Author: Suri Rosen
Rating: ★★★ (3/5 Stars)
Paperback, 248 Pages
*Publication Date: September 9th, 2014*
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Summary: When 16-year-old Raina Resnick is expelled from her Manhattan private school, she’s sent to live with her strict aunt — but Raina feels like she’s persona non grata no matter where she goes. Her sister, Leah, blames her for her broken engagement, and she’s a social pariah at her new school. In the tight-knit Jewish community, Raina finds she is good at one thing: matchmaking! As the anonymous "MatchMaven,” Raina sets up hopeless singles desperate to find the One. A cross between Jane Austen’s Emma, Dear Abby, and Yenta the matchmaker, Raina’s double life soon has her barely staying awake in class. Can she find the perfect match for her sister and get back on her good side, or will her tanking grades mean a second expulsion? In her debut novel, Suri Rosen creates a comic and heartwarming story of one girl trying to find happiness for others, and redemption for herself.
I received a copy of this book from the lovely Michelle over at ECW Press in exchange for an honest review, and this was a really enjoyable, lighthearted read that I encourage everyone to pick up and try. The story is told from the point of view of Raina, a sixteen year old teenage girl who accidentally sets up two people on the city bus one day..and then word spreads, and she becomes the anonymous Matchmaven--setting up couples left and right.
The story was lighthearted and I finished it rather quickly, because Rosen created a great voice within Raina--she was equal parts childish and wise, and even though I know nothing about the Jewish community, she provided just enough insight on the customs. She was informative on everything that the reader needed to understand the story, but didn't overdue it and turn the novel into a religious lesson.
Another character that I really liked was Bubby--especially because she was a lot more cunning than she looked. Man, I wish I had a Bubby.
Plus, there were a couple of plot twists within the story that had me shocked and eager to keep reading. I definitely had a slight case of "Just One More Chapter" Disease with this story! It was a very good YA contemporary that made me giggle, laugh, cry, wince and gasp at all of the right parts.
All in all, Playing With Matches was a lighthearted, amusing read that I enjoyed and recommend to anyone looking for a break from dark, gloomy novels. Suri Rosen is definitely a promising writer and I can't wait to read more of her work! :-)
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Did this review make Playing With Matches sound like something you would want to read? If so, it's your lucky day, because we're giving away one paperback copy of Playing With Matches by Suri Rosen! The giveaway ends Saturday, September 20th @ 12:00am EST, and you can enter by clicking **HERE!**. Good luck!
PLEASE NOTICE: I received a copy of Playing With Matches from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Neither the publisher nor the author saw this review before it was published. All opinions and thoughts stated in the review are entirely my own.
Thank you to ECW Press for allowing us to be a part of the Playing With Matches blog tour!