect match. I really liked how unafraid she was to try new things, to go after her dreams, unwilling to settle for less.
The plot involves more than the usual share of crazy shenanigans: professional cuddling, orgasm meditation and dry humping and wow, it was totally hilarious.
On a more personal note, I want to mention the subplot with Janie and Fiona's pregnancies. It was so good and uplifting for me to see how different they can be for every woman. There was no judgement, no shaming and it made me so happy to read it considering pregnancy/baby stories almost never work for me.
This is a slow-burn romance, Matt took his sweet time to act because of his own self doubt.We get glimpses of the past that shaped him and through the story we see him move past it, overcome the burdens and scars it left on him and though it still affects his world view, he is smart enough not to let it rule his life completely, determine his future. In a way he reminded me of Cletus, so confident and sure of himself, of his purpose, yet things change for him, slowly, change sneaks up on him, opening new possibilities for him, leading him to the happiness he desperately craved.
I'm sure I have missed a lot of important points in this amazing romance. It touches on so many things and all of them important - online dating, and new technologies and family and friends and the nature of love and attraction and how to trust someone, to rely on them without losing yourself and ..., in short, it's wonderful and fun and you should just read it!