Confession: I’m attracted to my student’s dad. Let me give you Tyler Dixon’s resume: thoughtful, manly, father of the year, widower, ridiculously attractive (basically the opposite of a dad bod).
This might sound like good news for someone like me—someone who dreams of getting married and becoming a mom—but it’s not. Getting involved with a parent is grounds for immediate removal at my school, and right now, my fragile heart can’t handle being fired. My mom just died. My boyfriend broke up with me, and to top it all off, my dad started dating again. Stable employment is the only good thing I have. Risking my job and my heart is the most foolish thing I could do.
Being a widower isn’t like the movies. There’s not a block of women knocking on my door, bringing me casseroles every day. No, real life is work, laundry, and groceries—all while being both the mom and the dad. I’m pretty much failing at this single-parent thing. I don’t have time to date. Which is good since the only woman I’m interested in keeps pushing me away: Miss Johnson. Emphasis on the Miss—as in, my son’s teacher. It’s hard to convince a woman to go out with you when she’ll get fired. But it’s either pursuing Meg, despite her job, or the never-ending depths of loneliness—no big deal.
I recently had the joy of reading *Compared* by Kortney Keisel. I saw it pop up on Instagram with the quote, “Good looks come and go, but being a dependable dad is something that is attractive forever,” and I thought, Yes, I love the good dad trope!
This book did not disappoint. I don’t read very many romantic comedies, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It was easy for me to get invested in the characters and storyline, and the alternating POV between Meg and Tyler wasn’t confusing to follow.
Things I like about this novel:
- “clean:” only kissing scenes, no sex scenes
- wholesome single dad trope
- characters processing through grief and loss in a relatable
- a theme of not comparing yourself to others (which we all need to hear, right?)
Things I dislike about this novel:
- Diane’s controlling grandmother vibes bothered me, but it fit really well into the theme of the book.
As a cherry on top, Ms. Keisel’s writing is really good, in my opinion. I highlighted a few sentences that made me think, Wow, that’s some powerful imagery right there. As an example, Meg says, “I want to roll myself inside this manila folder and squish it into the back of a filing cabinet… like way in the back, where no one can reach.”
In conclusion, I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs an easy read or who enjoys romantic comedies. I give this book five stars.