Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with a review copy of You Have a Match
After reading Tweet Cute earlier this year, I knew I would be definitely picking up whatever Emma Lord wrote next. In her first book, every page was packed with charm and heart (and a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches). When the lovely folks at Wednesday Books gave me the opportunity to read her new book, You Have a Match, I don’t think I’ve ever clicked a Netgalley widget quite that fast.
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.
Pro tip: don’t ever start an Emma Lord book without snacks ready to go. Her characters often seem to have an affinity for cooking food described in hunger inducing detail. Seriously – in You Have a Match, she will have you dying to try Leo’s famous cinnamon infused cuisine (I would like his recipe for lasagne balls, please). Outside of the fantastic descriptions of food, the writing was truly great – I was hooked from the opening pages. I think I only put this book down once, I had to know why Abby and Savvy were separated and why their parents lied to them.
Savvy was a perfect foil for Abby – the two could not have been more different in personality, but together they learned from each other and helped each other evolve and grow throughout the book. By the end of the story, they were both better people for having known each other – Savvy learned to be a bit more impulsive and Abby learned to not avoid all the conflict in her life.
Another fun facet of You Have a Match was the relationship between Abby and Leo. From the first pages, it’s implied that their long time friendship was recently muddied by a majorly embarrassing event that neither character is quite sure how to move forward from. When they found themselves stuck at the same camp for the summer, they were forced to confront their big embarrassing incident and figure out where they wanted to go from there. Their relationship was a bit topsy turvy to start with (and filled with good chemistry and longing) but the payoff in the end was so, so worth the wait.
What really made this book magical was how great the supporting cast of characters was. Connie and Leo were great friends to Abby, supporting her through the drama of finding out she had a secret sister, while also having their own stories. I also loved all the girls from Abby’s cabin at the camp – they were each complex and interesting characters who helped Abby learn to open up to new people. Finally, there was Finn, who I am officially petitioning should get his own spin off book.
You Have a Match is a charming novel that oozes summer camp vibes and highlights the importance of family and friends. If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out Emma Lord’s first book, Tweet Cute (it’s equally as adorable and filled with mouthwatering food descriptions). I can’t wait for her next book – and next time I’ll definitely have more snacks ready. 5/5