If you’ve read my reviews before, you know how I feel about chick lit most of the time. I have a hard time finding any substance in it and just can’t find satisfaction in all the fluff. That said, I’m pregnant and extra emotional and I’ve been looking for girly books for summer that have substance to them. To my delight, I was able to find just that in Maddie Dawson’s Matchmaking for Beginners!
I have to admit, I pretty much chose this book based on the cover. The colors and the art grabbed my eye right away, and matchmaking is a cute premise for a girly read. The cover actually reminded me a bit of Candace Bushnell’s One Fifth Avenue, which I read a couple years ago (cover here) and always end up comparing other chick lit to.
Matchmaking for Beginners begins with our main character, Marnie, basically getting left at the altar. She convinces her fiance to go through with marrying her, but the relationship falls completely apart on their honeymoon. Devastated, Marnie lives in their apartment alone while she figures out what to do with her life. In her grief, she also goes a little nuts at her job and loses that too. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, her parents end up coming to check on her and insist on taking her back home to Florida to live with them.
I can’t go into any more plot without giving it away, so if you’re intrigued I guess you’ll have to pick it up!
Anyway, I found Marnie to be somewhat like a typical main character in a chick lit novel, but unlike many of the others, she had some elements of bravery and panache that I really liked and identified with. She plays the victim for a while, but then picks herself up by the bootstraps and asserts herself in a way that made the book for me.
However, my favorite character was the definitely the quirky aunt Blix. Blix is actually her ex’s aunt, whom she met just once at their engagement party. Some of the chapters switch at that point to being narrated by Blix, who instantly sees something in Marnie that she has herself: an ability to matchmake. There’s a bit of a magical/mystical element to the story that begins with Blix and sort of permeates through Marnie.
Overall, I thought this book was cute and a fun, girly summer read. This is one I’ll recommend to my friends!
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Lake Union Publishing for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review!
About Matchmaking for Beginners
Hardcover: 370 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (June 1, 2018)
Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.
When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness. Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps.
And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most.
About Maddie Dawson
Maddie Dawson grew up in the South, born into a family of outrageous storytellers. Her various careers as a substitute English teacher, department-store clerk, medical-records typist, waitress, cat sitter, wedding-invitation-company receptionist, nanny, day care worker, electrocardiogram technician, and Taco Bell taco maker were made bearable by thinking up stories as she worked. Today she lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with her husband. She’s the bestselling author of five previous novels: The Survivor’s Guide to Family Happiness, The Opposite of Maybe, The Stuff That Never Happened, Kissing Games of the World, and A Piece of Normal.
Connect with Maddie
Instagram tour stops:
Monday, May 28th: @girlsinbooks
Monday, May 28th: @booknerdingout
Tuesday, May 29th: @createexploreread
Thursday, May 31st: @spinatale
Friday, June 1st: @bribookishconfessions
Friday, June 1st: @beccasbookishlife
Saturday, June 2nd: @ladyofthelibrary
Saturday, June 2nd: @jessislibrary
Wednesday, June 13th: @chaptershoe
Review tour stops:
Monday, May 28th: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, May 29th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, May 29th: BookNAround
Wednesday, May 30th: What is That Book About – guest post
Thursday, May 31st: Kahakai Kitchen
Friday, June 1st: Not in Jersey
Tuesday, June 5th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Wednesday, June 6th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, June 8th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, June 11th: A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, June 12th: Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot
Wednesday, June 13th: Books & Bindings
Monday, June 18th: bookchickdi
Tuesday, June 19th: Literary Quicksand
Thursday, June 21st: Chick Lit Central – author Q&A
Thursday, June 21st: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, June 25th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
TBD: Snowdrop Dreams
TBD: Books a la Mode – guest post
TBD: A Chick Who Reads
TBD: Laura’s Reviews