*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: A Match Made in Mehendi
Author: Nandini Bajpai
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Simran “Simi” Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the “gift.” But Simi is an artist, and she doesn’t want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah’s social status. Armed with her family’s ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course. But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys’ soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.
I absolutely loved A Match Made in Mehendi. In the style of When Dimple Met Rishi, this novel tells a story of love, friendship, and high school years, infused with deep cultural tradition and modern technology. Simi is a fantastic character. Artistic, thoughtful, and clever, she and her friend Noah are seeking to make the most of their high school year. They want to make it unforgettable, so with Simi’s brother, they take the tradition of matchmaking that has run in their family for generations and combine it with Navdeep’s tech savvy skills to create an app that ignites the interest of their high school peers.
This story has the perfect bit of sweetness and high school drama, without being too much. Simi and Noah are fun-loving and honest characters. Their friendship is truly the essence of what high school is about. The romances in this book feel authentic and not over the top. This book is about friendship, family, and staying true to one’s identity above all else. It’s a unique and up-beat tale and is the perfect YA read to kick off this fall. Publishing in Canada in early September of this year, I’d say it’s one of this year’s contemporary YA must reads. It was a complete joy to read.