Review Detail

You Have a Match Featured
Young Adult Fiction 680
charming summer read of family, friends, and love
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
YOU HAVE A MATCH is a beautifully written YA contemporary about family, summer, forgiveness, and best friend crushes. Abby is the oldest of four, and she bears the weight of her parents' dreams, which includes lots of tutoring and no free time. Abby is still grieving the loss of her grandfather who helped to raise her and introduced her to a love of photography. When her friends agree to send away for a DNA test, Abby agrees to participate to be a good sport.

However, what she finds is that she has a full sister that she had never heard of - one born a year and a half before her. Knowing that her parents have been keeping this secret for a long time and not sure how much she wants to rock the boat, Abby finds a way to meet her. Savvy has the perfect life, complete with being a wellness guru and instagram famous. To attempt to know each other more, and learn why their parents have kept this secret from them, Savvy asks Abby to come to the camp where she'll be working.

As they spend the summer together, they will try to get to the bottom of the secrets their parents have been hiding and connect with the sister they had never known that they had.

What I loved: This was an intriguing coming-of-age story with some important themes. Abby is trying to find her way in the world between what her parents want for her and what she wants for herself. She feels disconnected from herself and her family. Meeting Savvy is changing the way she looks at the people around her, particularly her parents, her place in the family, and the ways she interacts with the world. Abby experiences a lot of growth and self-realizations throughout the book.

Abby also has a huge crush on her BFF, but she knows he does not feel the same way. Ever since the big embarrassing event, she has felt cast adrift from him. This romance is a delightful secondary plot, and I loved watching their interactions and feeling Abby's yearning for the more she is missing. Savvy also has her own thing going, and without giving spoilers, I loved watching that one too.

One of my favorite themes of the book is about forgiveness. Pretty much every character makes mistakes and does things they regret - which felt so real. The way that each of these is handled with grace, love, and forgiveness is really lovely. I appreciated seeing characters with flaws, who make mistakes, reflect upon them, and atone for them, being treated in return with acceptance (realistically, not always immediate).

As DNA tests become more common, more people are finding family they did not know they had. This twist is an interesting impetus to figuring out who you are and what you want, connecting with family, and living your own truths. As another small note, I also appreciated that the main character struggles with academics, and her future shows a path that does not require academic intensity - this is something shown less often in YA, so the inclusion of this smaller theme was great.

Final verdict: YOU HAVE A MATCH is a charming YA contemporary about family, friends, and love. Highly recommend for fans of MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT, JUST A BOY AND A GIRL IN A LITTLE CANOE, and THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS.
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