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A Match Made in Mehendi

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Fifteen-year-old Simran "Simi" Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the "gift." But Simi is an artist, and she doesn't want to have anything to do with relations Fifteen-year-old Simran "Simi" Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the "gift." But Simi is an artist, and she doesn't want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah's social status. Armed with her family's ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course. But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys' soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.


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Fifteen-year-old Simran "Simi" Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the "gift." But Simi is an artist, and she doesn't want to have anything to do with relations Fifteen-year-old Simran "Simi" Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the "gift." But Simi is an artist, and she doesn't want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah's social status. Armed with her family's ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course. But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys' soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.

30 review for A Match Made in Mehendi

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    3.5 stars. I was in the worst book slump ever the past three weeks. I literally started fifteen books, read 10 or 20 pages from each book and proceeded to lose interest completely. I despaired and thought I might never finish another book in my entire life so I decided to take a break from the book world. Thank God because when I finally picked up my sixteenth book—this book—I flew through it. Of course it helped that this book ended up being a fun YA rom-com. Normally, I consider fif 3.5 stars. I was in the worst book slump ever the past three weeks. I literally started fifteen books, read 10 or 20 pages from each book and proceeded to lose interest completely. I despaired and thought I might never finish another book in my entire life so I decided to take a break from the book world. Thank God because when I finally picked up my sixteenth book—this book—I flew through it. Of course it helped that this book ended up being a fun YA rom-com. Normally, I consider fifteen-year-old heroines to be too young and have a very juvenile voice but Simi had many facets to her personality. She could be silly and serious, smart and clumsy, judgemental and sympathetic. Whenever she would annoy me, she would make up for it a chapter later by caring about her best friend Noah tremendously and helping two people who were meant for each other get closer. It’s not a diamond in a haystack. The plot is not the most original ever and there are stereotypical characters and situations. But it’s exciting and easy to root for the couples formed by Simi’s app to last. I don’t disapprove of dating apps as I’ve seen proof that they can work so I was curious to see Simi’s app Matched! grow and affect lives. I also really liked Simi’s interest in mehendi art and her family’s history of matchmaking. If you enjoyed When Dimple Met Rishi, I don’t see why this shouldn’t captivate you for an entire afternoon. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sahitya

    CW: bullying, public outing of a character Definitely a solid 4.5. I have been waiting to read this book for so long now that I’ve lost count. And it didn’t help that I always seem to get rejected for ownvoices ARCs. But I was delighted to finally get my library copy so that I can join in with my friends who have all loved it so much. The one thing I could tell right from the first page is that I was gonna smile through the whole book. The writing is light hearted, fun, with lots of awkward and CW: bullying, public outing of a character Definitely a solid 4.5. I have been waiting to read this book for so long now that I’ve lost count. And it didn’t help that I always seem to get rejected for ownvoices ARCs. But I was delighted to finally get my library copy so that I can join in with my friends who have all loved it so much. The one thing I could tell right from the first page is that I was gonna smile through the whole book. The writing is light hearted, fun, with lots of awkward and silly and adorable moments and on the whole, just some thorough entertainment. I thought the author’s idea of combining the traditional Indian style of matchmaking with modern and technologically advanced dating apps was genius and it made for a very lovely story - while giving us the pros and cons of both methods. The setting of the high school was pretty realistic too and I liked that the author didn’t try too much to get the teenage voice right. The pacing is very fast and I flew through the book so quickly that I didn’t even realize it was almost the end. Each chapter also has a lovely mehendi design and a quote from the MC’s family’s matchmaking guide, which I thought was excellent symbolism for the book as a whole. I think the only problem I had was with the main bully in the high school (I’m so over the mean girl trope) and while I’m sure that every school might have someone like that irl, I’m not sure we need more girl on girl hate in YA novels. And obviously I thought the desi representation was amazing - right from the slightly nosy moms and aunts, the slight obsession with engineers and doctors, the descriptions of yummy food, the importance of wearing a turban as a Sikh, the differences between how the elders feel about mehendi being something sacred whereas the youngsters finding it unique and fun, the rituals and ceremonies - there are just so many little things which I may not even have noticed, because they were organically part of the story and the characters and I loved being in the middle of it all. And come on, the multiple mentions of samosas and pakodas and Limca just made me hungry, but unfortunately I didn’t have any handy to munch on. I adored Simi from page 1. She is a sweet but clumsy high school sophomore, who has this habit of falling over at inopportune times. She is an amazing artist and I loved that her parents didn’t seem to have too much of a problem with that. Her friendship with her BFF Noah is total goals and I loved how they encouraged and motivated each other all the time, but also gave space when one needed it. Noah is gay and it isn’t really mentioned how many in the larger context of the school know about him, but I liked that whoever did were very supportive. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the acceptance of Simi’s family because homophobia in Indian families is quite common. Simi’s family is also appropriately intrusive but very fun loving as well as dependable, and I loved all of them. I’d read in a couple of reviews there are two boys in the books and Simi chooses one. I kept hoping it wasn’t a love triangle situation and I loved the way the author managed to navigate Simi’s feelings for the two. I could totally feel all the awkwardness and tingles that Simi was feeling and it was sweet watching her get to know them better and make a decision. There are also many other classmates of theirs who meet and start going out due to Simi and Noah’s app, and I thought all of it was done very nicely without any drama. It was refreshing to see a fun group of diverse couples. I think the main theme of this book was about finding what we want to do in life. Simi doesn’t feel interested in her family’s matchmaking business or the boy her family may like, because she doesn’t want to do what’s expected. But her journey of realizing that it’s not bad to like doing something that also meets her family’s expectations, or not having to choose between her various interests - this was all written very well and in such a subtle manner that you don’t even realize it. And due to the whole concept of matchmaking, there is a lot of emphasis on compatibility, but also about the fact that two people may seem perfect on paper but they might not be good together because deeper values and motivations are much more important for a successful relationship. I think the overall message of the book that whether traditional Indian style matchmaking or modern dating apps, what makes two people click remains the same is something that comes out beautifully and I think we can all agree with that. To conclude, I just wanna say that if you love fun YA contemporaries and want to smile for a bit, pick this book up. If you particularly love desi books like I do, then I promise you can’t go wrong with this amazing debut. And while I’m very very excited to see what the author comes up with next, I’m also a bit sad that this book is already done and I can’t experience it all over again.

  3. 4 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    A wholesome and lovely read! A story about matchmaking, desi identity and Indian culture, friendship, and even addresses bullying. - Follows Simi, who comes from a long line of Indian matchmakers who creates an app to help pair up her schoolmates to make her mark in her second year at high school. - This is such a cosy and light-hearted read; the sort of book you just read, feel the warm and fuzzies, and enjoy for what it is. - Simi was such a fantastic protagonist and I really enjoyed her A wholesome and lovely read! A story about matchmaking, desi identity and Indian culture, friendship, and even addresses bullying. - Follows Simi, who comes from a long line of Indian matchmakers who creates an app to help pair up her schoolmates to make her mark in her second year at high school. - This is such a cosy and light-hearted read; the sort of book you just read, feel the warm and fuzzies, and enjoy for what it is. - Simi was such a fantastic protagonist and I really enjoyed her narrative! Her voice was fantastic, she is an artist and such a kind soul, fights for what she thinks is right, and she is a little flawed too. - This book actually had one of the best love triangles I've read. I was curious to see where it went, and the relationships were developed organically and wonderfully. - This book does tackle bullying, and I thought it was done in a sensitive way. The bully is a little exaggerated, but the impact of her bullying was not - so this was fine by me, as the latter was more important in the story. - However, I do have thoughts on something that happens, and am not quite sure how to make of this. Spoiler ahead: (view spoiler)[As a consequence of the bully's action, a character is outed as gay. This is pretty awful and I'm a little tired of gay characters being outed as a point of showing how awful a character is. However, I think the storytelling does address the impact of this in a meaningful way, and the gay character is given agency within the story. The gay character does have a happy ending though. (hide spoiler)] - Honestly, I just enjoyed this book and think it's a great read. Trigger/content warning: (view spoiler)[targeted bullying, microaggressions (challenged), gay character is outed (challenged and addressed) (hide spoiler)]

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fanna

    🔅american-indian MC 🔅ya contemporary 🔅stereotypes broken 🔅desi references 🔅cute friends-to-lovers 🔅tech meets tradition Read an interview with the author, Nandini Bajpai, where I ask about POC and diverse representation in modern literature and other fun questions! LIST & POSTS I'VE MENTIONED THIS BOOK IN: 8 B/>LIST/> 🔅american-indian MC 🔅ya contemporary 🔅stereotypes broken 🔅desi references 🔅cute friends-to-lovers 🔅tech meets tradition Read an interview with the author, Nandini Bajpai, where I ask about POC and diverse representation in modern literature and other fun questions! LIST & POSTS I'VE MENTIONED THIS BOOK IN: 8 BOOKS WITH SOUTH-ASIAN CHARACTERS RELEASING IN 2019 || MAKE YOUR TBR MORE BROWN

  5. 4 out of 5

    kav (xreadingsolacex)

    "The root of family is love. The root of all love is friendship - THE SHAGUN MATCHMAKING GUIDE" A Match Made in Mehendi is Nandini Bajpai's U.S. debut, a YA contemporary about 15-year-old Simran "Simi" Sangha, a talented artist who comes from a long line of matchmakers. While Simi has no desire to follow in the family business, she starts off her story by accidentally setting her cousin up, and her best friend then talks her into carrying the matchmaking business into their high school where these two wallf "The root of family is love. The root of all love is friendship - THE SHAGUN MATCHMAKING GUIDE" A Match Made in Mehendi is Nandini Bajpai's U.S. debut, a YA contemporary about 15-year-old Simran "Simi" Sangha, a talented artist who comes from a long line of matchmakers. While Simi has no desire to follow in the family business, she starts off her story by accidentally setting her cousin up, and her best friend then talks her into carrying the matchmaking business into their high school where these two wallflowers might just find some popularity. A Match Made in Mehendi is such a pleasant, light-hearted novel that really celebrates Indian culture and writes an adorable story about a group of teens. I wouldn't call this novel extraordinary, but it does something I love: it gives a stereotypical happy story to marginalized characters, and also puts a twist on the story by including Simi's family business of matchmaking. Simi's character was a great main character. I loved the blend of innocence and strength with her character - she definitely has some of the naivety of a younger high-schooler, but she's also strong enough to stand up to bullying and to try to make a name for herself. I loved Simi's character arc as an artist, especially in how she wove mehendi into her art pieces, and I loved her character arc in finding her place in her family business. She was just such a delightful main character, and I really did want the best for her. I also really enjoyed the love triangle in this novel. While Simi's own romance is a subplot of the story, the love triangle was so enjoyable and interesting to read, and I couldn't wait to find out who Simi ended up with. And that's coming from someone who rarely enjoys love triangles. Simi's best friend, Noah, is a significant part of her story. Noah also happens to be gay, and that plotline was handled very tastefully, it did not fall into any typical 'gay best friend tropes.' I only wish we had seen more of Noah and his love interest, but otherwise I loved his character. But the real driving point of this novel is the matchmaking business. I loved how Simi's heritage and culture was tied into Matched!, and I loved how this novel incorporated Indian culture into the story. I also just really loved the concept of Matched!, and for a novel that is very 'stereotypical' in many ways, the incorporation of this app added something really unique and interesting to the story. I loved all of the supporting cast, from Simi's friends to her family (particularly her brother Navdeep, I am a sucker for good sibling relationships), and I really loved the number of dogs that made cameos in this novel. The primary reason I docked a star, other than the fact that this novel isn't super profound or moving, is that this novel did fall into one trope I hate - girl-on-girl hate. Now, while I think bullies definitely exist in high school, the majority of the redeeming/fleshed-out supporting characters are male characters while the primary 'villain' of the novel is a teenage girl, and had there been more redeeming girl characters I could have overlooked that, but that was my one major complaint with the novel. Also, on a personal level, I just found it really weird how Simi was so willing to give all the white students in her school mehendi 'tattoos' when those are really a part of Desi culture. That might just be me and that's not a reason to dislike the book so it didn't impact my rating, but to me, mehendi is too important to my culture to just share with white people. All in all, A Match Made in Mehendi really is a feel good story that brings a smile to the reader's face, and it's such a pleasant read that provides a wonderful break when you've been reading heavy content for a long time. Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacted my opinion. content warnings: a character is partially outed in a scene

  6. 5 out of 5

    Opal

    The Misadventures of Simi and Noah’s guide to Matchmaking Find a book. Read it’s synopsis. Picture it and deduct whether you’ll read it or not. Reading this book’s cover made me think “Oh this sounds cute but I doubt I’ll ever read it”. Miraculously, I ended up reading it and saying I was pleasantly surprised doesn’t do it justice…but telling you I read it in one sitting sparing only a few hours of my time would more than suffice. “People are people”...”and love is love”. Simi just wa The Misadventures of Simi and Noah’s guide to Matchmaking Find a book. Read it’s synopsis. Picture it and deduct whether you’ll read it or not. Reading this book’s cover made me think “Oh this sounds cute but I doubt I’ll ever read it”. Miraculously, I ended up reading it and saying I was pleasantly surprised doesn’t do it justice…but telling you I read it in one sitting sparing only a few hours of my time would more than suffice. “People are people”...”and love is love”. Simi just wants to have a fresh new year in high school. Gain some status, make some new friends, and maintain her normal teenage life. One day she accidentally hooks her cousin up with an eligible bachelor her family thinks it’s time she join the family matchmaking business. She wants no parts of her mother’s old love matching ways, instead she, her brother, and her best friend Noah get together to start a quiz matching app to hook their high school peers up. Everything starts out good until they match up the most popular boy at school and a new girl. I am so happy I got an early copy of this. I am so happy took the time to read this! To say I simple enjoyed this book would be a massive understatement. I could relate to the characters, some of their motive, and actions. There tragic moments, touching moments, and even laughable ones as well but what captures me in the end was the camaraderie. Friends coming together to make things right! There’s a little bit of everyone for someone— lgbt friendly, cute quirky main character, adorable meet cutes, and a mean girl take down. I would definitely this to any everyone and I am a complete stan that can’t wait for a movie!!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)

    Full Review on The Candid Cover A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai is a fun read that also tackles issues of bullying. The main character, Simi, is one that is both quirky and relatable. It is a perfect book for your back-to-school TBR. ❀ UNIQUE THEME The concept of a matchmaking family is one that I have never come across. There are quite a few books that have a matchmaking theme, but this one kicks it up a notch. The women in the family seem to have a gift that Full Review on The Candid Cover A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai is a fun read that also tackles issues of bullying. The main character, Simi, is one that is both quirky and relatable. It is a perfect book for your back-to-school TBR. ❀ UNIQUE THEME The concept of a matchmaking family is one that I have never come across. There are quite a few books that have a matchmaking theme, but this one kicks it up a notch. The women in the family seem to have a gift that Simi is determined to evade. Although, with the help of her best friend and brother, they develop a really cool app that combines technology, art, and matchmaking. ❀ ENJOYABLE MAIN CHARACTER As the app gains popularity within Simi’s school, a well-known bully causes all sorts of issues for Simi and her friend. I really enjoyed reading about how Simi deals with the problem and relies on her family and friends for help. Her character shows quite a bit of growth and she is easy to root for. If you are looking for a contemporary novel that will pull at your heartstrings, A Match Made in Mehendi is one book to pick up this fall. The characters are enjoyable and the concept is fresh. I am looking forward to reading more of Bajpai’s works.

  8. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) A Match  Made in Mehendi is a story about family, friendship, and standing up against bullies. At the same time, A Match in Mehendi is about balancing technology and tradition, fear and desire, dreams and expectations. Simi's family are professional matchmakers, as a way to facilitate matches and join communities. But Simi would rather be an artist, drawn to a world full of exploratio (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) A Match  Made in Mehendi is a story about family, friendship, and standing up against bullies. At the same time, A Match in Mehendi is about balancing technology and tradition, fear and desire, dreams and expectations. Simi's family are professional matchmakers, as a way to facilitate matches and join communities. But Simi would rather be an artist, drawn to a world full of exploration and color, not the sparks between people. Is there a way to balance her seemingly natural talent for matchmaking, with her own dreams? full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fizah(Books tales by me)

    A match made in Mehendi is that American-desi story. Simi, our MC, is a clumsy girl, her family is matchmakers for generations and they want her to, but she thinks their method is old and on the other hand, she loves art, every art especially Mehendi (hinnah). For proving to her mother that technology can helpful in her business, she and Noah(Her best friend) came up with a plan of making a matchmaker app for their school. Okie so now talks about the Cliches, annoying and predictable things.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Uma ~Books.Bags.Burgers.

    A huge thanks to Hachette India for a physical review copy of this book. (Actual Rating - 3.8 stars) You know when you've been on a roll of dark, intense high fantasies and kind of need a break from all of it? A Match Made in Mehendi is that perfect break you're looking for. It's adorable, lighthearted, deals with tons of stuff without feeling heavy and leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling as you turn the last page. Honestly, even if you're not looking for a break but just want a ligh A huge thanks to Hachette India for a physical review copy of this book. (Actual Rating - 3.8 stars) You know when you've been on a roll of dark, intense high fantasies and kind of need a break from all of it? A Match Made in Mehendi is that perfect break you're looking for. It's adorable, lighthearted, deals with tons of stuff without feeling heavy and leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling as you turn the last page. Honestly, even if you're not looking for a break but just want a lighthearted read, pick this one up. ~ All the diversity~ I'm here for the multitude of Desi characters in this book AHHH BE STILL MY BEATING HEART. Simi, her family, her extended family and just all their Indian family friends. And then there's Noah, the adorkable gay best friend who likes makeup and is just the sweetest ever. There are interracial couples and intersectional feminism clubs at school, and just so much casual diversity that my heart is full <3 ~ Characters who are a bit cliche but interesting all the same~ Yes there are some pretty cliche characters what with the high school setting and all but i still found them really interesting. Simi is the average high school girl who has a lot of friends but not super popular. Noah is her gay best friend who has known Simi since they were young. They both decide that they're going to be cooler this year and basically that's how the whole trouble with the app starts. At first glance they do seem like stereotypical characters but as i started getting to know about their little quirks, AHHH I JUST LOVE THIS DUO. There's also a mean bully in school who IS cliche but I really liked how the bullying was seen and dealt with by the parents and teachers. I loved Ethan, one of the secondary characters; the most popular boy in school who is also super sweet, loves dogs and is adorable and kind. I NEED MORE SUCH CHARACTERS. ~ Lighthearted but deals with a lot~ The plot is kind of predictable but touches on so many important things which I adored. It's not complex but all the characters have a smol story/subplot going on that I adored. There is even this small subplot about stealing creative content and how it is NEVER okay WHICH IS SO IMPORTANT. I really loved how nothing came off as forced and AHHH can you tell I LOVED how lighthearted and adorable this book was? lighthearted yes but it dealt with things the right way! ~ I'm here for all the art and Mehendi~ Simi being an artist is a huge part of the novel. She has to decide on an art project for school and is absolutely crazy about mehendi. She makes temporary henna tattoos for her friends during lunch, uses her art talents when creating icons for their matchmaking app, and bonds with people over art too. BRING ON ALL THE ART LOVE! ~ A Match Made in Mehendi at first glance may seem like a not -so-unique, predictable rom-com but while it is predictable, it stands out with it's huge dose of culture, adorkable characters and the way it deals with a multitude of social issues without it feeling heavy or forced. ~

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chanelle

    “The root of family is love. The root of all love is friendship.” full review coming soon

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aparna

    4.5/5 stars! My incredible friend Maura lent me her ARC, and I'm so glad she did, because this one was such a lighthearted and fun read!! At times I felt like the plot moved too fast or I lost track of some characters, but overall it was such a delight to get into Simran's head and hear some of her fears between choosing art and straying from traditional values. I especially loved how her art was based in mehendi (I remember going to school with mehendi on my hands and being SO excited and 4.5/5 stars! My incredible friend Maura lent me her ARC, and I'm so glad she did, because this one was such a lighthearted and fun read!! At times I felt like the plot moved too fast or I lost track of some characters, but overall it was such a delight to get into Simran's head and hear some of her fears between choosing art and straying from traditional values. I especially loved how her art was based in mehendi (I remember going to school with mehendi on my hands and being SO excited and then being told by white kids that it was "just henna," so seeing her taking full ownership of the art form was really something to read). Some characters also really popped off the page, like Noah, Navdeep, Suraj, Teá, and Simi's mom in the principal's office. I always enjoyed the sections where Simi and Noah and Navdeep (or some combination) would be plotting out their next moves together. I thought that Noah's anxieties, even when talking with close friends, were written super well, and I could really identify with them (view spoiler)[(I might have even cried a little out of anger and sadness and sympathy when Amanda just outed him in front of the whole school) (hide spoiler)] . Amanda's character was given a little motivation/depth at the end, but it was mostly through someone else's explanation, and I wanted to really see it in action in the story. The Aiden arc really threw me for a loop, but I was really happy with who all ended up with who by the end. Overall, such a fresh and fun read that I would highly recommend picking up once it hits shelves in September!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sabreena - Books and Prosecco

    Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Disclaimer: the amazing humans at Hachette Book Group Canada were kind enough to send me an arc of A Match Made in Mehendi in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions below are my own. “Sometimes an accident is no accident, but a way to bring hearts together.” A Match Made in Mehendi is a fun, feel-good story about brown kids just being brown kids! Yes, there is some racism, but for the most part, these teenagers are just going through high school, and the fact that they are brown, is not the main point of the stown. Stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Disclaimer: the amazing humans at Hachette Book Group Canada were kind enough to send me an arc of A Match Made in Mehendi in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions below are my own. “Sometimes an accident is no accident, but a way to bring hearts together.” A Match Made in Mehendi is a fun, feel-good story about brown kids just being brown kids! Yes, there is some racism, but for the most part, these teenagers are just going through high school, and the fact that they are brown, is not the main point of the story. It is refreshing! Simi is an artist. She loves mehendi and is very good at it too. Her mother, her aunt, and her grandma are all matchmakers though, and want her to join the family business. At school, Simi and her best friend Noah (who is gay) are determined to make an impression on their fellow students this year – well, Noah more than Simi. But she wants him to be happy, so she agrees to work on… a matchmaking app with him! Their app builds off an app that Simi’s brother created for their mom’s matchmaking business. The foundation is all in place – they just need people at school to sign up. What ensues are the great and terrible love stories of Mayfield High! “‘Everyone deserves a love story’ is what Nanima always told me.” I really liked Simi. She wants to get through high school without causing any problems, but she also wants to make her best friend happy. She’s relatable and understandable. One thing that felt “off” (I don’t even know if that is the right word) to me is how sketchy they seemed about developing the app. I would expect that teachers would be impressed if a student could create an app, assuming the app was not harming anyone. I can understand some wariness about it being a matchmaking app, but students in high school date.. so it shouldn’t be a problem? Anyway, that was just a small issue I had with it. The app itself sounded really cool though! “He’s quizzing me like an old auntie trying to make a match at the gurdwara.” It was awesome to see some gay and lesbian rep in the matches that developed. They also unintentionally broke up the cliques, so students from different social groups were matched because of their shared interests and values. It was pretty cool to see, and a good reminder that you should never judge someone just from their appearance! Outside of the high school, Simi accidentally/on purpose sets up her cousin, Preet, with someone, and that whole story is so relatable and adorable. Preet and Jolly are the cutest, and I definitely know couples with stories similar to theirs. “Beta, will you tell us more about your family? Perhaps we know them?” ^ said every brown mom/auntie ever! It was also really nice to see brown families just being brown families in this book. I mentioned it above, but the fact that Simi’s family is Indian is not the point of the story. They just are. It was so cool to see a family very similar to mine in a book where they aren’t fighting everyone because of their culture. Also, I dabble in mehendi, so I definitely related to Simi! I’m nowhere near as good as she is, but I do love doing it! “I start swirling my paints — a rusty red, rich like henna — in paisleys first, like I would with my mehendi. I grin at my handiwork, filling in the details. Soon the image morphs, and there are two figures, a queen and her king. A match made in mehendi.” Simi’s relationship with her brother is also very relatable. My brother and I are very similar (though he is younger than me), so seeing the quick change from bickering siblings to “can you help me with this” was super entertaining. Not to mention the “I’ve always got your back against the parents” unwritten rule between siblings! The only thing I did not “like” (it’s a weird way to say it, but I’ll explain) was the kiss at the end. Two brown teenagers are at a big Indian family event, and while sitting in the corner, they kiss. It’s just weird to me. It is absolutely personal preference as well. I’m not saying they shouldn’t kiss and I’m not saying it is wrong. I simply grew up with that not being something you would see or do. Teenagers talked in secret (which is also not necessarily good), and weren’t even seen together until their parents were okay with them dating. So to have them kiss at a family function felt weird and unbelievable. That being said, perhaps a better way to say it is that I am simply not used to it, but maybe that is something that needs to change. I’m not a huge fan of excessive PDA in general (again, personal preference, to each their own), but I do think Indian families need to be able to talk more about relationships and dating. I don’t know that I will ever approve of making out with someone where my parents could see me… but a small showing of affection should be okay. That scene did throw me off though and felt very out of place… “There’s never a good reason to be mean to other people.” Other than that, I really loved this book. It tackles bullying, being yourself, life goals, traditional versus modern views, and so much more. It is also very clearly written with Indian teens in mind and my heart loves that so much! That being said, everyone will still be able to relate to the coming-of-age story and the first loves and heartbreaks, so if you like feel-good contemporaries, you should definitely check this book out! A Match Made in Mehendi releases on September 10, 2019. Note: All quotes above were taken from an advance reader’s edition of the book, and are subject to change in the final release.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    Rating: 4.5 Stars: ★★★★ 1/2 (Maybe 5? Still deciding on a rating) A Match Made In Mehendi is a YA debut I'd been looking forward to for over a year and it was so good!! Easily on my list of favorite YA Contemporary books!! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ💖💖*:・゚✧ A Match Made In Mehendi is a fun, delightful YA Contemporary that follows Simi who comes from a long line of matchmakers, but she'd rather focus on her skills as an artist than the family business. So, when she & her friend come up with a pl Rating: 4.5 Stars: ★★★★ 1/2 (Maybe 5? Still deciding on a rating) A Match Made In Mehendi is a YA debut I'd been looking forward to for over a year and it was so good!! Easily on my list of favorite YA Contemporary books!! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ💖💖*:・゚✧ A Match Made In Mehendi is a fun, delightful YA Contemporary that follows Simi who comes from a long line of matchmakers, but she'd rather focus on her skills as an artist than the family business. So, when she & her friend come up with a plan to develop a match-making app to increase their popularity at school, things get a bit complicated. Bajpai's debut has a dynamic cast of characters, great writing, and wonderful messages woven throughout about following your dreams! From page 1 I loved following Simi's journey through sophomore year of high school and how her family legacy of matchmaking influenced her! The story beautifully explores family, friendship, love, and expectations in such a layered way, while also developing this underlying theme of pursuing your dreams regardless of the expectations set upon you--and I really loved that! The app Matched! was so much fun to read about and not only was it a unique concept (from its creation involving algorithms, Simi's art, and following its creation) but it brilliantly drives and develops many themes and elements of the book! When Simi, her older brother Navdeep, and Noah use this app as a fun experiment for their high school, it soon causes drama when one of the matches upsets one of the popular girls in Simi's class! I loved how Simi used her family legacy of matchmaking and turned into something completely her own, with that said it also allows for such a big element of family to shine throughout the novel! With this legacy following the women of her family, we see how her mother (who runs a matchmaking service for Desi families w/ her sister (Simi's aunt), expects so much from her in regards to the business she finds it difficult to explain how art is such a big part of her identity! It was great to see that element explored so much into the story (though I wish there could have been a bit more page time to develop their mother/daughter dynamic). It was also so much fun to read excerpts of The Shagun Matchmaking Guide with each chapter! Not only is it an important family heirloom, but I also appreciated how it wove its way into the story more near the end! Next I want to talk about the characters, who are all fantastic (even the ones your not supposed to like): Navdeep, Noah, Suraj, Tea & Ethan, Aiden, Amanda, her cousins Preet & Geet, and her other friends at school. Through Simi's narrative they all really come to life and there was just a great cast of characters who are all given depth and developed from beginning to end regardless of how little page time they have! (though I will say that Simi's grandmother was a great character to introduce near the last few quarters of the book, but I wish her character was a bit more developed b/c she's a part of the matchmaker legacy & it would have been great to have a little more from her character). Overall here's a list of all the great things to look forward to in A Match Made In Mehendi: ↠ Wonderful and fun narrative voice! + Simi herself!! She's a wonderful protagonist and I'm glad the story was told from her POV because she's a funny, awkward, and relatable character! ↠ Exploration of expectations, following your dreams, family, friendship, love, and much more! ↠ Fantastic writing and cast of characters! ↠ Pacing: the unique story alongside following Simi's fantastic POV has you turning the page!! As for the diversity in this novel it features an Indian and Indian-American cast & gay rep (Noah)! This book is just so much fun and there's no other way to explain! Through the writing Simi's voice just gets you to keep reading and following the great cast of characters, mystery to where the story is headed, and so much more, A Match Made In Mehendi is a fantastic YA Contemporary that I highly recommend!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    This was one of my anticipated 2019 releases, and I am glad I finally had the chance to read it, because it was so fun, adorable, and sweet. Things I loved: • Simi was so honest, real, sweet, and endearing. I was fan from the first broken vase. • Simi's was blessed with a wonderful family, and it was easy to see how much they loved each other • Noah and Simi had a fantastic friendship. It hit a few bumps during the book, but the experience was really valuable for Simi and helped This was one of my anticipated 2019 releases, and I am glad I finally had the chance to read it, because it was so fun, adorable, and sweet. Things I loved: • Simi was so honest, real, sweet, and endearing. I was fan from the first broken vase. • Simi's was blessed with a wonderful family, and it was easy to see how much they loved each other • Noah and Simi had a fantastic friendship. It hit a few bumps during the book, but the experience was really valuable for Simi and helped her gain some perspective. • The mehendi and other artistic parts piqued my interest, and I loved the way Bajai wove them into the story • Simi's "match" was a rather wonderful boy, and I adored those two together. • I have mentioned this before, but I am loving all these books being set in my neck of NJ, giving shoutouts to my alma mater. • Bajpai treated me to some Punjabi culture, and I especially loved getting to "go" to the engagement party. Overall: This book made me laugh and smile, and I had a fantastic time reading it. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    Thx to @kidlitexchange @thenovl and esp author @nandinirb for this free book to review! Out 9/10/19; must buy for all MS/HS libraries! . 〰 〰 Romance books have been a big hit for me this summer and this one is in my top 5 YA romances for 2019! Quick reasons why: ❤ klutzy, artistic Simi is super lovable and kind and also refuses to be used or bullied by anyone (loved seeing her stand up for herself!!) ❤ Simi’s mom and aunt’s traditional matchmaking service is fascinating to see Thx to @kidlitexchange @thenovl and esp author @nandinirb for this free book to review! Out 9/10/19; must buy for all MS/HS libraries! . 〰️ 〰️ Romance books have been a big hit for me this summer and this one is in my top 5 YA romances for 2019! Quick reasons why: ❤️ klutzy, artistic Simi is super lovable and kind and also refuses to be used or bullied by anyone (loved seeing her stand up for herself!!) ❤️ Simi’s mom and aunt’s traditional matchmaking service is fascinating to see in action and I love that Simi, Noah and Navdeep’s Matched! app is complex and also rooted in matching values and interests ❤️ super diverse cast of characters! Desi, white, gay, straight, popular, shy...everyone is represented and everyone has a shot at love with the Matched! app ❤️ Simi’s romance is there, but it takes a backseat to the drama of all the other matches made via the app—I liked the balance . 〰️ 〰️ All in all, an awesome read. Recommended for grades 7+. Nothing sexual at all and no drinking scenes. Perfect readalike for @sandhyamenonbooks and @skalibooks . 〰️ 〰️ #yalit #yabooks #amatchmadeinmehendi #nandinibajpai #librariesofinstagram #librariansofinstagram #romance #bookstagram #booksbooksbooks #bookreview #amreading

  17. 4 out of 5

    ˗ˏˋ janet ˊˎ˗

    A little stereotypical, some of the stuff in here aren’t really realistic and I didn’t like the way some things were written. Perhaps it’s because it’s in the perspective of a fifteen year old protagonist.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book at Book Con. A Match Made in Mehendi is a cute, light read following Simi, who isn't quite sure that she wants to join the family matchmaking business because she dreams of becoming an artist. As a way to sort of test her interest and also gauge if she's any good at matchmaking, she works with her friends to design an app that uses all of her family's techniques to pair individuals. The dating app only works at her school and Simi personally has a hand in ever Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book at Book Con. A Match Made in Mehendi is a cute, light read following Simi, who isn't quite sure that she wants to join the family matchmaking business because she dreams of becoming an artist. As a way to sort of test her interest and also gauge if she's any good at matchmaking, she works with her friends to design an app that uses all of her family's techniques to pair individuals. The dating app only works at her school and Simi personally has a hand in every match that occurs. I can truly say that I've never read anything like this! A Match Made in Mehendi has modern high school drama with the technology components, while also doing a callback to the past with Simi's more 'traditional' family business--old school, meeting prospective matches in person, and everything is written out on paper (Simi struggles with those filing cabinets and I sympathize). There's a blending of generational differences, a blending of cultures--and Simi is struggling to find her way through it all, so it's as relatable as any coming-of-age story. However, it takes a lot for me to fall in love with contemporary novels, and I don't think the characters were unique enough in this one for me to ever consider it for a reread. Simi is someone I think a lot of teens will see themselves in, but the cast around her falls flat as they really only exist to support her and don't stand well on their own. At times, things happen to other characters seemingly only so we can get Simi's reaction, and then we never see the follow-through or consequences. The plot threads are dropped, and while it was interesting that there were so many in a relatively short book, it would have been better to have them condensed so that nothing would end up getting left behind after a few chapters. The writing in this book was very simplistic, so I think it would appeal most to the younger spectrum of YA readers. There were never any really biting bits of dialogue, or paragraphs that jumped out as particularly meaningful. The text said what was happening, and who was saying what, but never explored Simi's emotions any more deeply than that. Disappointing, when we get the entire book from her perspective. However, unlike so many YA novels coming out right now, this was a fun book to read and pretty happy overall. Yes, there are deeper themes explored, such as bullying, but they're done nicely in a way that isn't quite as depressing or melodramatic as other current contemporary novels. Simi goes through a lot but never really lets it get her down, and it's refreshing to have such a positive main character. So, if you're looking for a light, fluffy read--overall, this might be the one for you.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Princessofbookaholics

    About: A story about a young girl whose family has a matchmaking business and expects her to join in but she wants to be an artist. It is a fun, beautiful story about high school and family and friends. Characters: Each and every character had its own unique personality and that's what I loved about this story. There are so many diverse characters. I loved the fact that this book had an Indian MC (just like me). My thoughts: I loved this book so much! This was a pretty light read but About: A story about a young girl whose family has a matchmaking business and expects her to join in but she wants to be an artist. It is a fun, beautiful story about high school and family and friends. Characters: Each and every character had its own unique personality and that's what I loved about this story. There are so many diverse characters. I loved the fact that this book had an Indian MC (just like me). My thoughts: I loved this book so much! This was a pretty light read but with a whole lot of diversity. It captures the innocence of sophomore year and how figuring out what you want to do with your life can be overwhelming. It shows relationships with family as well as friends which was really sweet. Also, all the Desi references made my indian heart very happy. Recommendation: If you love Sandhya Menon's writing, you will definitely enjoy this read. Favorite quote: The best part of a love story is usually the beginning. People almost always remember the first time they met.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    * Thank you to the publisher for sending an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review * ACTUAL: 4.5 stars In this story, readers meet Simi, a sophomore in high school who is determined to stand out this school year. After teaming up with her best friend Noah and brother Navdeep, they create an online match making app for their high school. Despite Simi's desire to still pursue her artist dreams, she enjoys her newfound fame. But Simi soon must learn how to balance rela * Thank you to the publisher for sending an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review * ACTUAL: 4.5 stars In this story, readers meet Simi, a sophomore in high school who is determined to stand out this school year. After teaming up with her best friend Noah and brother Navdeep, they create an online match making app for their high school. Despite Simi's desire to still pursue her artist dreams, she enjoys her newfound fame. But Simi soon must learn how to balance relationships, love, and family, if she is going to survive this year. I thought this novel had many aspects of a great contemporary novel. I loved the family ties and unique cultural parts. The humour and romance was amusing and will draw in teenage readers. The challenges Simi faced were realistic, and situations such as handling bullies, dates, and family struggles were relatable and it was enjoyable to root for Simi. I liked the other characters as well, and found Noah, Navdeep, and Saraj to be well rounded characters. The plot line at times could be a bit predictable, but overall, I really enjoyed this one!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Thank you @kidlitexchange for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. A Match Made in Mehendi will release 9.10.19! This young adult contemporary was really sweet. It’s a story about relationships and young love, but more importantly it’s about family expectations vs. desire, tradition vs. technology and friendship vs. bullying. Simi comes from a long line of matchmakers. She seems to have the special gift of facilitating love connections, but art is her true passion. That is, unt Thank you @kidlitexchange for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. A Match Made in Mehendi will release 9.10.19! This young adult contemporary was really sweet. It’s a story about relationships and young love, but more importantly it’s about family expectations vs. desire, tradition vs. technology and friendship vs. bullying. Simi comes from a long line of matchmakers. She seems to have the special gift of facilitating love connections, but art is her true passion. That is, until she decides to combine both gifts to help her step outside of her shell. With the help of her best friend and tech savvy brother, they set out to prove that traditions could sometimes use a modern twist. Together they create a really cute matchmaking app and watch as its popularity takes over their school. They have to deal with perfect matches, total misses, skeptical clients, envious exes and a concerned school staff. I totally loved the idea of the Matched app. The icons and questionnaire was super brilliant and created various storylines to work through. There’s a big focus on kids feeling pressured to be a certain way or peruse a field their parents push them towards which will be a very relatable circumstance to many. I adored Noah, Simi’s best friend. He is gay and his story of how he used the app to carefully find love was an extra bonus. I was crushed when he was eventually outed in a very humiliating way, but adored the fact that his true friends rallied around him. A story rich in Indian culture was an extra treat. I loved the vichole guidelines. The numerous food descriptions left me with many cravings. I could taste those samosas and smell the chai tea (which is one of my very favs). I really enjoyed learning more about mehendi and watching Simi experiment with it as an unique art medium. This was a charming, lighthearted story that handled many topics in a fun, entertaining way.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Megan Leprich

    I won this book in a giveaway from thenovl and all opinions are my own. I took a break from my normal spooky reads for September and picked this book up. The cover is what really attracted me and I loved the synopsis and storyline. I struggled a little at the beginning of this book due to the different language but I eventually got the hang of it and really started becoming invested in the story. I finished this book in less than 24 hours and now I’m sad that it’s over. I loved reading about the I won this book in a giveaway from thenovl and all opinions are my own. I took a break from my normal spooky reads for September and picked this book up. The cover is what really attracted me and I loved the synopsis and storyline. I struggled a little at the beginning of this book due to the different language but I eventually got the hang of it and really started becoming invested in the story. I finished this book in less than 24 hours and now I’m sad that it’s over. I loved reading about the main character Simi and her culture and her family. The matchmaking aspect of the story was hilarious and sweet and this was overall a great read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    This book was a mess but pretty adorable - until we got to the ending. This book was sitting at a solid Belle rating, until we got to this last part that completely and utterly threw me off.   The cliches were strong with this one. I mean, throw in every basic YA trope, and we got it: cartoonishly evil mean girl (and her troupe of pink-wearing Mean Girls), half-hearted love triangle (with one being the clear winner from the start with the other half doing something super bad to make u This book was a mess but pretty adorable - until we got to the ending. This book was sitting at a solid Belle rating, until we got to this last part that completely and utterly threw me off.   The cliches were strong with this one. I mean, throw in every basic YA trope, and we got it: cartoonishly evil mean girl (and her troupe of pink-wearing Mean Girls), half-hearted love triangle (with one being the clear winner from the start with the other half doing something super bad to make us realize, why did we ever like him in the first place???), the gay best friend (only traits: loves makeup, matchmaking, and cheering Simi on), and more. There wasn't much depth, since this book heavily relied on these cliches to keep the wheels churning for the story. I don't mind some cliches if they are done in a fun way or are aware of their clicheness, but this just left them simmering.  Speaking of the cliche mean girl, it honestly felt like Amanda - the root of all evil - was a cartoon of how evil she was supposed to be. There was haphazard characterization to give us some context on why she was did the things she did and why she was the way she was. It was way too much to even be close to be believable, for me. Her entire characterization was focused around a boy, and she would do anything to have it.   Trigger  Let's talk about what threw me completely off with this story. So, Simi and Noah set up Amanda's love interest with another girl. What she decides to do is tape Simi and Noah speaking candidly with each other in a personal conversation. Amanda edits them to appear that they're making fun of her, calls them out for "breaking" the Code of Conduct, and then...decides to air a clip of Noah speaking privately about a crush he has on another guy that is not openly out, which Noah even emphasizes in the conversation.  Um, why is this a plot point? There were a million of other ways that the plot could have escalated, but I can't see why this outing needed to happen. It instantly formed a pit in the bottom of my stomach. The character in question ended up being gay and had been out - but he wasn't officially out in the school yet. Amanda forced a character to come out even though he might not have wanted to. This plot point really didn't sit right with me.  The aftermath of it did showcase that the act was horrifying and some important points on white privilege, etc. However, I just struggled hard with getting over the act itself.   Before the trigger happened, the matchmaking aspect was fun. I loved the concept of the app, and it definitely provided a lot of adorable moments. I loved the whole process and seeing the matches play out. The culture and history of matchmaking in India was so interesting to read about as well. This is totally what had me entertained through so much of the story. I can't speak to the rest of the #ownvoices rep in this story, but it was present throughout, and it really added another aspect to this story.   It was an easy read. The writing was okay. It just has a light airy feel to it that contemporaries do well. Overall, it was easily got me through this book quickly. An Elsa rating, because I'm still super torn on how to feel about this book. Overall, it had fun, cute moments, but the cliches and the triggering moment just threw me off.  representation: Indian (desi) MC, Indian love interest, main characters in Sikh religion, gay best friend content warnings: gay character is outed publicly

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    3.5 — Bajpai’s U.S. debut novel is full of fun, art, love, and friendship - and plenty of diverse representation to boot. I always enjoy getting a peek into the American-Eastern Indian culture, and loved learning about the art of Mehendi (among many other things) as practiced by MC Simi. This was the perfect lighthearted read to pick up after a particularly intense novel - it lifted my spirits, gave me some warm fuzzies, and even got my activist inner heart a-buzzing. Perfect for all YA junkies, 3.5 — Bajpai’s U.S. debut novel is full of fun, art, love, and friendship - and plenty of diverse representation to boot. I always enjoy getting a peek into the American-Eastern Indian culture, and loved learning about the art of Mehendi (among many other things) as practiced by MC Simi. This was the perfect lighthearted read to pick up after a particularly intense novel - it lifted my spirits, gave me some warm fuzzies, and even got my activist inner heart a-buzzing. Perfect for all YA junkies, young and old alike. ⁣

  25. 4 out of 5

    bee

    why does this not have a movie deal yet!!!!!!! 😍😍😍😍💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💕💕💕💕💕💕💕❤❤❤❤❤❤❤💗💗💗💗💗💗💗 why does this not have a movie deal yet!!!!!!! 😍😍😍😍💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💕💕💕💕💕💕💕❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️💗💗💗💗💗💗💗

  26. 4 out of 5

    Trianna

    3.5/5 The last 60 or so pages gave it the extra +.5

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tanvi

    Such a quick, light, easy and fun read! Thoroughly enjoyed it! ^_^ Full review coming soon.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Haley Hope Gillilan

    sweet lil YA that loves love. What could be better on a chilly October evening when you are stressed out at work?!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Siri

    Thank you to Avon Public Library for providing me with this ARC. Originally posted on: https://bookitybooksp.wordpress.com/2... Simi Sangha has a plan: with her freshman year of high school finally over, she’s ready to step out of the shadows, dig deep into her art, and (perhaps the most crucial goal) stand up to resident mean girl Amanda. But her plans go awry when she accidentally pa Thank you to Avon Public Library for providing me with this ARC. Originally posted on: https://bookitybooksp.wordpress.com/2... Simi Sangha has a plan: with her freshman year of high school finally over, she’s ready to step out of the shadows, dig deep into her art, and (perhaps the most crucial goal) stand up to resident mean girl Amanda. But her plans go awry when she accidentally pairs up her cousin with a future lawyer, convincing her family that she has the Sangha match-making gene that her mom, aunt, and grandmother all wield to create happy couples in their family business. Initially, Simi is reluctant to abandon her formula for the perfect year, but with a little convincing from her best friend Noah, she teams up with her techie brother to create a dating app based on her family’s match-making principles. But when the app’s popularity unexpectedly skyrockets, Simi finds herself in the aftermath of a high school where everyone’s love story (including hers) is resting in her hands. Verdict: Bajpai writes with a colloquial and relaxed tone that makes this book a quick, fun, and light-hearted novel. While the novel’s language was geared towards telling rather than showing, Bajpai’s rich story and expressive characters more than made up for this. The main character, Simi, was especially dynamic. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see how she progressed in her journey regarding match-making. At first, she was apprehensive about getting sucked into the family business and having to neglect her artwork; however, by the end of the book, she realized that she could be more than one thing. I also loved that Simi’s art focused on mehendi — by incorporating mehendi into her daily routine and using it as a base for her art project, Simi harnessed her culture and hybridized it with her more Western life. Perhaps my favorite part of the book was the mouth-watering depictions of different Indian snacks, from bready, spicy samosas to crunchy, onion-filled pakoras. And while the meal descriptions were authentic, even more genuine were the relationships Bajpai portrayed. The casual affectionate terms like beta and puttar as well as how close Simi and her brother were to their grandparents would make any reader smile. As for the plot, it was easy to follow and incredibly detailed. Any reader could see Bajpai had put thought into subtleties like the app’s features and the story’s timeline. I recently read in an interview that Bajpai has a hard time writing “mean girl” characters, since she’s an avid enthusiast of girls supporting girls. But in this novel, Bajpai did a great job of creating a troubled and complex villain. Overall, this book was cute, short, and ingeniously fulfilled its purpose as a teen romance novel. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Brinkman

    Love is as old as time, but the way it's found is ever-changing. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled, and insist that she has the gift. Coming from a long line of Indian matchmakers - who help parents find good matches for their grown children, Simi doesn't want anything to do with the family business. That is until she realizes that it might help her improve her and her best friend, Noah's, social standing. Using her family's ancient guide t Love is as old as time, but the way it's found is ever-changing. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled, and insist that she has the gift. Coming from a long line of Indian matchmakers - who help parents find good matches for their grown children, Simi doesn't want anything to do with the family business. That is until she realizes that it might help her improve her and her best friend, Noah's, social standing. Using her family's ancient guide to finding love, she starts a matchmaking app with her best friend and brother. But when Simi helps her fellow students connect, she upsets the school's hierarchy and it might just be her social downfall. A story of love in the modern age. A story of a young girl and her friends fitting love together like puzzle pieces. Trigger warning for bullying, racism, public outing (challenged), and micro aggressions. Bright yet clumsy, Simi was a brilliantly flawed powerhouse. Her interest in Mehendi art not only aided her in helping to create the app, it was her passion. Though she gently rebuffed the pull to join her family business, her respect for the traditional ways of matchmaking was heartwarming. Sometimes her desire to stand up for what she believed was right led her in to some sticky situations, but at other times that led to truly empowering moments. No matter what Simi did, her kind heart always beamed. From her encouraging and motivating best friend Noah, to her caring and smart brother Navdeep, to her sometimes pressuring but none-the-less loving parents, to the group of friends she gained because of the app, The Shagun Matchmaking Guide was right when it declared "The root of family is love. The root of all love is friendship." Even though there were a few bumps in the road, Simi received the same overwhelming amount of love she gave out and inspired. I adored each and every one of the people in Simi's corner as they supported her as she faced life's hurtles. I dearly hope we get more books about this warm, caring, and well-written supporting cast. Not the young adult romance you're used to, A Match Made in Mehendi was full of a heart that beat to a new rhythm. Through Simi, Nandini Bajpai brought love into the modern age as she brilliantly blended matchmaking with modern technology. The app sure had some hiccups, but watching it bring people together was delightful. While it started tad a juvenile, this novel was full of diversity and personality as it followed fantastic characters. They explored themes of being yourself, the importance of family, respecting your culture, and following your dreams. With a delicate hand, this novel also tastefully tackled topics like bullying and racism. Creatively fun, it was light-hearted but refreshingly meaningful. A Match Made in Mehendi will have no trouble installing itself into your heart.

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