book review

A Match Made in Mehendi|Book Review

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40697008.jpgTitle: A Match Made in Mehendi

Author: Nandini Bajpai

Pages: 320

Rating:

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Simran “Simi” Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the “gift.”

But Simi is an artist, and she doesn’t want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah’s social status. Armed with her family’s ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course.

But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys’ soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher to review but all thoughts are my own.

Quotes in this book are from the ARC so they are subjected to change in the published version

Spoiler Free Review

Simi is a sophomore in high school and she wants this year to be different. She wants to stop being a klutz and join some clubs. While she wants to reinvent herself at school, at home she can’t quite escape the past of her family. For generations her family has been in the business of matchmaking, but Simi wants nothing more then to turn her back to the job and become an artist instead. Except Simi’s best friend Noah does exactly the opposite. Noah convinces Simi along with her brother Navdeep to create a matchmaking app for their peers. When the app goes live, it instantly becomes a hit and almost every student is on it. Soon the two are shoved in front of the spotlight as their app becomes popular. However this paints an even bigger target on Simi.

Freshman year Simi has an incident with the school bully Amanda and ever since then they’ve been at odds. So when the spotlight turns onto Simi and her app Matched!, Amanda is not happy. This book has a subplot of bullying and it brought another element to the book. Throughout the book there are constant scenes where Amanda is bullying Simi, but Simi doesn’t take it. No matter what Amanda did, Simi did not back down and let Amanda scare her. I really admired how tough Simi was when dealing with Amanda, if I was her I’m sure I would of broke down in tears. There is a situation at the end of the book and I loved how Simi’s mom went off on the schools principle and how Simi took action to bring the culprit down.

Simi was really the only well rounded character. We get to see her be tough when dealing with Amanda, be clumsy on multiple accounts, along with being a very caring friend. But we don’t get to see anything close to that with the other characters. A character I would like to have seen more developed was Noah. Noah and Simi are best friends but I feel that we didn’t get to really see that, I wished we got more scenes of them just simply being besties because we didn’t really get that. The scenes we did get with the two of them were mainly them talking/developing Matched! One scene that I did like in the end that showed their friendship was where something really horrible happened to Noah and Simi just rushed out of class to check in with him. That was the once scene where I felt we really got to see the depth of their friendship and how much Simi cares for Noah.

The writing in this book was simple. There was nothin extraordinary about it or unique really., but I think that will appeal more to those who are younger that are reading YA. In the beginning I wasn’t quite a fan of it and I felt the author took writing in the voice of a 15 year old a little too far in a sense. For example, “But nope. I got nothing. Sad face.” This sentence/quote just really irked me and in the following pages there were some more sentences similar to it. As the story went on I didn’t find any sentences that were similar to that so the writing didn’t bother me and it definitely made it easier to get through and enjoy the book.

I enjoyed the plot. It wasn’t anything super amazing and unique but I think the representation it had added some uniqueness to the story. I really liked the representation this book had. There is LGBTQ+ rep along with the main character being of a colored family and Indian.

Simi is really into mehendi and I liked the aspect that brought to the book. It made me smile when these girls from her school were asking her to do designs on them. It was cool to see Simi experiment with mehendi as a medium for her art class.

In the end this was an enjoyable contemporary read. I flew through this book and ended up finishing it in a day. I enjoyed the story and the representation that it brought. Simi was an enjoyable main character and although she got on my nerves at time within the next pages she would make up for it. I’m definitely interested in what Bajpai is going to write next!

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