The Oracle of Dating by Allison Van DiepenThe Oracle of Dating by Allison Van Diepen

The Oracle of Dating

byAllison Van Diepen

Paperback | April 20, 2010

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For five bucks, the Oracle of Dating will tell you:

* How to flirt

* If that cute guy you're crushing on likes you, too

* Whether your new romance will last through lunch period

* And much more

What she won't tell you? Who she is.

No one at Kayla's school knows she's the famous Oracle of Dating— the anonymous queen of dating advice. She doesn't even have a boyfriend. Two relationship disasters were enough to make Kayla focus on everyone else's love life.

But then her advice backfires on her own best friend. And Kayla starts to seriously obsess about Jared Stewart—the very cute, very mysterious new guy in school. Suddenly, the teen queen of advice needs her own oracle of dating—and she knows just where to find one….

Title:The Oracle of DatingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8 × 5.13 × 0.67 inPublished:April 20, 2010Publisher:HarlequinLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0373210094

ISBN - 13:9780373210091

Appropriate for ages: 14 - 17

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pure Joy To Read! I’ve read all of Allison van Diepen's novels, with the exception of Street Pharm, and so far I’ve enjoyed all of them… with The Oracle of Dating being no exception! Her novels are usually more serious and hard-hitting such as Snitch, which deals with gangs in high schools, but it was great to see Diepen stretch her writing skills and write something so completely different! Kayla has always been good at giving relationship advice, always offering tips to her older sister and her friends. It's what makes her so successful as the elusive Oracle of Dating. Her own two failed past relationships might have put her off dating in high school, but she can still help those who are in need of a little advice. But when Kayla's advice falls through for her own best friend, she begins to question herself if the Oracle is hurting others more than helping. And it doesn't help that thoughts of a certain hot boy in her art class, Jared Stewart, keep popping in her head.... what's a girl to do? The Oracle of Dating was a pure joy to read. It’s one of those cute, feel-good novels that will leave you smiling from the very first page until the very end. I was having a bit of a down day when I began reading, and in a heartbeat, my mood was already lightened! Allison van Diepen has created a great cast of likable characters, from the main characters like Kayla and Jared, to the side character's such as Kayla's best friends and her older sister. Kayla is sweet and funny, and although she does make a small amount of income with her Oracle of Dating services, she genuinely cares about helping others. The chemistry between Kayla and Jared flowed easily off the page, and from the very beginning I was eager to see them finally admit their feelings for each other. Plus, the sarcasm the two shared with each other was just another aspect I loved! I finished the novel all too quickly and I’m almost nervous to read the second novel The Oracle Rebounds, which is in stores now, because I don’t know how Allison van Diepen can top this one! The Oracle of Dating is a light, easy and entertaining read for anyone looking for a novel that will pass the time with a smile. You can also read this review at: http://midnightbloomreads.blogspot.com/2010/12/oracle-of-dating-by-allison-van-diepen.html
Date published: 2010-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dreaming of Books Review The Oracle of Dating is one of the sweetest, cutest and most fun books I have read so far this summer. I adore this book and literally smiled my way through the entire book. The main character Kayla is sweet, smart, rational and very compassionate. She has a great group of friends and is someone I would love to be friends with. She also runs a website called The Oracle of Dating where she blogs and gives dating advice to those who needs it. The only problem is (except for her older sister) no one knows that she’s really the Oracle and she wants to keep it that way. Kayla takes being the Oracle very seriously and genuinely wants to help the people who come to her for advice. She really listens to their problems and is good at what she does. She gives good advice and it does end up helping others for the better. On the dating front, Kayla has vowed to not date until college but she ends up really liking a classmate named Jared who is in her art class. Jared helps Kayla on her art project and they become friends first before anything romantic start to happen. There’s definite sparks and tension between the two and I was just waiting for them to finally get together. I originally thought that this was a stand alone book and wasn’t until I got to the very last page that I found out that there will be a second book. This got me excited all over again as I would love to continue with Kayla’s story.
Date published: 2010-08-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fun! Kayla has a secret. She loves her friends dearly, but she’s pretty sure that if they knew she was the Oracle of Dating, they wouldn’t understand. Especially since Kayla hasn’t exactly had an active dating life herself. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t full of good advice! Despite her lack of experience, Kayla is thoughtful, listens to people and knows how to read body language, making her an expert in what people are really thinking but not saying. But when she gives some bad advice to a friend, Kayla begins to doubt herself and her right to dispense advice. The Oracle of Dating is best described as a G-rated Sex and the City for teens. Kayla has a great group of friends, writes an advice blog on dating and likes to go out and have a good time in New York City… Sound familiar? But that’s not a complaint! The Oracle of Dating does a fantastic job of offering helpful dating advice in a teen-friendly manner. And it’s wonderful to read a story featuring teens with realistic problems and relationships. Both Kayla and Jared (the male ‘lead’) are very likable characters, and Kayla’s spirit and sense of humour will have readers wishing they could hang out with her. The various dating dilemmas are interesting, and Kayla’s budding interest in a classmate keeps the story moving forward. This refreshing story of friendship and first loves is an enjoyable read with a great message for teens. Adults will be remembering their high school dating days and wishing they’d had an Oracle to help them too!
Date published: 2010-07-23

Read from the Book

New Year's Resolutions:* Find Tracey a great boyfriend.* Make a choice about my hair: straight or curly, because wavy just isn't working.* Cure cereal addiction (possibly through hypnotherapy—see Yellow Pages).* Write more blogs for the Oracle of Dating Web site, give lots of dating advice, make stacks of $$$ and quit job at Hellhole.* Take the Oracle of Dating to the next level!!!* * *You might think that September is a weird time to be making New Year's resolutions. Well, Mom never accused me of doing anything on time, especially tidying my room, loading the dishwasher or Swiffering the kitchen."I don't see how you ended up with an eighty average last year, Kayla," Mom says. "You're always chatting online or on the phone."Which implies that I am not being productive.The truth is, she has no idea what I'm really up to.Brrrrinnnggg!I clear my throat and answer, "The Oracle of Dating.""It's client number zero-two-four.""Sabrina?""You remember me!""I do. What can the Oracle do for you?" I scoot over to my computer and open up my PayPal account to see that her five-dollar payment has been received."It's about this guy, Shawn, I'm dating. I hate going out in public with him."A case of total butt ugly, perhaps?"Why's that, Sabrina?""He always embarrasses me somehow. Like when we went to the school dance Friday night, he was dancing like a maniac. Everybody was staring at him.""He's a really bad dancer?""The worst. It's not just that. Wherever we go, he saysor does something dumb. But when we're alone, he's really sweet!""Mmm-hmm." Listening noises are very important."What do you think I should do?""Have you talked to him about this?""Yeah, but he doesn't get it.""I have another question for you, Sabrina. Do you love him?""I wouldn't go that far. We've only been dating for a couple of months.""Why not find a guy who wouldn't embarrass you in public?""It's not so easy getting a boyfriend. He's only the second one I've ever had."As I well know. Sabrina's been calling me to discuss every crush and flirtation in the past six months."Ask yourself this. Are you with him because you really like him, or because you like having a boyfriend?""Er, maybe the second thing.""How would you feel if he answered the question the same way?""I wouldn't like it." She sighs. "I guess I have to break up with him?"I lift the phone away from my ear and pound a tune into my little xylophone."The Oracle has spoken.""Thank you, Oracle. I know it's the right thing to do.""Good night, Sabrina."I know what you're thinking. What makes me such an expert on dating? Have I had lots of boyfriends?Um, no.There have only been two, and both were disasters. But I've learned from each one, and now I think of them, with total detachment, as Case Study No. 1 and Case Study No. 2. I even made retrospective notes.Case Study No. 1: 9th Grade, November.Lead-up to relationship: weeks of note-writing and flirting, a subtle ass-grab at a school dance and a kiss behind the portables.Relationship length: one month.Activities: playing video games, kissing in his basement, playing more video games.Conflict: He often wouldn't answer the phone because he didn't want to interrupt his video game. His gaming addiction resulted in a thumb injury for which medical care was required, and he was unable to hold my hand due to a thumb splint.Outcome: He didn't see me as a girlfriend, he saw me as a gaming partner, make-out buddy and occasional history tutor. So I gave him an ultimatum: "What do you care about more, me or your video games?" He answered: "They're my thing. I'm a gamer, babe." Babe?Case Study No. 2: 10th Grade, March.Lead-up to relationship: I met him at a party. He remembered my name and added me on Facebook. We chatted online for a couple of weeks before he finally asked me out.Conflict: None. He was totally sweet. Or so I thought.Outcome: After three weeks of going out and making out, he changed his Facebook picture to one of him kissing another girl. ALL of our friends saw this. I called him immediately: "Are you trying to tell me something?" He answered: "Sorry, I didn't know how else to say it."My two boyfriend disasters only confirmed what I already knew: teenage guys are less mature than teenage girls. Therefore, if I want to date my equal, I should date a guy who is at least twenty, which I would never do, because what sort of twenty-year-old would want to date someone still in high school?It would've helped a lot to have someone to talk to during those relationships; someone nonjudgmental and anonymous like the Oracle of Dating would have been perfect. I never laugh at a client's concerns or get too preachy. I wish I could've given myself better advice at the time, but it's hard to see clearly when you're emotionally involved.I decided there was only one solution—to put off dating until college, when the scales of maturity will start to balance. I simply don't have the emotional resilience to deal with immature high school guys. Which isn't to say I wouldn't change my mind if my ideal guy came along, but statistically, it's highly unlikely.For those teenage girls who are brave enough to deal with teenage guys, and for anyone else who needs me, the Oracle of Dating is there. I do a lot of research so that I can give sensible advice. When I'm not sure of the answers, I tell my clients the Oracle will have to get back to them so that she can "meditate" on their dilemma. My advice is serious, though I've put "for entertainment purposes only" on my Web site so I don't get sued if something I suggest backfires. With all of this responsibility, I don't have time for a love life, anyway.Besides, I'm not the one who needs a man, my sister does. Tracey is ten years older than I am, and has been coming to me for advice since I was twelve, often trusting my guy radar more than her own. She's even been afraid to introduce certain guys to me because she knows I'll see what she prefers not to see.Tracey lives on the Upper East Side—it's about forty minutes from Brooklyn by subway. I usually meet her in Manhattan on weekends for lattes, which she insists on paying for. (She says it's fair, considering I don't charge her for advice.) I've also given lots of free advice to her friends. It was actually her best friend, Corinne, who called me the Oracle in the first place. After that, the name stuck.Nothing would make me happier than to find a great match for Tracey. She's an amazing sister, and never makes me feel like a pain when I call her. She's kind, hardworking and selfless—sometimes to a fault—and I won't let her settle for anything less than she deserves. In any other city, she'd have been snatched up by some wonderful guy already, but New York is tricky, since there are far more single women than men, and the dating culture is downright strange. Since she's twenty-six now, I figure she has another few years of trying to find a good man before I'll suggest more extreme measures.By extreme measures I mean going to Alaska. I see nothing wrong with that. People move for their careers—why not to find a man? In some parts of Alaska, single men outnumber women ten to one. Tracey would have absolutely no trouble finding a guy there. And I think an Alaskan man—big, strong, not afraid of bugs or heavy lifting—would complement Tracey's personality. The only problem is that she'd be so far away! I guess she'd have to convince her Alaskan man to move to, say, rural Vermont. Because Alaska is just the wrong time zone.True, there's still a great woman-to-man ratio in the Silicon Valley in California, but I'd prefer she didn't marry a high-tech guy. Dad is in tech, and I don't want Tracey to end up with a guy like him. He and Mom divorced ten years ago, and since then, he's reverted back to the lifestyle he was meant for: the lifestyle of a bachelor. He's traveled the world with his company, living in Singapore, Johannesburg, Berlin and now in Ottawa, Canada. We only see him a couple of times a year, Christmas and summer vacation. And that's fine with me.I remember the day he left. Mom and Dad sat down with Tracey and me, explaining that he was going to move out. Tracey didn't argue. I think she was sick to death of the fighting. But not me. I thought they should make it work. I used any rationale available to my six-year-old brain to stop them from breaking up. And when none of my arguments worked, I started to cry.The truth is, Mom and Dad were a disaster from the start. I'm surprised Mom didn't see through his hollow charm right away, but I guess she was young and innocent, and trusted love. Too bad no one had the guts to stand up at the speak now or forever hold your peace part of their wedding, since the only things they had in common—good looks and ridiculous eighties hair—were not enough for a happily ever after.It's a windy Sunday and I get off the 6 train at Seventy-seventh Street and Lexington to meet Tracey at Starbucks. I see all of the Sunday couples walking around holding hands. Sunday couples are young couples who stay over Saturday night (if you know what I mean) and have carefully assembled designer sweats, sneakers and baseball caps to wear on Sundays. They always look freshly showered and slightly hungover and you find them ordering greasy breakfasts at Second Avenue diners before spending their afternoons browsing shops, buying artwork for their tiny apartments and crowding neighborhood cafés so that I can hardly ever get a seat.Tracey is looking beautiful today, though she has puffiness under her eyes, indicating that she either slept too little or too much. She has rich dark hair the color of a flourless chocolate cake and shining brown eyes to match. Her cheeks are slightly pink from the windy day, and her complexion is flawless. At five-nine, she's four inches taller than me, giving a sleek elegance to her figure that many girls would kill for.As for me, I've inherited my dad's Shredded Wheat–colored hair and my mom's hazel eyes, which are mistaken for green or brown depending on the day, light conditions and my mood.Today Tracey is wearing fresh unscuffed New Balance sneakers. Sunday is the only day of the week you won't find her in heels of at least two inches—an error in judgment, IMO, since it tends to narrow her pool of possible guys to those five-eleven and above. But I guess that's her choice, her preference being men over six feet—not always easy to find unless you're in Denmark or Norway.She gives me a big hug and two European cheek kisses, and I know I'll have to take my compact out to see what lipstick smudges she left.At the counter, we're served by a skinny guy we privately nicknamed Pip. He's there every weekend and talks like Mickey Mouse."Tall soy iced Tazo chai latte," he says to the huge guy behind the espresso machine."Tall soy iced Tazo chai latte," the huge guy repeats in a booming voice."Uh, no foam, please," Tracey adds.Pip turns to me. "Miss?""I'll have a tall soy latte." (Lactose intolerance runs in the family, if you haven't guessed.)We find a little table on the upper level in the midst of several twentysomethings on laptops.

Editorial Reviews

"Simply wonderful. Reading The Program somehow reminded me of reading Shakespeare. Each page is so laden with verities that a slow read is mandated. So, read slow and thrive." -- Walter M. Bortz II, M.D., bestselling author of Dare to Be 100 and We Live Too Short and Die Too Long