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The Oracle of Dating

The Oracle of Dating

3.8 19
by Allison van Diepen

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For five bucks, the Oracle of Dating will tell you:

* How to flirt

* If that cute guy you're crushing on likes you, too

* Whether your new romance will last through lunch period

* And much more

What she won't tell you? Who she is.

No one at Kayla's school knows she's the famous Oracle


For five bucks, the Oracle of Dating will tell you:

* How to flirt

* If that cute guy you're crushing on likes you, too

* Whether your new romance will last through lunch period

* And much more

What she won't tell you? Who she is.

No one at Kayla's school knows she's the famous Oracle of Dating— the anonymous queen of dating advice. She doesn't even have a boyfriend. Two relationship disasters were enough to make Kayla focus on everyone else's love life.

But then her advice backfires on her own best friend. And Kayla starts to seriously obsess about Jared Stewart—the very cute, very mysterious new guy in school. Suddenly, the teen queen of advice needs her own oracle of dating—and she knows just where to find one….

Product Details

Publication date:
Oracle of Dating Novel
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File size:
546 KB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

New Year's Resolutions:

* Find Tracey a great boyfriend.

* Make a choice about my hair: straight or curly, because wavy just isn't working.

* Cure cereal addiction (possibly through hypnotherapy—see Yellow Pages).

* Write more blogs for the Oracle of Dating Web site, give lots of dating advice, make stacks of $$$ and quit job at Hellhole.

* Take the Oracle of Dating to the next level!!!

• *

You might think that September is a weird time to be making New Year's resolutions. Well, Mom never accused me of doing anything on time, especially tidying my room, loading the dishwasher or Swiffering the kitchen.

"I don't see how you ended up with an eighty average last year, Kayla," Mom says. "You're always chatting online or on the phone."

Which implies that I am not being productive.

The truth is, she has no idea what I'm really up to.


I clear my throat and answer, "The Oracle of Dating."

"It's client number zero-two-four."


"You remember me!"

"I do. What can the Oracle do for you?" I scoot over to my computer and open up my PayPal account to see that her five-dollar payment has been received.

"It's about this guy, Shawn, I'm dating. I hate going out in public with him."

A case of total butt ugly, perhaps?

"Why's that, Sabrina?"

"He always embarrasses me somehow. Like when we went to the school dance Friday night, he was dancing like a maniac. Everybody was staring at him."

"He's a really bad dancer?"

"The worst. It's not just that. Wherever we go, he says

or does something dumb. But when we're alone, he's really sweet!"

"Mmm-hmm." Listening noises are very important.

"What do you think I should do?"

"Have you talked to him about this?"

"Yeah, but he doesn't get it."

"I have another question for you, Sabrina. Do you love him?"

"I wouldn't go that far. We've only been dating for a couple of months."

"Why not find a guy who wouldn't embarrass you in public?"

"It's not so easy getting a boyfriend. He's only the second one I've ever had."

As I well know. Sabrina's been calling me to discuss every crush and flirtation in the past six months.

"Ask yourself this. Are you with him because you really like him, or because you like having a boyfriend?"

"Er, maybe the second thing."

"How would you feel if he answered the question the same way?"

"I wouldn't like it." She sighs. "I guess I have to break up with him?"

I lift the phone away from my ear and pound a tune into my little xylophone.

"The Oracle has spoken."

"Thank you, Oracle. I know it's the right thing to do."

"Good night, Sabrina."

I know what you're thinking. What makes me such an expert on dating? Have I had lots of boyfriends?

Um, no.

There have only been two, and both were disasters. But I've learned from each one, and now I think of them, with total detachment, as Case Study No. 1 and Case Study No. 2. I even made retrospective notes.

Case Study No. 1: 9th Grade, November.

Lead-up to relationship: weeks of note-writing and flirting, a subtle ass-grab at a school dance and a kiss behind the portables.

Relationship length: one month.

Activities: playing video games, kissing in his basement, playing more video games.

Conflict: He often wouldn't answer the phone because he didn't want to interrupt his video game. His gaming addiction resulted in a thumb injury for which medical care was required, and he was unable to hold my hand due to a thumb splint.

Outcome: He didn't see me as a girlfriend, he saw me as a gaming partner, make-out buddy and occasional history tutor. So I gave him an ultimatum: "What do you care about more, me or your video games?" He answered: "They're my thing. I'm a gamer, babe." Babe?

Case Study No. 2: 10th Grade, March.

Lead-up to relationship: I met him at a party. He remembered my name and added me on Facebook. We chatted online for a couple of weeks before he finally asked me out.

Conflict: None. He was totally sweet. Or so I thought.

Outcome: After three weeks of going out and making out, he changed his Facebook picture to one of him kissing another girl. ALL of our friends saw this. I called him immediately: "Are you trying to tell me something?" He answered: "Sorry, I didn't know how else to say it."

My two boyfriend disasters only confirmed what I already knew: teenage guys are less mature than teenage girls. Therefore, if I want to date my equal, I should date a guy who is at least twenty, which I would never do, because what sort of twenty-year-old would want to date someone still in high school?

It would've helped a lot to have someone to talk to during those relationships; someone nonjudgmental and anonymous like the Oracle of Dating would have been perfect. I never laugh at a client's concerns or get too preachy. I wish I could've given myself better advice at the time, but it's hard to see clearly when you're emotionally involved.

I decided there was only one solutionto put off dating until college, when the scales of maturity will start to balance. I simply don't have the emotional resilience to deal with immature high school guys. Which isn't to say I wouldn't change my mind if my ideal guy came along, but statistically, it's highly unlikely.

For those teenage girls who are brave enough to deal with teenage guys, and for anyone else who needs me, the Oracle of Dating is there. I do a lot of research so that I can give sensible advice. When I'm not sure of the answers, I tell my clients the Oracle will have to get back to them so that she can "meditate" on their dilemma. My advice is serious, though I've put "for entertainment purposes only" on my Web site so I don't get sued if something I suggest backfires. With all of this responsibility, I don't have time for a love life, anyway.

Besides, I'm not the one who needs a man, my sister does. Tracey is ten years older than I am, and has been coming to me for advice since I was twelve, often trusting my guy radar more than her own. She's even been afraid to introduce certain guys to me because she knows I'll see what she prefers not to see.

Tracey lives on the Upper East Side—it's about forty minutes from Brooklyn by subway. I usually meet her in Manhattan on weekends for lattes, which she insists on paying for. (She says it's fair, considering I don't charge her for advice.) I've also given lots of free advice to her friends. It was actually her best friend, Corinne, who called me the Oracle in the first place. After that, the name stuck.

Nothing would make me happier than to find a great match for Tracey. She's an amazing sister, and never makes me feel like a pain when I call her. She's kind, hardworking and selflesssometimes to a faultand I won't let her settle for anything less than she deserves. In any other city, she'd have been snatched up by some wonderful guy already, but New York is tricky, since there are far more single women than men, and the dating culture is downright strange. Since she's twenty-six now, I figure she has another few years of trying to find a good man before I'll suggest more extreme measures.

By extreme measures I mean going to Alaska. I see nothing wrong with that. People move for their careers—why not to find a man? In some parts of Alaska, single men outnumber women ten to one. Tracey would have absolutely no trouble finding a guy there. And I think an Alaskan manbig, strong, not afraid of bugs or heavy liftingwould complement Tracey's personality. The only problem is that she'd be so far away! I guess she'd have to convince her Alaskan man to move to, say, rural Vermont. Because Alaska is just the wrong time zone.

True, there's still a great woman-to-man ratio in the Silicon Valley in California, but I'd prefer she didn't marry a high-tech guy. Dad is in tech, and I don't want Tracey to end up with a guy like him. He and Mom divorced ten years ago, and since then, he's reverted back to the lifestyle he was meant for: the lifestyle of a bachelor. He's traveled the world with his company, living in Singapore, Johannesburg, Berlin and now in Ottawa, Canada. We only see him a couple of times a year, Christmas and summer vacation. And that's fine with me.

I remember the day he left. Mom and Dad sat down with Tracey and me, explaining that he was going to move out. Tracey didn't argue. I think she was sick to death of the fighting. But not me. I thought they should make it work. I used any rationale available to my six-year-old brain to stop them from breaking up. And when none of my arguments worked, I started to cry.

The truth is, Mom and Dad were a disaster from the start. I'm surprised Mom didn't see through his hollow charm right away, but I guess she was young and innocent, and trusted love. Too bad no one had the guts to stand up at the speak now or forever hold your peace part of their wedding, since the only things they had in common—good looks and ridiculous eighties hair—were not enough for a happily ever after.

It's a windy Sunday and I get off the 6 train at Seventy-seventh Street and Lexington to meet Tracey at Starbucks. I see all of the Sunday couples walking around holding hands. Sunday couples are young couples who stay over Saturday night (if you know what I mean) and have carefully assembled designer sweats, sneakers and baseball caps to wear on Sundays. They always look freshly showered and slightly hungover and you find them ordering greasy breakfasts at Second Avenue diners before spending their afternoons browsing shops, buying artwork for their tiny apartments and crowding neighborhood cafés so that I can hardly ever get a seat.

Tracey is looking beautiful today, though she has puffiness under her eyes, indicating that she either slept too little or too much. She has rich dark hair the color of a flourless chocolate cake and shining brown eyes to match. Her cheeks are slightly pink from the windy day, and her complexion is flawless. At five-nine, she's four inches taller than me, giving a sleek elegance to her figure that many girls would kill for.

As for me, I've inherited my dad's Shredded Wheat–colored hair and my mom's hazel eyes, which are mistaken for green or brown depending on the day, light conditions and my mood.

Today Tracey is wearing fresh unscuffed New Balance sneakers. Sunday is the only day of the week you won't find her in heels of at least two inchesan error in judgment, IMO, since it tends to narrow her pool of possible guys to those five-eleven and above. But I guess that's her choice, her preference being men over six feetnot always easy to find unless you're in Denmark or Norway.

She gives me a big hug and two European cheek kisses, and I know I'll have to take my compact out to see what lipstick smudges she left.

At the counter, we're served by a skinny guy we privately nicknamed Pip. He's there every weekend and talks like Mickey Mouse.

"Tall soy iced Tazo chai latte," he says to the huge guy behind the espresso machine.

"Tall soy iced Tazo chai latte," the huge guy repeats in a booming voice.

"Uh, no foam, please," Tracey adds.

Pip turns to me. "Miss?"

"I'll have a tall soy latte." (Lactose intolerance runs in the family, if you haven't guessed.)

We find a little table on the upper level in the midst of several twentysomethings on laptops.

Meet the Author

Allison van Diepen is the author of Street Pharm, Snitch, Raven, and Takedown. She teaches at an alternative high school in Ottawa, Canada. Visit her at AllisonvanDiepen.com.

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The Oracle of Dating (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even though i oy read the sample i think that this book is a wonerful book im glad i read it.let me tell you a story of what happened with my relationship. Wellme and my ex boyfriend innosence got together on august 23,2013.we had the best reationship we almost always were together and we had tons of things in common.he would call me or i would call him on the weekends.we always told our friends that we would be together so long tjat we would get married.well we were bolth wrong about that because.......... On december 9th,2013 mone week before my birthday.he boke up with me.he didnt bother to tell me instead my bestfriend and my friends all told me about it. Later that night i decided to call him and ask him why he broke up with me.he didnt want to tell me.the next there was a rumor going around that i cheated on him with some guy named cruz tjat i dont even know.i was so mad because he believed it.we became friends like three days later. The weekend came and i t was a day before my birhday and we were talking on the phone and before we hung up he said that he doesnt think that we should be friends.so ever scence then we havent actualy talked to each other.but i have 1st period with him and he sit where he can clearly see me.everdad this girl n scence then he does nothing but stare at me like he wants me back or something. Im like dude you broke up with me it was your decision not mine.i tried calling him today but he forwarded my calls.i guess that this means that it is for real. Its sad because now he is trying to get with my sister sierra and my best friend mackenzie and thi girl named jelissa. It makes sad and deppressed.
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BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
This was a very cute and funny read. I really enjoyed reading this book. And on the plus side, I learn a few new things. Kayla has a secret. She runs her own web site, helping out other people by giving them advice in their relationship problem. Until that is she lets her own relationship problems get in the way of her work. And someone discovers her secret.... Kayla is very mature for her age. I love the rules she set up for herself in order to avoid confilt with her website. She reads a lot and has a very good open relationship with her mother. I love how she was able to talk to her and not be afraid. She was also this way with her sister. I like the romance issue in this book. Everyone knows mixing work with relationship doesn't always flow well, but Jared is an acception. He was very smart and figure out things right away. I like his openedness towards her and how they were able to just be themselves with each other. With everything that Jared went through, he never allowed that to bring him down. He was a good student and worked hard. I love that this book had some great relationship advice. I learned quite a bit and wish this book was published sooner when I need some advice. It had some curse words, talk about sex, etc It was cute, fun, easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aik More than 1 year ago
The Oracle of Dating is an adorable young adult novel! It has a set of great characters, an interesting storyline, and some really cool dating advices! It's better than I'd expected! Kayla is an ordinary girl who has had two disastrous relationships before. She cleverly uses her knowledge about love relationships to create a website specialized to help teens in their love life. She is the oh-so-famous Oracle of Dating, and no one even knows it. She has a serious crush on fellow art class classmate, Jared, but is unsure about how he feels for her. Her best friend Viv is an Indian girl whose her parents will only let her date an Indian boy. The problem is, she is in love with a guy with white skin, and she doesn't know what to do. And so, she consults The Oracle of Dating. Kayla, being so excited about her friend's feelings, urges her to follow her heart. And so Viv does. When Viv's parents know about this, they decides to ground her for 6 weeks and Kayla starts to blame herself for this. Kayla, being a sister, is very protective of her older sister Tracey, who has been hurt a lot of times in love relationships. Kayla also gives advices to her sister and I can see that she really cares about Tracey. She can be pejorative sometimes, especially when it comes to love relationships. I love to see how Kayla's character grows as she learns about the things in life. I also enjoyed the presence of Jared because he sounds so amazing and is just the perfect match for Kayla. He is not a pushy or possessive guy, but acts just nice - like a friend, with a liking and closeness that is not overboard. They are such a sweet couple! :) Through this book, I can see that the author does have a great sense of humour. I laughed when I read this book because the descriptions of the scenes and the character's inner thoughts are quite hilarious sometimes. As most young adult novels, this book has no lacking of popular but mean characters. Overall, this was a fun, absorbing and out of the ordinary book. I'm now patiently waiting for the sequel, The Oracle Rebounds! I certainly won't miss it!
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
originally posted at www.aurorareviews.blogspot.com ***** There's much to like about this book: Kayla, the narrator, is smart, strong, savvy, and has a terrific, authentic teenage voice. The main characters and secondary characters alike are well developed, and broody, artistic Jared makes the perfect love interest for Kayla. I enjoyed the overall tone and pace of this book, too. It's fast, fun, and an easy read. Kayla gets caught up in her double life as an online dating guru until she realizes that her love-life advice might be hurting her friends, who don't know about her secret identity. Then she's forced to go it alone, facing her own dating troubles when Jared - who seems to like her but ends up dating shallow "It" girl Brooke - becomes a major crush in Kayla's life. Taking her own advice but also learning to risk her emotions makes for a satisfying happy ending. The story does suffer from a couple of glitches, though. Kayla gives relationship advice to anyone and everyone who finds her online, though she's a sixteen year old who's had just two minor relationships in her past. Yes, she does research and is pretty intuitive, but the sixteen year olds I know aren't mature enough to understand all the nuances of dating the way Kayla seems to. She also gives advice to Tracey, her older sister, who lives and works in Manhattan. Again, the role reversal of a teenager telling her twenty-something sister who to date and why didn't always ring true - and there were a lot of scenes with Tracey which sometimes took away from the main story action. Finally, though I absolutely love Jared's character, he's quite well-adjusted, eloquent and self-aware for a guy who's bounced around foster homes and spent time in juvenile detention. This contrast in characterization fell a little short for my taste. Overall, however, I really enjoyed The Oracle of Dating. I would definitely read another book by Allison van Diepen!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CiciBear26 More than 1 year ago
The Oracle of Dating by Allison van Diepen is a quirky, funny novel about friendship, love, and the power of blogging. A very cute and quick read that will entertain fans of Gena Showalter's Oh My Goth, Sarah Dessen, and Maureen Johnson. The Oracle of Dating is about Kayla, who-while hasn't had much experience in the dating field herself-runs a website/blog for teens: a blog dedicated to dating advice, and your deepest burning questions about dating being answered with either a quick IM or call to Kayla. Kayla's friends have no idea she's the Oracle: and why should she tell them? Sure it'd be cool for her friends to be proud in her for it, but honestly? Kayla doesn't think anyone would take it seriously, especially coming from a girl whose love life consists of two measly boyfriends. One of which can't even be considered a boyfriend. When Kayla becomes friends with cute, artsy, and completely cute, Jared Stewart, she finds herself falling; and falling fast. Jared is completely oblivious to her.or so Kayla thinks. Kayla needs advice, but how can the Oracle herself give advise to.herself? Add onto a few cases of advice-gone-wrong (including one with her BFF), and trying to find a perfect, compatible, person for her older sister, Kayla has a lot on her plate! The Oracle of Dating is ultimately a very cute novel. A novel that, while short, keeps readers hooked from its first page, well until its last sentence.
thebookscoop More than 1 year ago
...This book was too cute. I can't say that enough. Kayla's family and her friends were all great additions to an already great story. Jared was a fantastic hero and I cheered both him and Kayla on from the very beginning. The way they came together made me for a wonderful emotional roller coaster, a ride that would keep me coming back for more. It was like riding your favorite roller coaster for the first time. After it was over and done, you wanted to go on again. After I finished this, I flipped back and re-read my favorite parts of the book. It was that cute. I enjoyed the heck out of it and am giving it an A because obviously, I LOVED IT! To read the full review, visit http://thebookscoop.com
ChelseaW More than 1 year ago
Kayla is an oracle. An Oracle of Dating, to be specific. She doles out relationship advice to anyone who contacts her from her website (after paying a small fee!) and makes a pretty nice business out of it. But she must keep her Oracle identity a secret from her friends. If they knew Kayla was the Oracle, they would laugh, because Kayla's never been in a strong, long relationship. When suddenly some advice she gives out goes wrong, Kayla begins to doubt herself. To top it off, her on again/off again friendship (or more?) with classmate Jared is getting more confusing by the day. Kayla will need to learn to trust her own Oracle advice if she hopes to make it through these weird times. The Oracle of Dating is a short read, stuffed chock-full of relationship advice for the reader. I thought it was cool that she had her own website and blog, as so many teenagers do these days. Computer savvy girls are not all that prominent in fiction, so having Kayla be web smart is refreshing! The first-person speaking style of writing sometimes came across as very cutsie, making Kayla sound younger than the high school crowd, but there are some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Additionally, the specifically diverse crowd of friends (including the gay male!) seemed a little forced. All in all, this book will appeal to all girls who have ever had a mega-crush.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SomaRostam More than 1 year ago
Even if I am not a very good fan of contemporary; sometimes, you just need to get away from the books that discuss serious subjects and enjoy a light, fun read. I LOVED the aspect of this book, and I was surprised to hear that this is a series! Michaela, "Kayla" for short, has a job at at a store, a bunch of loyal friends, and a loving sister and mother. Well, aside from that, she is The Oracle of Dating, the author of a website that gives the best tips on teenage relationships, dating, and love. Judging from that, you would think that she had a hell lot of boyfriends. But, no. She only had two: Case Study no.1 and Case Study no.2. Apparently, she has learned a lot from them. Kayla is keeping dating at bay until college. She understands teenage boys and knows that she cannot have anything serious with them. But when she meets Jared, every rule flies out of the window. Jared is dark, mysterious, funny and an artist. Definitely not her type. Fortunately, the Oracle of Dating is getting famous, and Kayla gets to help many of her friends who don't even know that she is The Oracle. But not all the advice she gives works out in a good way... Why is Kayla keeping a secret identity? What will happen between her and Jared? Find out when you read this hilarious, love-able, realistic story of teenage love, angst, and cravings: The Oracle of Dating... I liked this book too freaking much. I never thought I would like it THAT much. The Oracle of Dating is funny. No, it's hilarious. Kayla has one of the most unique voices I have ever had the pleasure of digging into. She is witty, funny, friendly, and flirty :P I liked her so much. The characters are all very believable. Since the story is about teenagers, you wouldn't expect something serious, but it was fun nonetheless. I liked taking a break from the SERIOUS stuff. There was really nothing that I disliked about the book. And believe me, this book will appeal to everyone who is in for some good time and some serious laugh-out-loud moments. This book is one of the most enjoyable, lightest books I have read up until now! Aren't you annoyed at my constant babbling? I know you are. So, GO GET YOURSELF A COPY! You won't regret it, and if you do. I will send you back the money you spend on the book (Just kiddin').
epicrat More than 1 year ago
A pretty cute book with a pretty neat character who has a pretty cool website going on! When Kayla manages to pull together a speed-dating fundraiser at school, I thought that was pretty awesome! Nothing too deep and forever, but what a fun idea! The only thing that troubled me was when Kayla and her friends went "clubbing" with fake IDs - call me old-fashioned or what-have-you, but I wish there were other healthier and safer things that they could be doing!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
THE ORACLE OF DATING was a fun and flirty start to what I'm sure will be a great new series. The main character, Kayla, was extremely likable and I loved being able to read about her different experiences. She always kept a level head and never let anyone get the best of her. In addition to Kayla, she had a great group of friends who always supported her. They were a diverse group who went together perfectly. Each of them was unique and realistic, and Ms. van Diepen did a great job of getting into the head of a modern high school student. One of my favorite aspects of the novel was reading about Kayla's website - The Oracle of Dating. She gave out great advice and the website was such a huge part of her life. I understood how she wanted to keep it a secret, but I was happy her sister was in on it. Tracey was another fantastic character. She and Kayla had a great relationship, even though at times Kayla seemed like she was the older one, always giving Tracey advice and being a shoulder to lean on when her relationships didn't work out. The author has a great writing style and the book contained some serious sides, as well. Although Kayla spent a lot of her time giving out dating advice, she'd personally only had two failed relationships. Luckily, Jared enters the picture. I loved Jared. He was the perfect mix of sweet and bad boy that kept both Kayla and the reader guessing. It was great watching their relationship develop, and I was crossing my fingers that everything would work out for them. Overall, THE ORACLE OF DATING was a great - and original - novel that left me eager to start the sequel, THE ORACLE REBOUNDS, and to see what happens to Kayla and her friends next. I highly recommend picking this one up!