Posted in Reviews

A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai

A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai – ⭐⭐⭐

Recommended: sure
For those curious about Indian matchmaking customs, for a quick cute-enough read

I find this quite a cute cover

Fifteen-year-old Simran “Simi” Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers, who are intensely excited to discover Simi accidentally sets up an excellent match in the family. But Simi is an artist, and she refuses to spend her life in the outdated family business… until her best friend Noah convinces her it’s the key to finding popularity. Armed with her family’s ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course. When the top match sets up the new girl with the school’s star soccer player, Simi turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.

I definitely enjoyed this book, and it was a pretty quick read for me. I’ve been looking forward to it for months and was really excited to finally get a copy! It was about what I expected: a lightweight feel-good read with a focus on characters over events.

Honestly, what I loved most about this was learning so much about Indian customs and cultures, even just the word “Desi” and what that meant. Getting a small brush with the custom of matchmaking and seeing it in modern day was interesting since I’ve always wondered how the heck that was ever a thing. The reasoning and history in here made sense! And made it seem really lovely, in the end, which was a good counterpoint to the “forced arranged marriage” that matchmaking sometimes comes across as.

Everything else was just kind of carried by it, for me. The romances were pretty predictable, the confrontations and conflicts were pretty minuscule and low risk, and the actions of the MC that led up to the Big Mistake for the Conflict was such an obviously bad idea on her part that it was hard to sympathize (and also, there was no surprise). The reaction the school had to part of the conflict felt incredibly unrealistic to me, having worked in schools, and having some high-schoolers set up a low-key sting operation instead? O-kay….

There was also the running issue for Simi on whether she would take over the family business or pursue her own passion and talent. This kept getting brought up, but then the issue was resolved in one sentence in two paragraphs in the last chapter. It felt really oversimplified, to the point that I couldn’t help but think “So if that’s all it took, why was this such a big deal in the first place?”

So, decent cute read, but definitely some things I didn’t love about it. For me, the most interesting aspect of it was cultural, so if that’s what’s drawing you in as well, go for it! If you’re looking for cutesy matchmaking moments of romance, you might be a little disappointed.

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Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

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