Thursday, October 17, 2019

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
[Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway]

Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the 10 Blind Dates blog tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. I'm thrilled I get to share my thoughts on this book with you! Thank you for stopping by, and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

Author: Ashley Elston
Pub. Date: October 1, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 336
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD

Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship.

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents' house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That's when her Nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she's started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever . . . or is it?

"This piece-by-piece romance doesn't need its Christmas theme to sell, but it makes it glitter all the more."—Booklist

"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 cleverly reflects the family members' personalities through their choices of dates for Sophie."—Publishers Weekly


I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

10 Blind Dates was my first holiday read of the year! I'm happy to report it was heartwarming and absolutely adorable. I loved the family dynamics! Most of the characters in this book were related, and I really enjoyed seeing how they interacted with each other. There were so many aunts, uncles, and cousins! It would've been easy to get lost in the chaos, but there was something comforting about it too.

I do have a couple of issues... the first one being the number of blind dates Sophie goes on. It was pretty obvious from the beginning who she would end up with, so after a certain point the dates started to feel like a waste of time. I would've liked to see their relationship develop a little more, but it's just a brief blip at the end. Additionally, her relationship with Griffin was weird. He was a stalker, and I really wish that had been addressed. He messaged her nonstop after the breakup, commented on what she was doing with other guys, and showed up unexpectedly on multiple occasions (even going so far as to reach out to one of her cousins for information about where she'd be). It was icky. He was icky.

The dates themselves were super fun, and I'm actually a little jealous of her adventures! I'm happy I was able to live vicariously through her, if only for a few hours. The family hijinks and shenanigans, the betting pool, and the dating activities had me laughing out loud and grinning like a fool! It was also nice that some of her previous dates popped up sporadically throughout the rest of the book. 10 Blind Dates was never boring, and even managed to surprise me a time or two. A few of her dates were really lovely, while others were a train wreck you couldn't look away from.

Sophie's family was probably my favorite thing about this book! They all live near each other, so her grandmother's house is always full of people and food (really, really good food). This book made me crave a cannoli! Everyone wanted to participate in Sophie's blind dates, because they wanted to see her smile and have fun. They were invested in her happiness, which was sweet and made my heart feel full. It's not a perfect family, but the love is there and that's what matters. I really liked the relationship between the Fab Four, and wish they'd been able to do more together as a group. They're included on a few of the dates, but I think more isolated moments with them would have been fun! Charlie is hilarious, Olivia is a fierce friend, and Wes is very much The Boy Next Door.

I thought all of the dates were creative and believable, and I'm happy Sophie was willing to take the time she needed to sort through her feelings. She didn't waver whenever Griffin claimed he wanted her back, but she was internally conflicted over what to do. Her emotions and responses felt honest and relatable, but she was also willing to admit when something wasn't working. She gave herself some much needed room to breathe, and she remembered what it was like to be surrounded by people who loved her.

The side story with her sister was stressful! It added another emotional layer to the story, and some long-distance driving. I don't want to give too much away, because it was fun trying to guess what Sophie's dates would be before she went on them, but Sara's choice was my favorite! Also, I wish the characters had been fleshed out just a smidge more, but it wasn't a huge issue. There was so much good to focus us! Simply put, 10 Blind Dates was a fun and entertaining read that I enjoyed immensely!

About Ashley: 

Ashley Elston is the author of several novels, including THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING (a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Awards) and THIS IS OUR STORY. She graduated with a Liberal Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Ashley worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Louisiana with her husband and three sons. 

Ashley is represented by Sarah Davies at The Greenhouse Literary Agency.

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of 10 BLIND DATES, US Only.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
10/1/2019- BookHounds YA- Excerpt
10/2/2019- Odd and Bookish- Review
10/3/2019- Fictitiouswonderland- Review
10/4/2019- Here's to Happy Endings- Review

Week Two:
10/7/2019- PopTheButterfly Reads- Excerpt
10/8/2019- Read. Eat. Love.- Review
10/9/2019- Paper Reader- Review
10/10/2019- A Bookish Dream- Review
10/11/2019- Savings in Seconds- Review
Week Three:
10/14/2019- book briefs- Review
10/15/2019- Shelf-Rated- Review
10/16/2019- Smada's Book Smack- Review
10/17/2019- Do You Dog-ear?- Review
10/18/2019- Wishful Endings- Review

Week Four:
10/21/2019- Southern Girl Bookaholic- Review
10/22/2019- Eli to the nth- Review
10/23/2019- Review
10/24/2019- Fire and Ice- Review
10/25/2019- Two points of interest- Review

Week Five:
10/28/2019- Riddle’s Reviews- Review
10/29/2019- Jena Brown Writes- Review
10/30/2019- Moonlight Rendezvous- Review
10/31/2019- Novel Novice- Review 


  1. What an intriguing idea to check out potential partners. There's no way I would ever have trusted my family to set me up on dates!!

    1. I thought the same thing, haha! Sophie's family was pretty great (with a few exceptions), but even the terrible dates were fun to experience! :)

  2. I am excited to read this one. I grew up with a big extended family and love seeing that in books. Cannot wait to meet Sophie's family.

    1. I hope you love them as much as I did! I only have one brother, and two cousins that were weren't born until I was in high school. My dad's family was estranged, so while he does have a large family, I don't know any of my relatives on that side. It's really sad actually, and I hate that I missed out on knowing them.

  3. Oh I love the sound of this! The blurb wouldnt have sold it to me on it's own but your review did! I'll definitely be adding it to the amazon list.

    1. I'm so happy I took a chance on this one! I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of drama, especially since this book is about one girl and 10 different dates. Her ex-boyfriend causes some tension, but not enough to make me cringe. He was just icky in general.

  4. I've seen the same complaint about the number of dates but I'm still excited to read this one. Sounds super cute!

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. I wish they'd stopped after three, but I can see how ten was more marketable as a title and idea. It seems more... romantic? I don't know... It was super cute though! ;)

  5. I haven't read this book or this author but it does sound pretty good. Thanks for the great review.

    1. Thanks, Mary! I don't see a lot of YA on your blog, and this book is full of teen angst, haha. I thought it was well done though -- believable without being obnoxious.

  6. This sounds adorable, and I'm on the lookout for holidays reads this year!

  7. This sounds really fun---I can see how it might have felt a little useless once you knew who she was going to end up with, but it sounds like the overall story was enjoyable enough to make up for that.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I just wish they'd gotten together sooner, because it WAS romantic! <3

  8. Sophie’s family sound wonderful! I’m not usually a fan of a couple getting together at the very end. I like seeing more of the couple together. But this still sounds super sweet and fun! :)

    1. Same. Not having them get together until the very end makes me feel cheated, haha. I always want more romance! <3 If the author had shortened the number of dates and nixed the stalker ex-boyfriend, it would have been pretty perfect. She needed to allow time for Sophie to find and enjoy her love interest before the end of the book. ;)

  9. This sounds like a fun book! It would make a fun movie, too.

    1. Oh! Yes! I do think it would make a lovely movie. :)

  10. Yeah, I think I will be bored by the third date, to be honest. it seems to be the general consensus about this book.

    1. I really liked the concept, but once it was obvious who she would end up with, it started to feel tedious. I wish she'd cancelled the rest of her planned dates to develop her relationship with the guy she actually wanted to be with. Even her other dates could tell she was interested in someone else.


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