From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood…
When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.
But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.
When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.
The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.
But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.
I loved the premise of this — the idea of discovering a sister you never knew you had as a result of a DNA test. I also love stories set at summer camp, so that was another massive plus for me — and that aspect of it was very well done, with plenty of zany camp shenanigans, witty banter, and quirky hijinks included.
As for our main two characters, Savvy and Abby, I loved how utterly different they were from each other, with Abby being an artistic, rule-breaking, consequences-be-damned rebel who’s not all that concerned about academics, and Savvy, a social media-obsessed, always-in-control, play-by-the-rules type of person. I loved how obsessed with Instagram Savvy is, and though it seems as though that obsession is a bit over-the-top, I know people in real life who are just like this (okay…maybe without the 500,000 followers!), so it not unrealistic.
Though there was a romance aspect to this, it took a back to the newly discovered sister relationship, and it was so much fun watching the girls get to know each other and begin to understand the other. I felt that their characters were well-fleshed out and realistic, complete with flaws, doubts, and insecurities. I enjoyed how they put their heads together to try to discover why their parents gave Savvy up and uncover the reason why they never told Abby she had a sister. The big reveal regarding that mystery was well done and a lot of fun.
I loved how complicated and messy all of the relationships in the book were, all of which had not only a compelling dynamic but also changed and evolved as the narrative progressed, complete with all the related angst, raw emotions, tension, and anxiety that come with it. I especially enjoyed the awkwardness of Leo and Abby’s relationship because of the BEI (Big Embarrassing Incident) as they danced around their true feelings for each other and suffered through all sorts of miscommunications.
You Have a Match is a beautifully rendered and unique exploration of friendship, with all of its exhilaration, disappointments, and mistakes, with a fair amount of melodrama thrown it. And it is through friendship that Abbey learns some of the most important truths about herself and the kind of person she wants to be.
My only niggle with the book was the excessive Harry Potter references, something I always dislike in novels. That’s just a personal pet peeve of mine, but I wish authors would move past this already…so that part of the book was a bit eye-rolling. But apart from Harry Potter, I enjoyed this little gem of a novel, and I would definitely read more of this author’s work.
Release Date: January 12th