Miss Match by Crystal Cestari
Date read: 2nd February 2018 – 3rd February 2018
Page count: 336
Genre: Young Adult magical realism
Format: Kindle Edition (arc from NetGalley)
I received this arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was not what I thought it was when I first requested it on NetGalley. I thought it was the story of a girl who happens to have matchmaking powers, who goes on her own adventure through her city in order to achieve some kind of personal goal.
Instead, Miss Match is actually just the story of a girl that is a matchmaker, with special powers, living in a world where magic is ordinary. Her mother is a witch, her best friend can see the future, and they’re all running around trying to find a missing magical creature that seems to have (pretty much literally) stolen the heart of a family friend).
Amber Sand is the titular matchmaker of this novel, and she is a really well rounded, interesting main character. I think some of her characteristics are a little juvenile, considering her age (which I think is around sixteen/seventeen), but she still manages to be likeable. Most of the story centres around her complicated relationship with her witch mum, and her worry that her less powerful magical power will somehow make her less important in the eyes of Chicago’s magical population.
I honestly didn’t understand the need to make Amber live in a world of magic – I think it would have worked much, much better to just have her have this weird, unsourceable power that seems completely out of place in an otherwise normal world. Something like a matchmaking power, or the ability to see soulmate bonds, could definitely work in that kind of scenario, and would probably have made for a much more interesting story.
One of the main themes of this novel (probably the number one main theme) was the concept that soulmates sometimes just don’t actually work together, even though they technically should. I am a hopeless romantic at the best of times, and after reading ACOMAF my slightly strange obsession with soulmates has just become even worse. However, I did really love this part of the story, as it’s not something I think I’ve ever come across, in YA or any other genre.
Overall, I gave this a solid 3 stars, as I did enjoy the characters, and the central message of the story, although the world could have been missed out and I would have been much happier with this.