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.
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.
Playing With Matches immerses readers into an Orthodox Jewish community, which is something that I am incredibly unfamiliar with. As a result, I was a bit wary about giving it a read; after all, what if all of the references go completely over my head? Thankfully, my fears were completely unfounded. The narration was both interesting and informative, allowing me to follow the story with ease.
Rain was an easy character to sympathize with. Her narration was quirky and cute, and I loved watching how her role as Matchmaven changed her from a self-absorbed teenager to someone considerably more considerate. I also enjoyed how Rain was not given a love interest; the focus of the story was on her relationship with her family and clients, and I feel as though her involvement in a romantic relationship would have taken away from that.
Overall, Playing With Matches was a cute, light, fun read. I look forward to seeing what Suri Rosen writes next!
Thanks to ECW Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.