Review: You Have a Match by Emma Lord
~ Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with an early copy of this in exchange for an honest review! Release date: January 12 ~
When I was offered the chance to read Emma Lord's upcoming release early, I jumped at the chance! I mean, how could I not when Tweet Cute was such a great debut? While I didn't enjoy this one quite as much, I still appreciated several aspects about it and will continue to read future books from Emma Lord.
I considered giving this book 4 stars because of how compulsively readable it is, but the faults I found within it were too strong to ignore to that extent.
The aspect that I enjoyed the most in this book is the growth between these newly discovered sisters, Abby and Savvy. I really loved that part of the story, so it's good that that's the main focus of this novel. However, that leads me to my first question: Why is Leo on the cover instead of Savvy? I feel like it's evident that the publisher wanted to market this book as a romance (maybe to match Emma Lord's reputation based on her debut), but I think that ultimately harms one's enjoyment of the book. I honestly feel like the romance was completely unnecessary in this book, and there were hardly any actual scenes of it to begin with.
The only thing that I felt the romance may have been contributing to was the overarching theme of Abby learning to confront her issues rather than repress them. Unfortunately, I think this definitely could have been achieved through other means that are already within the book. The way she handled her feelings for Leo was so unbearably frustrating I really had to take a couple of moments to step back and breathe so I could keep myself from hating her. I understand that her decisions are supposed to be seen as stupid, because she eventually grows from them and recognizes the same, but oh my god, I wanted to tear my hair out half the time. Nearly every conflict in this book could have been solved if she just vocalized any semblance of her thoughts. And while she does learn that in the end, the added layer of how she handled her romantic life really sent me over the edge of being annoyed by her.
All that being said, I didn't actually hate Abby. I just hated how she acted sometimes, and the romance was just an excessive layer. If that wasn't part of the story, I think I would have been able to swallow her poor decision making sooner.
Regarding secondary characters, they were all decent enough, but I don't really think any of them were developed fully. They all had interesting premises, but we didn't get to spend enough time with any of them to actually get to know them. Once again, I think getting rid of the romance could have solved this issue. With trying to fit in scenes with Leo, we didn't get to fully know Mickey, Connie, or especially Finn. I found him to be the most interesting, but his story ended so randomly! It seemed like he would matter a lot more than he did.
One thing I did really like in here was how casual the LGBTQ+ rep was. Savvy has relationships with girls and not once does anyone even refer to this in any way other than usual teenage love. On the flipside however, the potential aro/ace rep was a bit odd. It's implied that Connie is aromantic but she plays into the trope of the aro/ace character being jealous of the crushes their friends have. So, that was a bit problematic, but I'd like to hope that the author had no ill intent here. It just came across as odd, especially when it was just thrown in the end on a character that had also barely been developed.
Ultimately, while I found several faults in here, it was an easy read and I am interested in reading from Emma Lord in the future.