Select one of the keywords
Ex-Rating: Dating Game #4    by Natalie Standiford order for
by Natalie Standiford
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In this third in the Dating Game series, a radio appearance gets Mads, Lina and Holly in big trouble at the California Rosewood School for Alternative Gifted Education. Could it be because the nervously hyperactive interviewees hinted at 'wild things' they'd all done, or was it simply the fact that they came across as porn princesses?

Principal Alvarado threatens to shut down their blog, which lawsuit-threatening parents perceive as encouraging sexual activity. He only allows the trio to continue with the promise to avoid anything controversial. Uh-oh! Can you see where this is heading? They've just added a new feature - the ability for students to enter X-Ratings (profiles of exes) as an aid to fellow daters. When parents don't like the wording of one such entry, the Dating Game is shut off the school website.

But its owners refuse to be censored. They embark on a wave of 60s style activism, and Mads' research into the school's history yields fascinating (and pivotal) information. While all this is going on, Holly's manipulated by her boyfriend's sister into acting as her wedding gofer, and Lina's new feelings for an old friend get complicated, so that she decides 'Life is just a big circle of unrequited love.' Throughout, chapters are interspersed with insightful dating quizzes from the blog.

Ex-Rating is an intriguing episode that continues the series' engaging, light-hearted exploration of first crushes and middle school romance. It also addresses thought-provoking and timely (in the age of blogs, IMs and email) questions about school censorship.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews