Book Review–Playing With Matches by Suri Rosen




This is the 55th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.



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Playing With Matches by Suri Rosen
Published September 9th 2014 by ECW Press


A cross between Jane Austen’s Emma, Dear Abby, and Yenta the matchmaker!

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 secret life catch up with her?

In this debut novel, Suri Rosen creates a comic and heartwarming story of one girl trying to find happiness for others, and redemption for herself.




I won a copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway program. Many thanks to the publisher/author for giving me the chance to read and review this book from the Goodreads First Reads program.

To be perfectly honest, I had a shaky start with this book. While the synopsis sounded really interesting and I loved the cover, the beginning wasn’t doing much for me. The story started off kind of slow, the baseball stuff confused/annoyed me, and then there was the character of Raina (Rain), who was unlikable at first. Which I guess is ironic considering how Raina believes others feel about her during the course of the book. I guess about halfway in, I was in love with this book and the characters–including Rain.

I’ve never seen a book like this before. I know little about Jewish culture, but the entire matchmaking was fascinating. I loved the direction that the matchmaking went in this book and felt the author did a great job presenting the pros and cons of the services Rain provided.

While the story itself is interesting and flies by pretty quickly, it’s the characters that really make my heart feel warm and fuzzy inside. I loved the relationships between Rain and her sister, other family members (especially Bubby), her clients, her principal, and the old professor (who reminds me of Arthur Abbott from The Holiday). Rain also has some pretty awesome character development. She really grows during the course of the book, which makes this into a sort of coming-of-age book as well.

It was also refreshing to see a book about romance without the main character being involved in actual romance. The dates were fun to read about, too.

In fact, the entire book was light-hearted and quirky yet also had its emotional moments. I’m really happy that I got the chance to read this one, and can’t wait to see what else Suri Rosen has written/will write. I’d love to see more books like this. Loved it and definitely recommend.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.










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