Book Review: The Guy I am Not Dating

January 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Book and Movie Reviews

Review by Roseanna White

A novel by Trish Perry
It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed this much while reading a book. I sat down and picked up The Guy I’m Not Dating not really intending to read it, just thinking I’d glance over a few pages. Two hours later I’m still "glancing" over those pages and laughing enough to make my husband ask "What is so funny?" Later the same night, I turn the last page and had to declare, Loved it! "Loved, loved, loved it!"

The book starts with a Yowza! from main character Kara Richardson when she first spots the super-hunky Gabe Paolino, and it’s non-stop fun from there, laced with sharp introspection and uplifting faith stories. Kara, recovering from a nasty breakup and missing her parents who’ve just moved to Florida, has decided not to date. Of course, when Gabe asks her to lunch, that resolve gets a little shaky. She seems to morph into a klutz every time the guy’s in sight, which should convince her to stay away from him for her own health, but he keeps showing up with that gorgeous smile, tempting her to throw resolutions to the wind and embark on another romance. He becomes a member at the gym where she’s a personal trainer, where annoying and flirtatious Tiffany throws herself at him every chance she gets, but Gabe seems to stand strong against her–a minor miracle–and makes it clear he’s interested in Kara.

But there’s more going on in life than Gabe. Her father just broke both of his legs while trying to get his skunk-sprayed dog into the car and to the vet, and her mother has for some strange reason agreed to let a distant relative named Addie come to visit, even though it means having to go get her–and even though no one’s quite sure who she is. Kara would have been willing to go down to Florida and stop by Addie’s on her way, but her car finally bit the dust. As it happens, though, she finds a rather nice arrangement for rides to work–Gabe offers to drive her in exchange for letting his kid sister crash at her place for a while, since said sister, Rachelle, and her twin Ricco, along with Rachelle’s boyfriend, Jake, have randomly come to visit Gabe. Without, that is, letting any of their parents know.

The friendship-thing seems to be going pretty well for them, so they all take a road trip to Florida to return the teens home, pick up Addie, and visit with their respective families. Kara’s best friend Ren comes along for the holiday, but unfortunately, Tiffany invites herself too. The result is a journey filled with more interruptions than progress and packed with hilarity, especially once possibly-senile Addie joins the crew. Kara and Gabe may be an uncouple, but they’re definitely an adorable pair with a penchant for the humorous that’ll keep you laughing page by page.

I can’t recommend this book enough–no matter your personal stance on the dating game, you’re going to get a kick out of Kara’s misadventures. Perry proves herself to be witty and insightful, a combination that’ll have you coming back for more. The characters are all realistic and lovable–okay, with the exception of the ones who aren’t supposed to be–the plot is well developed and fresh, and the writing style is addictive. I was hooked from page one and am hooked still. You’re never going to want to put down The Guy I’m Not Dating, even once you’ve finished reading it. It’s a not-a-romance to set your heart aflutter.

Editor's note:  I also read this book and thought it was outstanding.  Trish has instantly become one of my favorite authors.

Review provided by the Christian Review of Books
Written by Roseanna White.
Their website can be found at www.christianreviewofbooks.com

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