Match Me If You Can, by Tiana Smith
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Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Length: 288 pages
Times Read: Once
Mia’s best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn’s matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her.
Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn’t count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince – the guy she knows is right for her – and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn’t find out that Mia’s been matchmaking behind her back.
Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?
I don’t know what exactly to do with this book. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t DNF it, but I don’t know how much I actually liked it, either? I still struggle with the idea of putting up negative reviews, so I’m experimenting with the idea of having a discussion around what was problematic for me.
- Here’s a short story about me: When I was a a small first grader, I told my mom that a friend’s brother kept making fun of me, and my grandmother overheard.
“Oh, well that means he likes you! Boys always tease girls they like!” she tried to tell me, and even my 7 year old brain knew this was bullshit.
“Grandma,” I said, “If he likes me, he should be nice to me. Making fun is mean, so don’t be telling me that teasing means he really likes me, because it makes me feel bad and I will not like him back.”So when, within the first 15 pages of this book, Mia is complaining that she likes Vince better because Logan makes fun of her and Robyn tells her that Logan only teases her so much because he likes her, I almost DNF’d it immediately. But I kept reading until we actually met Logan, and, um, girls. There is no making fun of or teasing. There is banter that both Logan AND Mia engage in, and Logan does not say like, a single mean thing, ever, the entire book. He’s possibly the nicest and most insightful person in the whole text.
- When you’re inspired by another work, how much do we owe to the original?
I was getting really annoyed about the character of Robyn. She felt like a plot device, not a person, and it occurred to me pretty early in that I felt like I was reading an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I looked into it and found that this book is indeed a loose retelling of the Shakespeare play, which got me thinking–just how much do we owe to the original work? Do we owe it replicas of all the main characters? The full plot? Can you change the ending?
I personally think you can change all of it, which is why so much of this didn’t work for me. I had a hard time buying a teenager running a super successful match-making business that we know nothing about. We’re just told over and over how she’s really good at it and has a 100% success rate. But she has to be good at it, because she’s obviously the fairies, right? This is what I mean about her feeling like a plot device.
If you’re in the market for an actual excellent loose adaptation, I highly recommend the 2001 masterpiece Get Over It, featuring a truly fantastic cast. I totally just looked it up on iTunes and couldn’t find it, so excuse me while I go try to hunt it down.
- I don’t mind a love triangle when you make both of the options worthy, interesting, and believable. Vince was none of these. He was fine. He was bland and polite and fine, but no part of me wanted to know more about him or was excited when he showed up on the page. Logan was the VERY OBVIOUS choice, and waiting for Mia to get there was just boring.
I don’t mind a love triangle when I feel conflicted, too. A good example of this is Peeta-Katniss-Gale in The Hunger Games. Each of them offers something different that Katniss really needs, each of them is good for her in different ways. I think each of them is better for her at different times, and I went back and forth, back and forth, throughout the series. Another example: Edward-Bella-Jacob in Twilight. I know I talk shit about Twilight a lot, so hear me out–this is a different kind of example, because it’s not a typical love triangle. Bella is never really conflicted, but the audience is. To my memory, this is the first instance of “teams” within fans. Even if Bella didn’t want to be with Jacob, we wanted her to. We thought he was a good choice.
I don’t mind a love triangle when the path to the end isn’t painfully dull. Sometimes you can tell right away who will come out on top. It’s not always a death sentence. For sure there was people who knew from the beginning that Peeta and Katniss were end-game, but getting there wasn’t boring. There was still tension, there were still moments with Gale that made you unsure, because Katniss was truly unsure herself.Mia was never truly sure of Vince, and she makes sure to say that all the way through. She said over and over again things like “I just have to forget about Logan” or, “Vince is the guy for me, even if literally every other person in my life tells me otherwise and also I just can’t figure out why my friend is suddenly passively-aggressively upset with me once we started dating and it can’t possibly be because she liked him too, guess I’ll never know.”
So guys, what do you think? Have you read this one? How did you feel about it? How do you feel about any of the points I’ve made here? I’d love to get into a discussion about any of them, so let me know in the comments! Disagree about anything? Still let me know!