From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord's You Have a Match, a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood... When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it's mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie...although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front. But she didn't know she's a younger sister. When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it's hard to believe they're from the same planet, never mind the same parents ― especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself. The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby's parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp's co-chef, putting Abby's growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything. But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.
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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.