Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Publisher Review: Running the Bases

by Paul Kropp. Reviewed for Random House. See more info on this title here.

(a word on publisher reviews at kittenpie reads)

This book is subtitled Definitely not a book about baseball. Well, yes, most definitely not. I can see how that subtitle could be necessary, I suppose, given the title and the fact that the author is a man, and people could easily jump to the conclusion that this one is about sports, not about dating, as it actually is.

This book is also definitely fluffy, and a teen read, focussing entirely on Al's project to get himself a girl. The twist is that when he tries and gets shot down by one of the less popular but very smart girls in his class, she offers to hire out as a consultant and guide to the world of dating and what girls want. A dating coach.

They sign a contract, and the fun begins. He tries and practices and stumbles a good few times, and she points out where he went wrong, prepares him for the next steps, and basically grooms him to treat a girl properly. In the end, she discovers that he has made good headway based entirely on a lie, and quits, just in time for him to get dumped anyhow. She sets him up on one last blind date, though, giving the book a "twist ending" once she thinks he is fully prepared.

I say a "twist ending" in quotations because, well, it was predictable. As were the ways in which he messes up - you see them coming well down the road as he builds towards them. Still, it was an easy read on a topic of high interest to teens, and because of the main character being male and all, this could appeal to boys as much as girls already familiar with the dating genre. The thing I particularly liek about that is that the advice is, in fact, pretty solid, and Al's friend who tries to give him advice and pass himself off as a well-seasoned ladies' man is exposed as a total fraud, his opinions rendered as useless as they really are. So if boys would read this? They might actually improve their own chances by acting like the boy a girl really does want to date, and wouldn't that be a boon to both sexes?

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