Published by Swoon Romance on December 2, 2014
Series: The Zone #1
Genres: contemporary, Fiction, Love & Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Source: eARC from Publisher
Also in this series: Life in the Lucky Zone, Life in the Danger Zone
After surviving her parents' relationship drama when her older sister elopes, Claire Gardner vows not to date during high school. Now, three years later, Claire is thrust into new relationship drama--her two best friends have boyfriends. Which means Claire is spending more and more time alone. And she's more than a little peeved.
Enter Gray Langley. His year-long crush on Claire's friend Lindsey has made him desperate enough to ask Claire for help. Hesitant at first, Claire agrees--anything to get rid of Lindsey's current evil boyfriend. But as Claire and Gray plot together, an attraction develops, and now she must decide if being with Gray is worth the pain that will come from confronting her parents with the reasons for her vow.
Life in the No Dating Zone was like a comedy of errors. It was a matchmaking mishap game, a little like the play that they describe in the book- cyrano de bergerac. I thought it was a really cute take on the you start out liking one person and end up with someone else. (i’m sure there is a name for that romance trope, but I don’t know what it is.) I really liked the main guy Gray. The main character, Claire, grated on my nerves a bit, but we eventually worked things out. Life in the No Dating Zone is told in dual narrative between Claire and Gray.
Gray really liked Claire’s popular friend Lindsey since forever, and he turns to Claire for help. Which Claire is more than happy to do because she doesn’t date (because of a pact) and she feels left out by her friends that each have boyfriends. She wants to break Lindsey and her current beau up. This was my problem with Claire. She acted really childish sometimes. Her immaturity and self centered attitude really bugged me for a large part of the first half of the book. And my real problem was that she would have these moments of such nice-ness that I wanted her to be that nice girl more. I wanted that to be who the real Claire was, but I wasn’t sure if she was more nice, or more immature. She eventually won me over, but I wouldn’t say that I loved her. I liked her.
Gray on the other hand, I adored. He is just the sweetest shy guy ever. I loved how quiet and pensive he was. But the more he was around Claire and her friends the more he came out of his shell. And I also liked reading his point of view chapters because you could see him growing more and more fond of Claire, and it was so funny to try and see when he would finally open his eyes and realize he liked her.
Claire’s no dating pact took a while to fully develop the reasoning behind it. I had no idea why she made the pact for most of the book. She gives a surface reason for not dating, but we don’t get to the real meat of the issue until later on. I think that was my favorite part of Claire’s character- watching her grow and come to terms with her pact and the reason behind it. Life in the No Dating Zone was a cute read. It was fun to watch the slow burn romance blossom between these friends. Claire might get on your nerves a time or two, but she will make up for it in the end.
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