Nothing Personal: My Secret Life in the Dating App Inferno

Hachette. May 2021. 384p. ISBN 9780316492744. $28. SOC SCI
With this latest work, best-selling author Sales (American Girls; The Bling Ring) adds her voice to the conversation about dating apps and societal expectations that reduce unpartnered women’s bodies and identities to sociosexual disposability. She shares her personal dating mishaps and misgivings about dating apps in raw, rhetorically sophisticated anecdotes that draw attention to broader issues of sex, sexuality, aging, isolation, and the value we give ourselves and others. As Sales attempts to date again, she finds herself becoming interested in broader societal issues, including recent lawsuits involving Tinder and OkCupid. Sales acknowledges her own privilege as a white woman and explores how dating apps reinforce misogyny and racism and emphasize appearance above all else. Her book is especially valuable in its refusal to accept social scripts related to women’s aging bodies; it might strip away some of the apprehension women have about using technology in smart and safe ways.
VERDICT Refreshingly candid throughout, Sales’s memoir and investigation of the history of love and intimacy will engage readers who have found themselves dating later than they expected.
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