cover image 10 Blind Dates

10 Blind Dates

Ashley Elston. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-368-02749-6

After overhearing her boyfriend tell a friend that he might want to call his relationship off, Sophie, 17, breaks up with him, then heads to Shreveport, La., to spend Christmas with her large, extended Italian-American family while her parents care for her pregnant sister, who has preeclampsia. When she arrives and shares the story with her grandmother, Nonna decides to set Sophie up on 10 blind dates, each concocted by a different family member. Much to Sophie’s horror, her relatives, including “weird Aunt Patrice” and her “evil” twin cousins, are all too eager to take part, even creating a chart for the project. In a funny holiday romance that has Sophie dog-sitting in a hockey rink, watching porn at a drive-in theater, and playing the Virgin Mary in a middle school Nativity, Elston (The Rules for Disappearing) cleverly reflects the family members’ personalities through their choices of dates for Sophie. Reflective moments balance the comedy as Sophie comes to realize how much her family means to her and is surprised by a possible romance. With its predictably happy outcome, the book closes with a comforting, if tidy, note. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (Oct.) [/em]