For What It's Worth

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review: The Oracle Rebounds by Allison Van Diepan

The Oracle ReboundsAs the "oracle of dating," Kayla is supposed to have all the answers about love and relationships. She's supposed to have the perfect relationship. But now that Jared is "taking a step back," Kayla feels like a total fraud.
So the expert on dating starts taking her own rebound advice—and some from her friends—and stops moping around. Yeah, there are other possibilities out there—including the beyond-cute French foreign exchange student she's showing around town.
But when controversy erupts about the Oracle's advice, Kayla is sent reeling once again. Will anything work out for her this year? Yet when her friends start seriously needing the Oracle, Kayla begins to focus on what really matters: Viv, Sharese, Amy and Ryan, her true-blue buds. And suddenly, everything starts making sense again…. (YA)

In The Oracle Rebounds, sequel to The Oracle of Dating, Kayla is still running her online dating advice blog – still anonymously - and she’s been dating her uber sexy artist (IMO anyway) boyfriend Jared for a while now. Things are going great.
Then Jared tells her he needs some breathing space and Kayla takes that as “I want to break up with you” and ends their relationship for him. Kayla immediately uses her Oracle of Dating skills to decide exactly how long she must wait before embarking on her rebound relationship.
As the second book in Van Diepan’s Oracle of Dating series, book two improves upon the premise. Kayla is more mature, has to make tougher decisions in both her personal and professional lives and confronts more adult themes than in the first book. On the other hand, I sometimes felt a little cut off from Kayla emotionally by her headstrong attitude. While admirable, it’s best taken in small doses.
Kayla is a type “A” personality and approaches everything in life as a formula to be worked out. I know a lot of people like this, so it is realistic, but as a reader she can come off as too aloof. I really like how Jared with his Zen, soothing ways acts as a counter balance to her and that was missing from this book.
On the other hand, the breakup gives Kayla a chance to grow as a character and I like how she was willing to take a few emotional risks even if it means the potential for heartbreak. There are a few brief romances that become fodder for her Oracle blog posts. Most notably with Benoit – the French foreign exchange student. As with all things Kayla – she plows in full speed which threw me a little considering how cautious she was in her relationship with Jared but sometimes a whirlwind romance is what you need after a bad breakup! Benoit wasn’t my cup of tea…a little too smooth with the lines but I get it.
The Oracle Rebounds also touches on a subject that really interests me in YA right now. Is the first love the one and ONLY true love? Can young people date several people over the span of high school or must they jump into a committed relationship? The romantic in me wanted her back with Jared the entire time, but I can also see when you’re young, that you have to experience different types of relationships and they all add something to the type of person you eventually become. Sometimes that will lead you back to the person you started out with.
The one thing that bothered me about the previous book and again in this one is Kayla’s friends. She repeats how important they are to her but other than the weekly movie night get together I don’t see it. I’m thrilled there is a teenager in YA that cares about her friends and doesn’t dump them for the first boy that comes around, but they just don’t really seem talk to each other all that much beyond the superficial. For example, after she breaks up with Jared they all say they never liked him but never talked to her about it. Then when they get back together they like him again. Well which is it? I understand loyalty but sometimes honest advice is what’s called for.
Amy is another instance where I think they should have spoken up more. Her cheating and sexting are downright dangerous but they seem to think live and let live. They are there for each other in their time of need though – I just wish the friendships were developed more.
Like I said before – without Jared or her friends as Kayla’ emotional anchor, her character feels detached to me. She gets over things so quickly. I don’t – so maybe that’s my issue not hers. LOL
This is a light, fun series that manages to touch on a lot of real issues that teenagers are dealing with today, like first love, teen drinking, sexting, and cheating, friendships and even cultural dating.
Love: This is a cute series with a different kind of protagonist. She’s not one to drool and go weak kneed over a boy and she cares about her job and her future. I like that.
Nitpick: Said protagonist is also so focused and driven to a point that sometimes it’s hard to feel for her. Not enough Jared!

Rating: 3 out of 4 Enjoyable for a quick YA chick-lit type of read. I’ll be reading the next one in the series.

Source: e-ARC from Netgalley
Authors Website: Allison Van Diepen
Buy the book! The Oracle Rebounds


  1. YA Chic lit sounds like a bit of a sugarfix :-)

  2. This sounds cute. I'm not sure I will pick it up, but I enjoyed reading about it.

  3. I really like the sound of this series, I love a YA girl that doesn't go completely weak kneed over a boy. And I don't get over things quickly either. I harbor resentment. Lots of it:) I feel like I would be a fan of Jared, so I need to pick this series up!

  4. If only someone did have all the answers as far as love was concerned, imagine how many less broken hearts there would be. Sounds like a fun read, thanks for recommending it.

  5. Yep, it's a good book that touches on big issues, but it needed more Jared.

  6. There is never enough Jared for the obvious reasons - but also he helps balance Kaylee's sometimes annoying personality. This book needed a little more balance. But still a cute read.