This review is spoiler-free!
A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: September 10th 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Find it here: Goodreads || Book Depository
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.
I picked this one up because it looked like the cute, fluffy read it ended up being, but I would be lying if I hadn’t hoped for a little bit more from the story than we ended up getting.
I know, I know. I went in hoping for something relatively light and then was disappointed when it didn’t have a whole lot of substance, so that one is on me. I guess once I got into the story itself, I was invested and wanted more. And this just wasn’t that kind of story. Cute! But not that kind of story.
I did have a few other issues with the story that were not related to my want for a bigger overarching plot or what have you. For example: some things that happened seemed a little too perfect. Very convenient, basically, without naming any spoilers. The whole idea of a dating app brought into existence thanks a very crucial part of Simi’s culture (the women in her family are matchmakers) was super cool, and I really loved how those aspects bounced off of each other as the story progressed, but there were points where it just felt a little… too perfect, you know? If it were me in Simi’s place, the whole thing would have blown up like a garbage fire, but. Maybe that’s just me. Anyway.
I liked Noah, her best friend who also happens to be gay, but the big issue I had was that Noah himself seemed very GBF. Which, I thought we left behind in the early 00s? We really don’t need to bring that trope back. There were tons of tropes in this book, to be honest, why did that one have to be included? OH, speaking of jam-packed with tropes…
There was one part that I seriously did not like. I won’t specify since it’s definitely a spoiler and I think it’s meant to be some kind of poorly-done twist or something (which makes it even worse, honestly, I was not happy), but it has to do with the apparently-crucial-to-the-plot-because-why-else-would-they-be-like-that bully. When I got to the part I’m taking about here, and, if you’ve read the book, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about, I almost put it down. I guess it’s also a trope, but, good god. Not a good one by any means. If you want to know what it is, I suggest looking up triggers for this book, because I have no doubt it’s included. For such a fluffy book, I really don’t think it needed to be included.
But, other than that? A fun, quick and easy read with a really creative premise. I look forward to reading more from Bajpai!
Thanks for reading!