Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Dating Game

Rate this book
The Social Network gets a romantic twist in this fresh and engaging new read from the author of Frat Girl, Kiley Roache. Experience the whirlwind ups and downs of college life in this authentic and entertaining new novel!

When a notoriously difficult class for future entrepreneurs leads to three freshmen developing the next “it” app for dating on college campuses, all hell breaks loose…

Type A control freak Sara lives by her color-coordinated Post-it notes.

Rich boy Braden wants out from under his billionaire father’s thumb.

Scholarship student Roberto can’t afford for his grades to drop.

When the three are forced to work together in one of the university’s most difficult classes, tension rises to the breaking point…until, shockingly, the silly dating app they create proves to be the most viable project in class. Late nights of app development, interest from investors and unexpected romance are woven into a true-to-life college drama that explores what it means to really connect online and IRL.

304 pages, ebook

First published March 26, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Kiley Roache

4 books84 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
41 (13%)
4 stars
69 (22%)
3 stars
116 (38%)
2 stars
64 (21%)
1 star
14 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 95 reviews
Profile Image for Kendall.
644 reviews653 followers
December 26, 2018
I requested this title based off the cover. It's super cute!!

I have to say... that I'm a sucker for titles...but lately cover love isn't equal to my love of the book!

EEK... unfortunately this book fell super flat for me. I have been having a hard time loving YA novels that I've been requesting lately. Apparently... I'm a picky reader and hard to impress ;).

The plot was a tad predictable in this one. Three students are required to work together on a start up business idea. They all decide to create a dating app. The idea behind the app is you rate people and they rate you back. The higher your rank...the pickier you can be with your "dating search."

I didn't really like the 3 main characters in this one. There of course is a love triangle in this one between the characters and I was just annoyed by the characters. Who will Sara end up with? Roberto or Braden?

I did enjoy that it was a super easy and fast read for me! It was just a mediocre read and nothing too special unfortunately.

Overall, 3 stars for The Dating Game.

Huge thank you to Netgalley and Inkyard Press/Harlequin Teen for the arc in exchange for my honest review.

Pub date: 3/26/19
Published to GR: 12/26/18
Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,187 reviews1,338 followers
March 16, 2019
Full Review on The Candid Cover

The Dating Game by Kiley Roache is a book about innovation and technology as a group of unlikely partners creates the next big dating app. I love the premise, and the strong woman who can code is empowering. However, the characters and the plot fell flat for me, and I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I had hoped.

The book tells the story of a group of college students who end up creating a groundbreaking dating app after being forced to work together for a class. Due to their newfound success, the group must navigate the world of business while also retaining their values. I enjoy any book about technology, especially one with capable women who can code. The story also presents some moral dilemmas as the ethics of the app are questioned. This is quick read that will interest anyone with an interest in app development.


While the concept of the book is fun, I couldn’t find myself really enjoying any of the characters. If I had to choose, I would say Sara is my favourite since she is strong and stands up for herself. However, I feel like the characters are all very textbook. We have the smart, organized feminist, the rich and problematic player, and the nice guy with a sad home life. These characters lack dimension, and I feel like they need something more in order for me to really connect with them.


I also had a couple of issues with the plot. Similar to the character situation, it isn’t memorable, and the simplicity makes the story predictable. On top of this, I feel like there is random drama thrown in for a chapter or two, just for the sake of it, but never fully explored. The ending is also far-fetched, and I had trouble believing that many of the events would actually occur. The book has potential, but I think it could have been better executed.

The Dating Game is a story by Kiley Roache about technological innovation, and I enjoyed the concept of young app developers. However, the characters and the plot are a bit too plain for me, and I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I had anticipated. I don’t hate the novel, but I feel as though it could have been better.
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,224 reviews257 followers
March 12, 2019
The Dating Game details the ups and downs of 3 college freshmen as they develop the new “it” app for on-campus dating for the notoriously difficult future entrepreneur class. Love, drama, and laughs ensue in this fun and quick read from Kiley Roache, perfect book for a single sitting.

Things I Liked
I love having college settings in books. The characters have more freedom and independence and let the situations be more mature and dramatic.

Girls in STEM fields is always a plus as well - and the genuine and supportive friendship between Sara and Yaz was wonderful.

Roberto was most definitely my favorite character and I loved him with everything in my heart. He is so kind and really just a perfect person. And he has one of the most beautiful inner monologues about lost love that was so supremely lovely. His relationship with his dad wonderful too. They have such a tight knit relationship after Roberto’s mom was deported when he was younger - it’s a horrible reality that is not shied away from in the story.

Things I Didn’t Like
I get the whole point of the story is a dating app, but I unfortunately wasn’t really sold on any of the romances in the story. I didn’t even mind that there was a bit of a love triangle because I genuinely hate one couple/thought they had no chemistry and thought the other wasn’t given enough buildup so I was largely uninvested.

Braden is the worst! He is the embodiment of white male privilege and arrogance and he sucks as a human being.

The Dating Game is a easy to read story that will entertain and frustrate you at the same time. While I didn’t love the romances - and that is definitely a bigger part of the story - I thought that the story did have some wonderful character moments, especially from Roberto, that made me enjoy it.

I received a copy of the book from Inkyard Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
1,093 reviews803 followers
December 20, 2018
Rating ~3.5

Well, this was pretty fun.

The Dating Game tells the story of three University students that, by process of elimination, end up working together on a group project focusing on entrepreneurship. They must come with an idea and pitch it to their professor, who just so happens to be a a rich millionaire/billionaire (can't remember which). Basically, their teacher is like one of the investors on Shark Tank.

So, after much trial and tribulation the kids come with the idea for Perfect10. Which is basically like Tinder, but you get ranked based on how many times people swipe right on you. Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize how flawed that system is. But nevertheless, it becomes a hit.

In the wake of success, the three must learn to navigate through the ins and outs of their app start-up, their personal relationships and try not to loose themselves in the craziness of it.

Overall, it was a good, entertaining read. Though, at points, it did feel quite reminiscent of the Social Network movie.

My main take away from this: I really need to learn how code. Code languages are the languages of the future! Lol
Profile Image for Haley.
168 reviews137 followers
May 14, 2019
I wanted to love this one. To me, it was just OK, but there were a lot of positive and negative things about it. I thought it took me back to my college years easily and I could picture many of the events with clarity. Although I could connect with the setting and plot, the characters fell flat for me. I just didn't enjoy them and didn't root for them. I also thought the app they came up with was extremely problematic, but the main issue I had was that the problems were not adequately addressed. For what it was, this was a quick read and it was okay!
Profile Image for temi.
81 reviews27 followers
Want to read
March 27, 2019
plot seems interesting but i have a feeling the characters will be boring and one-dimensional.

cOntROl frEaK SArA

riCh bOy bRaDEn (his dad will sue)

s c h o l a r s h i p s t u d e n t r o b e r t o
Profile Image for Steff Fox.
1,193 reviews155 followers
April 24, 2020
| Reader Fox Blog |

The thing about The Dating Game by Kiley Roache that really gets to me is that I wasn’t ever actually impressed with the novel in any real way. There were things about it that I liked and things that I didn’t like, but nothing ever made me feel any strong emotions barring a rather disgusting display of misogyny about three-fourths of the way through the novel—and wonderfully, this was addressed and called out, so points to the author for that one. But ultimately The Dating Game was one of those forgettable novels that you didn’t mind reading but definitely wouldn’t read again.

Now, as far as the three main characters go, I really liked them. I enjoyed their personalities, the way they meshed together, and the progression of the story centered around their experiences with this class project turned profitable app. A mildly unfortunate piece lies in the fact that certain aspects of the app are not exactly believable, but as this is not my area of expertise and sometimes a suspension of belief in fiction is necessary for a story, I found this aspect forgivable.

What I didn’t care for, however, was the unbelievability of their Professor, the all but ignored minor characters, and the return to that ridiculous trope where someone completely random and honestly unrealistic gets involved with telling a character to “tell [insert person of listener’s affection] if you care about [him/her].” This is frankly one of the most annoying things I’ve seen authors do and I’m truly sick of seeing it in books I read. Fortunately, The Dating Game was not one of the worst offenders, only including the stupid push for a ship once throughout the course of the book—though I’ll be honest, it was one time too many for me.

I had an exceedingly difficult time rating this book, largely because a part of me feels like certain aspects of it—namely Sara’s growth, Robbie’s family situation, and the way Braden’s character was handled—were ones I deeply appreciated. I think the book could have included Robbie’s situation a little more, but at the same time I was pleased with the fact that it wasn’t used as a plot device, but rather as something that a real person could be going through. Braden was believable and actually quite incredible in how much he made me feel, both good and bad.

But the rest of the book was somewhat dull and never really held up to anything substantial. The app itself didn’t make sense, though I suppose if this were a world pre-Tinder then maybe I could buy in? And overall, I just don’t personally consider it a great read. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it falls into a sort of mediocre with some good moments category. And so maybe it’s not quite a three, but it’s definitely not my definition of a four.

I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

| Instagram | Twitter | Reader Fox Blog | Bloglovin’ | Facebook |
Profile Image for Melissa Jacobson.
868 reviews134 followers
February 5, 2019
I received an E-ARC of this book via Netgalley

Actual rating 3.75

I thoroughly enjoyed this cute little contemporary. It accurately captured the college vibe and I loved the tech aspects of it. While the characters aren't my all time favorites I was Invested in their relationships and I thought the love triangle played out pretty realistically. Overall this was fun and fast and I had a blast reading it.

My Booktalk - https://youtu.be/7xV3Ae91lU8
Profile Image for Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}.
475 reviews170 followers
March 8, 2019

The Dating Game is a very now kind of book. It takes on a dating app for those in college created by three college freshman. They were the last three students left as everyone else grouped up for the most important project of this very hard to get into entrepreneur class. There are two who are hard workers and coders and one who seems like a slacker but is charming. His charm is what gets them through their presentation and sparks the fire to actually create the dating app for real not just for class.So from there there is kind of a love triangle? I mean kind of. Also there is the question of is their app good for people? It is a rating system and seems to make people act their worst. There is a struggle between the three in terms of the app and their love lives. So all that and I was meh about it all. I mean it was ok but I thought it was a bit boring. Also, it felt flimsy? The characters weren't fleshed out enough and I think some secondary characters could have been around more to add something. It was a quick read but didn't have any sort of impact on me.

I received this book for free from Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This review was originally posted on Rebel Mommy Book Blog
662 reviews25 followers
March 25, 2019

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.

Kiley Roaches has this way of writing novels that makes me wonder if I will like it when I start reading, but then get really invested in the story and root for some of the characters. I have to admit I almost stopped reading in the middle, when the story seemed to be going some way and I was definitely NOT rooting for that particular couple. But the cover is true to the story and that atrocity got resolved before the ending.

As she did with Frat Girl, Roaches makes you doubt about the way the characters act. She makes you wonder if she's just another writer writing fake feminist stories ending with an abusive or bad relationship. And then she takes it all and spins it on its head and shows you just how good her characters really are.

This is not a perfect story. The asshole doesn't have a redemption arc, doesn't become a hero by the end of the story. He gets what he deserves and it takes a lot for him to realize that maybe he's a privileged white fuckboi.

I think the help they got to resolve the final problem might have been a bit too easy, considering, but it was the best way to set them free.

Another score for Roaches in my book. That girl knows how to write good, realistic stories.
Profile Image for Ally (The Nature of Pages).
37 reviews114 followers
May 2, 2019
I really wanted to love this story. It had so much POTENTIAL, which is maybe what disappointed me when it didn’t live up to my expectation.

The basic plotline is great – as I said above, the whole idea it revolves around is super intriguing! I think the novel gets a little caught up on subplots and romantic interests for my tastes.

I never felt as a reader that I had the chance to dive beneath the surface of these characters. It’s like the author gave us the icing on the cake – just icing. None of the rich gooey layers below it. Still okay, a little too sweet, but can still survive on its own. The author definitely succeeded in creating a character I love to hate – one certain character who annoys the living heck out of me. I definitely admire her skill for writing characters that make me cringe and roll my eyes (this sounds sarcastic but I promise, it’s not!).

Personally, I felt like everything moved way too fast in the story. Relationships, friendships, even plans go at breakneck speed. However, I would be interested in seeing other books by Kiley Roache, as she definitely has potential!
Profile Image for Yvonne Olson.
779 reviews15 followers
January 12, 2019
I didn't like this.
It felt very... stock. The characters didn't have much depth to them, and the feelings they felt didn't feel real.
The idea of this book was a good one, in this day and age, but it also felt more superficial.
I don't know if that makes sense, but I just couldn't get into this.
Profile Image for nisha.
73 reviews1 follower
April 8, 2019
2/5 stars

So the thing about this book is that so many of the fundamentals were just wrong. The concept had so much potential, and the characters had a lot of chemistry and there were so many possibilities. But none of it actually happened.

Individually, I did like the characters quite a bit. But when you put them together, I don’t know, they just weren’t that great. The first few chapters where they were developing the app were a breeze to read, but it started to get really draggy eventually. I liked Robbie pretty well, and Braden was fine, but Sara was just really meh.

I just didn’t really get how Sara could flip so fast. It was super predictable and I knew what it was gonna end up as, but I just did not like how that ending came along. I didn’t particularly like how Braden’s business perspective was passed along as tacky and selfish. Come on, you just built the app, he’s a businessperson, it’s in his blood to think strategy.

Literally, for Sara to flip from one boy to the next, it took like one chapter. Are you kidding me?? The ideals of romance in this book were so superficial, and seeing as that was the main focus, it just got really annoying. I really wanted to like the book because I did really get intrigued by the summary, but it just did not deliver.
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,142 reviews303 followers
April 10, 2019
Womp. I'm sad that this wasn't more in line with FRAT GIRL for me. The characters were all flat and never went beyond their initial stereotypes for me. There was a romance throughout most of the book that frustrated me and didn't feel necessary, even though it seemed like it would bring some character growth maybe... I liked the ending, which is why this is 3 stars instead of 2.5 stars. I'm still intrigued by Roache's writing and her college setting, so I'm definitely still eager for more book from her.
Profile Image for Ruth Santiago.
188 reviews6 followers
September 18, 2019
I think the editor took to many breaks with this book.... I enjoyed it... A bit... But to many conflicts that kind of ruined it. So many superiority issues.
Profile Image for Judy Churchill.
2,414 reviews23 followers
December 28, 2019
What a cute book and excellent food for thought concerning social media. It provides some insight into the computer development process and the quick money which often follows.
Profile Image for Kris.
408 reviews48 followers
April 12, 2019
I absolutely flew through this book I think the synopsis was correct in saying that it was the social network getting a romantic twist. It was definitely different than anything else I’ve ever read and I enjoyed the social aspects of it. I loved that in this day and age we could all relate in someway to this type of app that these students were creating.

Out of the three main characters my favorite would have to be Roberto. He came from a Mexican background and I found it really interesting to read about his daily life. Braden annoyed me so much throughout almost the whole book. When I finally thought he was redeeming himself he turns around and makes me not be able to stand him again. Sarah I could completely relate to. She was absolutely a control freak and I am too so it was fun to see how other people viewed her.

Overall I thought this was an extremely fun, interesting, lighthearted story. It was a quick read, one I would definitely suggest reading in the summer by the beach or on vacation. If you enjoy a cute romantic book with a bit of social aspects this is definitely the book for you.
Profile Image for Izzy.
24 reviews2 followers
December 26, 2018
Disclaimer- I received an ARC of this for review from Inkyard Press. That does not affect my opinion of it at all.

Rating- 2.5 out of 5 stars.
*Contains light spoilers*

Whoooooooooo. This book was something else. You know, I was kind of excited for it at first because I loved the idea of college students trying to make it in Silicon Valley. However, it was not good. Not. At. All.
The main characters are Sara, Robbie, and Braden. Sara was by far my favorite of the three. She was determined, hardworking, smart, and empowered. I love her whole making it as a women in Silicon Valley story line. Honestly, that's probably the best part of this book.
Robbie had absolutely no personality. His whole thing is that his mom has been deported and keeps being denied to come back. That sucks, so like diversity points and all, but that's the only part of Robbie that I remember. He was literally the first POV we read from, and I felt no connection to him whatsoever. Which is probably why his relationship with Sara bugged me so much.
Speaking of a relationship with Sara, let's talk about Braden. What can I even say about Braden? I loved him so much at the beginning of the book and, if you've read the book, you know that I couldn't at the end. However, I'm a bit confused by his entire character 'arc,' if you can even call it that. He was so obsessed with not being like his dad, that him changing in the way he did wasn't consistent at all with his actions.
That's my main problem with this book-lack of consistency. Since Robbie didn't have a set personality, he was constantly all over the place. Braden had a dramatic character change for practically no reason. His and Sara's relationship at the beginning was my favorite relationship. They were so good together, so the author making him change for no reason to force Robbie and Sara's relationship really sucked. If she really wanted Sara and Robbie to be together and for us to care, maybe she should've given Robbie some personality and build off what she had tried to start at the very beginning of the book between the two of them. But no, because she instead built a really cute relationship with Braden and Sara, completely forgot about Robbie, and then ruined the character of Braden for absolutely no reason.
So yeah. I was not really a fan. I frankly don't recommend this book, because there's so many others out there just like it that handle these trope consumed characters so much better. I recommend instead When Dimple Met Rishi, because it covers so many of these same topics, but way better.
Profile Image for Caden.
269 reviews7 followers
December 13, 2022
Imagine THE SOCIAL NETWORK meets Young Adult Romance!

I have been a huge fan of Kiley Roache since I read Frat Girl and this book did not disappoint! For me, I did not connect as much with the heart of the story as much as I did in Frat Girl, but that doesn't mean I didn't love or connect with this book.

All three of these characters were terribly interesting to read about. I absolutely loved everything single POV and background that Roache delved into within TDG. She has an incredible love triangle in this book that felt deeply realistic, with an amazing plot with twists and turns! I fell head over heels for some of the characters and then had a rollercoaster of emotions with one character who has a devastatingly complicated story arc. I just want more!

Make sure to go pick up this lovely book when it comes out on March 26, 2019!

Profile Image for Cristina (Girl in the Pages).
452 reviews64 followers
March 25, 2019
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*Thank you so much to the publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!*

Novels set in college are one of my FAVORITE things as a reader. There's so much potential for character development, self exploration, new themes and tropes, and just endless possibility really to break out of the traditional YA mold. What's even more excellent is finding a college set novel that doesn't fall into the romance/erotica heavy New Adult categorization either. Kiley Roache is an author who writes college stories that are just authentic enough to keep readers connected to the characters despite the potentially extraordinary things happening to them, like a girl rushing a fraternity or building the next multi-million dollar social media app. I was really excited to pick up The Dating Game and experience my college days again in Roache's sophomore novel.

There's a lot of really good things about this novel- set at the same university of her debut book, it features three freshmen students trying to find their footing and navigate the cut throat Silicon Valley culture at a premiere university where everyone's resume is already a mile long. I think the topics of self worth, competition, and stress on young adults nowadays were really realistic and poignant- there's so much pressure to overachieve from such a young age for a normal teen, let alone for teens wanting to go to top tier universities with 2% acceptance rates and major in computer science. The story also explores a variety of social statuses and privileges through its  POV characters.

The story focuses on three protagonists, Sara, Robbie, and Braden, who all come from different background and socioeconomic backgrounds but are all dealing with significant levels of stress and anxiety from their own unique circumstances. When they are sort of thrown together for a class project they end up accidentally making a "hot new app" that basically exploits the human need for vanity and validation. As you can imagine, such instant success leads to all sorts of unique and challenging situations for the three of them. The story of their freshmen year navigating the app is told in rotating POVs that all have a distinct voice and a format that worked for me (until the very end- but I'll get to that later on).

While it was fun watching the characters have their own tech start up journey (and see how it did, and did not, mirror those stories of the founders of Facebook, Google, Apple, etc.) there was quite a bit of predictability in the plot, especially in regards to the moral dilemma some of the characters faced with the app. There was also a large romantic element that was unsurprising (they did invent a dating app, after all) but I think we're also all pretty tired of love triangles in the book community. ALSO this book contained the dreaded "sentence" in regards to one holding a breath one did not know they were holding and I'm honestly still trying to figure out if the author intentional put it there on purpose to troll readers knowing how everyone complains about it on book Twitter (and if she did, total props to her for the sort of inside joke lol).

***Please note the section below will contain some mild spoilers.***

One huge issue that I did have with the book, however, was the portrayal of the antagonist. Now, I'm all for the realistic portrayal of how greedy, selfish, etc. humans can be, however one of the main characters goes from 50 to 500 on the evil scale toward the end of the book and just completely stops being a POV character and I was just like ???? It felt rushed and underdeveloped and like it needed to be written with more nuance, especially since there's a scene earlier on where readers are obviously supposed to feel sympathy for this character and then NOPE he just ends up being a giant jerk at the end. In the epilogue there's a very short scene that I think is supposed to "redeem" the character but it didn't really work for me- it seemed half hearted and just thrown in.

Overall: A fun (if predictable) book set in college touching on entrepreneurship and the start up culture. While it isn't a new favorite for me, if you're looking for more YA/NA crossover without excessive romance this could be a good fit for you!This review was originally posted on Girl in the Pages
Profile Image for Rameela (Star).
660 reviews228 followers
March 25, 2019
Initial thoughts: It didn’t have the crash and burn that I was hoping for but it did have a fun ending that made me feel happy and fuzzy so that’s great!

Rating: 3/5

I received this e-ARC from Netgalley! But this won't affect my review in any way!

I'll be honest, this was a strangely addicting book... but I didn't rate it higher because the plot near the end had so much potential... and then it sort of fell flat.

It starts off really fun and it feels like I'm watching a PG-13 sort of rom-com style version of The Social Network and I was here for it! The characters are interesting and fun to follow (even if rich boy Braden really got on my nerves) and I liked getting into each of their minds.

In the beginning, I had to take a moment to make sure I got acquainted with the characters since when the chapters change, it's in first person POV and that took a second to get used to. I liked reading in each of the characters' voices and I especially appreciated Roberto because he was really the only sensible one and the fact that he really cared about his family was really great.

Now, when reading this story, I was all for watching the drama unfold knowing full well that the app they decide to create for a class is pretty disgusting (and Roberto says that when they're making the app, so it made it interesting--I'm a sucker for morally grey areas!). It was great seeing the inner turmoil based on the fact that the app wasn't exactly helping people.

The first half of the book was fun, especially because it seemed to be leading to a big climax and what I was hoping would be a big crash and burn since the book was moving pretty fast paced and that's what it SEEMED to be leading to...

HOWEVER, the big crash and burn that could've been never happened. What was meant to be a big surprise reveal just seemed like a plot that was too rushed. The last quarter of the book seemed like the author had a bit of a page limit and so the ends were tied too quickly and a bit roughly. I feel like the ending could have been paced out and had a nicer dramatic touch to it, but alas, that was not the case.

What made up for the flatness was that I really enjoyed the characters (especially Roberto and Sara.). The dialogue and their inner monologues made it interesting and fun, especially with the little sub-plot romance.

I especially enjoyed the female friendship between Yaz and Sara. In the beginning, the I was incredibly worried that when Yaz was introduced the author would automatically pit the two females against each other because they're in a competitive class, but I was pleasantly surprised when they actually became good friends.

The other sub-plot I enjoyed was Roberto and his family (can you tell I love this man?). But I don't want to spoil it because that was one of the highlights of the book. And although I really didn't like Braden because he was a spoiled white rich kid, I did think there were some good moments with him and it really added to the interesting dynamic between the three characters!

It was a strangely addicting book that fell flat but had its perks. I would recommend this to someone (if they're mentally prepared for that plateau) who enjoys a good college drama, hating on really rich guys that take their parents' money and act all high and mighty, cute cinnamon roll coding nerds that end up creating an app and getting in way over their heads, and some fun and cute moments here and there.

Profile Image for Gina.
447 reviews51 followers
March 19, 2019
The Dating Game is an interesting enough story to keep you reading but falls flat for me on many levels. While the premise of the book, three college freshman taking a class predominated by grad school students (which seems odd to me, but maybe that happens?) create the newest dating app trend. Told in all three perspectives we get an interesting look into what each was thinking when creating and eventually running the new app.

For the most part, I enjoyed this. The book is a fun read but there were some things that just didn't sit well for me.

For starters, one of our main trio seems like his character is going to in one direction to then make a complete 180 and do everything we are led to believe he hates. Without going into too much detail he is a very charming character, but defiantly not a likable one. For me at least.

Another thing that bothered me as how much was put into the fact that this app came about because of a class and yet we hardly see any evidence of this class or the teacher after the first month of the semester when creating their masterpiece.

While there were a few other minor things that bothered me the last one I will mention is the fact that all these 18/19 year old college freshman were drinking so much. Yes, I get it, underage college kids drink but these kids were getting served at bars and seemingly having no issue buying alcohol. Maybe I'm just blind to how easy it really is because I didn't drink until I was of age and still barely drink now, but it seems like it came too easily for them. If they were going to be nonchalantly drinking the entire book why not make them all newly 21 and juniors instead of freshman? Along these lines one of the main trio has an entire inner monologue on how he refuses drugs and usually leaves any place that has them in fear of being busted by the cops. He even goes on to state that he's uncomfortable around pot, that even though it's legal in California he is underage and is uncomfortable......yet he still drinks all the time.

As for the tings I liked about this book, a lot of it has me wanting to rewatch Silicon Valley sooner rather than later. I loved seeing them stressing about the code and creating this app and going through all the start up phases that it has me wanting to rewatch the show.

I also loved Roberto and his family/neighbors! They were my favorite in the book by far! It also seems like his family is the one we see the most of, which was nice.

Sara and Braden were alright for the most part, but didn't feel like they were completely thought out characters for me.

I did enjoy the three person POV and didn't have to guess as to who I was reading half way through each chapter. Each POV had it's characters voice and was easy transitions from person to person.

Overall, if you are fan of quick rom com type reads and technology then this may be one to check out. It was a fast easy read and for the most part I had fun with it. It isn't the best story and a lot of things could have been flushed out more, but taking it for what it is, I enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Harriewrites.
7 reviews
September 4, 2020
Kiley Roache's debut novel, Frat Girl, has been my favourite YA novel since it first came out in 2018. So it was only natural that I was desperate to read her next, The Dating Game. However, what I got was not what I expected.

The Dating Game follows the story of 3 college freshmen who develop a new dating app that gathers more attention than they ever intended. From the synopsis, which describes hell breaking loose, I was ready to see the app take off, the consequences of fame, fortune and more than a little chaos. What I got instead was the slow-moving build-up of the actual creation of the app. 

There is always a bit of a long build-up at the start of a book - to introduce the characters and establish relationships. However, Roache appears to do neither. The characters appear on surface-level, mere physical descriptions and one-liners that seem to be their whole personalities - Braden's money, Sara's Hermione-esque personality type and Roberto's family troubles. The character voices are, therefore, one-dimensional, leaving the characters themselves flat. As a result, I feel that we don't properly engage with the characters and its harder to care about vital moments to the story because we don't care about the characters these events are happening to.

I put this down to Roache's use of the three different first-person perspectives. Alternating P.O.Vs can be effective in conveying a complex storyline which has overlapping subplots and narratives, but the plot of The Dating Game is rather simple, if not predictable. In addition, aside from the names written at the start of each chapter, there is no other distinct aspect that sets each voice apart. Not only does this limit the depth of the characters, but the short length of time we are in each P.O.V also makes the story feel disjointed. On reflection, Roache's choice to use the first-person perspective is the easy one and as a result, makes each narrative seem forced, rather than seamless.

Having said that, I appreciated Roache's exploration of the effect of deportation in America on families such as Roberto's. Roache's discussion of relevant and important sociopolitical topics are her hallmark and something that is not limited to her YA readers.

The pacing issues of the first half of the book, thankfully, do not continue into the second half. In fact, everything seems to happen at once and we finally feel the sense of chaos suggested to us by the book's blurb. The plot thickens, characters become more likeable, others unlikable, and there is a definite sense of contented fulfilment as the story draws to a close. 

Writing this review, it has been three days since I finished The Dating Game and I reflect on it more fondly than I did while reading it. The characters have lingered, their messages of moral importance sticking in my mind, which to me, suggests the effect of a stimulating book. So, in a word,  I would describe this book as thought-provoking. 

Profile Image for Ricky.
Author 8 books160 followers
July 16, 2019
Trigger warnings for this book: deportation, slut-shaming, objectification of women.

Following up on her topical and engrossing debut in last year's Frat Girl, Kiley Roache now gives us a second Warren University novel that she began working on while a student at Stanford, the obvious real-world inspiration for Warren. Reading this one, I feel that this might have been an earlier manuscript that she put on the back burner while getting Frat Girl out there and didn't quite incubate as well as she should have, but The Dating Game is still pretty appropriately topical - if oftentimes maddening to the point where it made me want to smash my head against the wall.

While Frat Girl was a longer story with a single POV, Roache crowds this shorter, only about 300-page book with three POVs - one of whom is my obvious favorite. Roberto, by far the least privileged of the three, coming from a working-class Mexican family in Oakland and having suffered the sting of ICE deporting his mother a few years ago. Reading this on the weekend when ICE was conducting raids as ordered from on high by Agent Orange himself, it really was a terrifying coincidence.

The other two POVs are ones that I'm less enthused about getting into, though. Sara, she's a driven young woman, but when even the dust jacket calls her "type A," that immediately made me want to run screaming. I grew up around type A people all the time; I do not jell well with them at all. But she's a damn sight better than Braden, a hunk of stale straight white male privilege who coasts by on his good looks and basically sets up the dating app that's supposed to be his, Sara's, and Roberto's class project as a giant exercise in the objectification of women. I mean, how else are we supposed to see the very premise of that app, rating everyone you swipe left or right on? Not to mention when the app finally goes online, everyone stresses about their rankings, and there's at least one scene of a guy getting dumped and then accusing his erstwhile date of providing sexual favors for upvotes. And me, all I can think about is how my own dating app experiences have been nothing but failure, failure, failure - and if I were on Perfect10, I'd be unranked for sure no matter how many likes I give, because I'd never get any likes back. Or dates. Or anything, really. Because unlike Braden who's a massive jerkoff and that's why he's still single at the start of this book, I'm not attractive enough to make people not notice my social awkwardness.

But I digress.

At least the book has a happy ending, which feels incredibly cathartic after all the boneheadedness that came before it. Though I'm not gonna lie, I still feel like Frat Girl was Roache's better book by far.
Profile Image for Malka.
245 reviews59 followers
March 17, 2019
3 Stars

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This book follows three students tasked with creating a product that is the basis of their grade in an entrepreneurial class. As the only 3 freshmen, Braden, a trust fund baby, is paired up with Sara and Robbie. They end up building a dating app that has users rate one another to show who’s truly the fairest of them all. But of course, the founders feel a bit guilty about the objectification they’re causing, and there might be a love triangle thrown in the mix, so some drama ensues.

I think my main issue with this book was how bored I was. I don’t feel like any of the characters were fleshed out enough, and I feel like the character motivations were very one dimensional. Nothing about the plot was surprising, and I questioned almost every choice made by all three characters in this book. Yet, I didn’t really care at all about what was happening for such a dramatic book.

I felt that the tension and drama were unnecessary and undeveloped, and felt that the resolution was too easy. A certain character was a pretty despicable human being, but there seemed to be no arc for his story, which left me very disappointed.

The two things I did enjoy about this book were the discussion on immigration status, as Robbie’s mother was deported ten years ago, and the aspect of building an app and a company. However, just as with everything else in this book, neither of those issues were developed enough for me to truly get the grasp I would have liked.

In short, this book fell flat for me. It had a promising concept of an app that causes the founders to think whether the money is worth the product they’re putting into the world, but didn’t satisfy me in its execution.

This review also appears as a mini review on Paper Procrastinators
Profile Image for Hillary.
64 reviews9 followers
February 12, 2019
I found much delight in the pressing nature of this story. Everything was fast-paced and full of thought and depth, which encompasses the themes of the story as well. You follow a group of bright young college professionals-in-training in their trials of love and heartbreak all while working on a dating app. Seems simple right? It's not.

It really makes you look at what you think is truly important in the connections you have with other people, in friendships, romances and professional standing. What does success mean? What's the power of nature/nurture? Are we destined to follow our socioeconomic status to the grave? What is love? It's a topsy-turvy roller coaster event of a book and I loved the whole ride.

I will say that I felt there was a lack of compassion in certain characters, and it can be explained away by their status or how they were raised, sure. But at times it felt like their personality changed to suit the scene or the agenda and I found that a little distracting and confusing at the end to really understand who I was supposed to be rooting for and why. And sometimes things seemed too easy. They had plenty of hurdles, but some felt like they were unnecessary and others felt completely washed over.

That said, I really did enjoy the story and I liked the characters. I just wish I had more on them in some cases, because even when I got their whole details-- it felt a little empty. It felt like sometimes, I wasn't sure why I should care about certain characters in certain moments. But overall, the impact of immigration rang true and that, I found, was the most powerful part of this story.

I was glad to win an ARC of this book through GoodReads.
Profile Image for (Love, Stars and Books).
248 reviews24 followers
February 27, 2019
(I received a free eARC from Edelweiss for a voluntary and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own)

Book review: The Dating Game by Kiley Roache (3.5 stars)

The Dating Game by Kiley Roache
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

(DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions are my own)

Sara, Braden and Roberto’s world collide when the trio are grouped together to tackle a notorious future entrepreneur class where they create the next big app that results in chaos all around. Sara is a control freak, Braden is the rich boy and Roberto is a scholarship student who can’t afford to fail. When their app becomes more than just a class project, emotions get in the way and it is pure chaos.

The story is told in alternate POVs between the three of them which gives us interesting insight as to the story and their personal lives. This book was a very millennial novel (in a good way) as it really shows and expresses how the current times are like.

I honestly wasn’t expecting the love triangle and found it annoying at times because it was clearly obvious who Sara would end up with as they had more chemistry and I was rooting for these two since the start of the book. I’m not sure why I was expecting a bisexual story (? I already saw the cover and Idk why I would think it was a bisexual story), but it isn’t.

I did like that there was a toxic relationship but great friendships, but I think one thing I wasn’t a big fan of was that the characters took too long to act on things that they found morally wrong to them.

I did like the character arc and progression, I also liked that it talked about deportation and technology in our current time.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 95 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.