Friday, February 7, 2020

A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai - ADVISABLE

A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai 320 pages Little, Brown and Company, 2019 $18.

Language: G (0 swears);  Mature Content: PG (Teen Dating); Violence: G.



15yo Simran comes from a family of matchmakers. Her mother, grandmother and generations before were Vichole - women who help parents find the perfect marriages for their children. Simran does not want to go into the family business, but, she is good at lining people up - so with the help of an app her brother created but a "guidebook" handed down from her grandmother, she starts a matchmaking service at her high school, hoping to up her social position. But when she doesn't match the school bully with her preferred boyfriend, things start to go awry.

I loved that Simi was always ready to give someone a mehindi (a henna tattoo) - it made me want to get one myself. I loved her relationship with her best friend Noah - although he's gay and part of the story, he doesn't play the role of "gay best friend". The app was inclusive so Noah and others could get matched with whomever they preferred, and Simi was also looking for a match for herself - but not through the app. The bully is pretty mean - emotionally - and she felt stereotypical, but otherwise I loved the characters, particularly Simran's family. A comfortable, delightful, happy romantic comedy - quite funny with a good amount of Indian culture. 

Lisa Librarian

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