Review of Dating, Dining, and Desperation by Melody Carlson

Leah Courtney
My daughter is a huge fan of Melody Carlson's books for young adults. But I've had two of her books to review recently, and I just can't share my daughter's enthusiasm.

Dating, Dining, and Desperation is labeled a "Dear Daphne" novel. As far as I can see there is one more- the beginning of the novels about Daphne. There wasn't much I felt like I didn't know coming in to the second book. There were a few references made to the book, but I was able to catch up pretty quickly.

The main thing that I disliked about this book and the other Carlson book I read recently is that I just don't feel like there is much character development. Action happens, and the book builds to climax. But there isn't much of the inner thoughts of characters. I could read about what they were doing, but I just didn't get to know much about them.

The other thing that I dislike is that the story line is pretty choppy with all kinds of story lines going on at one time. Quite a few stories were introduced, but none- including Daphne's story- were resolved in this book. I'm assuming that's because more books are coming in the series. But having so many stories and so many loose ends just makes the book feel choppy and confusing.

These books are Christian fiction, but there isn't much at all here that is specifically Christian. The characters go to church and there are some references about waiting on God's timing along with a conversation about seeing family members who have been deceased again, implying that everyone goes to Heaven.

I wasn't very interested in this one, but it is a short, easy read if you're looking for some light reading. You can read more about it below. I give it 3 stars and a G for content.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dating, Dining, and Desperation
B&H Books (March 1, 2014)
Melody Carlson


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt’s strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt’s hometown paper’s advice column. But knowing and accepting that God’s will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne’s predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne’s heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl’s uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child -- whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dating, Dining, and Desperation, go HERE.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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