Guest post by Laura Zizek
Laura is currently a journalism student at Ryerson University and an editorial intern at Canadian Living. She is a lover of film, literature and food.
, there is a way to experience the excitement of a first date without the anxiety: Blind Date With a Book. Spotted in libraries around the world, the concept is a wonderful way to discover a new genre or author by selecting a book based on a two-word descriptor, not its cover. I recently walked into my local library in Vaughan, ON, and was pleasantly surprised to find its display of blind date books, gift-wrapped to conceal mystery covers. It’s always a treat to see something awesome from the Internet in real life. For the past three years, Vaughan Public Libraries has been organizing this program every Valentine’s Day in an effort to get people to read books they wouldn't normally consider. Branches have “received a very strong (positive) response,” says Terri Watman, director of planning and communications for Vaughan Public Libraries, who notes that people were “picking up more than one book.” Being my first literary blind date, I thought to myself, "Might as well find some fictional romance," and finally settled on
YA (young-adult fiction)
romance. When I got home, I quickly unwrapped my treasure and discovered it to be
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
by Jennifer E. Smith.
The book follows Hadley Sullivan, a high school student who travels to London, England for her father’s wedding. There she meets her soon-to-be stepmother, an encounter Hadley's been dreading for some time. But circumstances improve when she meets Oliver, a cute British university student, on her flight. Ultimately, the book was 272 pages of fluff. I never felt connected to any of the characters, and the two storylines of parental drama and romance never seemed to relate. A better date might have been the YA novel
Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins—plenty of romance and a great story line to keep you interested. However, Smith's novel was an easy read, and sometimes, fluffy books are the perfect antidote when life gets a little too hectic. Would I read it again? No. Would I suggest this book to others? Probably not. Would I go on a blind date with another novel? Definitely. If Blind Date With a Book strikes your fancy, try suggesting it to your local library. It doesn’t need to be Valentine’s Day for you to give literary love a chance; a spring picnic with Mr. Darcy sounds divine.