Title: The Match Breaker Summer | Author: Annie Rains | Publisher: Random House Children | Genre: YA
Since the blogtour is over, I can now write and publish my review. I had a lot of thoughts, I hope you are ready. Still, thanks to the publisher for giving me the opportunity in exchange for my honest review.
Sixteen-year-old Paisley Manning has been attending Camp Seabrook since she was a little girl, when her parents ran it together. For the last few years, since her father’s death, she’s been the one helping her mom run the camp behind the scenes. This year, however, will be Camp Seabrook’s last hurrah because Paisley’s mom has met a guy online and they’re getting married. Enter Hayden Bennett, who is working alongside Paisley. Paisley and Hayden are like oil and water. She follows the rules, and he seems to live to break them all. But when Hayden catches wind of Paisley’s predicament, he has an idea. If a matchmaker in some computer algorithm caused the issue, a couple of real-life matchbreakers can fix it. As they work to break up the happy couple, Paisley discovers that maybe Hayden’s not so bad after all. Has she met her own perfect match in her fellow matchbreaker?
TR;DL: The Matchbreaker Summer is a teenage romance book with themes of loss, friendship, love, change and letting go. The writing style is engaging and carried me through a book that was – unfortunately – rather predictable and sometimes even nonsensical. I did not care too much for the characters and was annoyed and confused by the contradictions of the main character’s actions.
It’s hard to know where to begin with this. While there was nothing that broke the book for me, there was just a lot that dissatisfied me.
Paisley is a certified Good Girl™ who never gets in trouble, works hard in school and never kicks up a fuss. Her dad died when she was twelve and it has deeply affected her. For a long time it was just her and her mother, a strict principal at Paisley’s High School, until her mother found a new love. Now, everything will change majorly, since her mother plans to get married and wants to move the family across the US to a new state. That also means that her beloved summer camp that her father built will be sold.
There were just so many things about Paisley that confused me. She seemed nice enough and everything but she seemed to contradict herself. When Hayden and Paisley formulated a plan that would break up her mum and the new boyfriend, she says that she doesn’t want her mum to get hurt. Later, she seems to have no scruteny to make her mum deeply unhappy and for Dave to get hurt and even seems suprised that that is the result. It annoyed me to no ends.
Note to self: watch Hallmark and eat chocolate if I ever have a broken heart.
Mostly, I felt that the characters and the way they acted would have fit better in a Middlegrade book with twelve to fourteen olds than a YA novel with sixteen-year-olds. Furthermore, while I understood certain actions from Paisley and her mother, most of the drama could have been avoided if Paisley and her mum would have just listened to each other and have a proper heart-to-heart. (Then again, there wouldn’t have been a book.)
There was a range of side-characters but unfortunately they were rather bland and I had trouble keeping them apart. Paisley’s best friend Nora seemed to have the most depth, although her character annoyed me.
She’s in the driver’s seat, literally and figuratively. It’s not that I can’t think for myself. I’m usually just too busy thinking about other things.
I did quite like Hayden though. He seemed more mature and genuine than the other characters and I quite liked the little romance he and Paisley had going on.
Although the summary might say that the two of them might not get along and that Hayden is a Bad Boy, both of that is barely touched in the book and I didn’t really see it that way.
I feel like the author tried to put a lot of different things in this book, like friendship and romance and loss and grief and change and letting go, as well as family. Unfortunately, it seems like nothing was quite fleshed out which made it all seem a bit all over the place and flat.
I can say something good about this book though, which is the writing style. I quite enjoyed the writing and think it flowed nicely which carried me through the book. I never was so annoyed that I felt like not finishing the book, so there must have been something right about it.
In the end, I was just mainly dissatisfied with the book. Luckily enough, the writing style was good to carry me through and the romance was rather sweet, but it’s not enough for me to whole-heartedly recommend it.
If you like quick reads with a decent writing style and don’t really care if the characters are not fully fleshed-out or well-rounded, then I would say, go for it.
Have you read this book? What is your opinion on it? Would you still be curious to read it?
Huh, interesting. I hadn’t realized this was supposed to be a YA book. Based on the synopsis it sounds 100% middle grade, and not YA at all.