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Dating Amy: 50 True Confessions of a Serial Dater    by Amy DeZellar order for
Dating Amy
by Amy DeZellar
Order:  USA  Can
5 Spot, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Some say the chick lit phenomenon reached its pinnacle when Sex and the City aired its last episode. I disagree, and judging by the tone of this book, so does Amy DeZellar. Except unlike so many other chick lit books being published today, Dating Amy isn't an author's fictionalized account of a single girl dating in a big city. Amy's story is real.

As an unemployed aspiring writer, living paycheck to paycheck and doing odd freelancing jobs for various newspapers and magazines, Amy was starting to realize just how hard it was to break into the writing business. And if landing a regular column wasn't hard enough, dating in Seattle seemed like an even more overwhelming task. So she figured, why not somehow blend the two? She knew that if she could get some notoriety, she could land a great job - or at least a book deal.

When she started her blog, Dating Amy, she had two goals in mind: 1) chronicle her experiences of going on 50 dates, and 2) raise $50,000. And so began a journey of self-discovery for Amy, who through the process of going on so many dates started discovering things about herself. The result is this book, which, like the blog, chronicles those many dates, from the hair-raising to the downright sweet. Unlike in her blog, however, Amy takes a more straight-forward approach when describing her various dates. She's blunt, almost to the point of being mean, and I found myself sympathizing with the men who would eventually read this book and come across descriptions of themselves that are less than flattering.

What endeared Amy to me the most wasn't her string of endless adventures in dating, but the many unfathomable reactions she received daily from people who read her blog. It takes a lot of guts and an even healthier self-esteem to put up with some of the horrible emails Amy received on a regular basis, and that in itself is worthy of admiration.

Half chick-lit book and half self-help manual, Dating Amy is the account of one woman's journey through the often perilous dating world. At times, the descriptions of the various men and the dates themselves seem a little far-fetched, and Amy's constant pessimism and disillusionment with the concept of romance and happily-ever-after can begin to grate after a while. Despite those complaints, however, this is a fun, irreverent read perfect for taking to the beach.

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