Review by Sophia Ayub
Miss Match tells the story of a young matchmaker Amber Sands, who is ‘always the matchmaker, never the match.’ Like most young people, she faces difficulties finding love and the book highlights the struggles teenagers face.
Few appreciate Amber’s talent, as being a matchmaker isn’t exactly viewed, let’s say, with as much respect as the talents of a witch or a precog. Funnily enough, Amber’s mum is a witch (descending from a largely respected and powerful lineage of sorcerers) and her best friend is a precog, who possesses the power to envision the future. Not carrying on her family’s legacy makes it difficult for her to deal with being a matchmaker. As you can probably tell already, throughout the book there’s a continuous note of irony, derived from the fact that Amber is an expert on love, yet she is perceived to be of little worth by those who possess a more ‘valued talent’. This isn’t to say that Amber is any less powerful than other mystical beings, but she nevertheless finds herself living in an unfortunate position in the undeniable hierarchy which exists.
The story involves Amber falling for one of the most popular boys in school, who she becomes acquainted with when he decides to approach her for help. As their friendship grows, she opens his eyes to the magic of everyday life.
What Cestari has done throughout the book is turned an everyday teen romance into an exciting and thrilling adventure, just by adding a touch of magic. When Amber introduces Charlie to the magical aspects to everyday life, you can’t help but take notice of just how much of our surroundings go unnoticed. We don’t necessarily find ourselves interacting with magical creatures on a day to day basis, however Cestari has provided us with imaginative access into this world, which I appreciate in a book.
The writing style is clear and easy to understand, providing a clear portrayal of Amber and her personality, especially her sarcastic and witty disposition. There were elements that did come across as quite cheesy, though this is typical of novels within the young adult genre.
What I enjoyed most about this book was probably the accuracy of Amber’s character, as she voiced opinions which I myself possessed as a teen. I quite liked seeing this classic teen romance being presented on a more magical platform; it just makes it all the more entertaining.
Fans of books such as Moxie and Girl Online will enjoy this read!