Posted in Book Reviews, Chick Lit, Contemporary, General Books, Romance, Women's Fiction

Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson – #BookReview

Goodreads: Matchmaking for Beginners
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reviewed: January 2019
Panda Rating:

Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.
When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness. Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps.
And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most.

“You need a mantra to help you. You can borrow mine, if you want: ‘Whatever happens, love that.”

What a seriously charming book! The characters are lovingly quirky and the situations they find themselves in are emotional and heartfelt, but not without comedy injected here and there to lighten the mood up a little bit. It’s also endlessly quotable!

Marnie McGraw doesn’t want for much except a normal life with the white picket fence, doting husband and adorable children, and she knows that being engaged to Noah (a.k.a. the man of her dreams) brings her one step closer to achieving all that. But life doesn’t always go as planned and she experiences that first hand when her world falls apart after Noah leaves her on their honeymoon, she loses her teaching job in California and has to move back home to her parent’s house in Florida. As she deals with the aftermath of her disastrously short-lived marriage, Marnie is beyond shocked to receive a letter informing her that not only has Noah’s ‘crazy aunt’ Blix passed away, but she has left her a home in Brooklyn.

Eccentric, life-of-the-party, and carefree Blix is the black sheep of her family. When she meets Marnie at a family gathering, she feels an instant kinship and spiritual connection to her and believes that Marnie is meant to take up her mantle of matchmaker once she’s gone. She tells Marnie that no matter how things work out between her and Noah, she has a big, big life ahead of her.Although she’s still reeling from recent events, and is convinced all of it is a mistake, Marnie goes to Brooklyn to fulfill the wishes of a person she remembers fondly and who gave her comfort when she needed it, despite only having met Blix all of two times.

“You need to forget what society has told you about life and expectations, and don’t let anybody make you pretend. You are enough, just the way you are—do you hear me? You have many gifts. Many, many gifts.”

What follows is an emotional, heartfelt, and comedic rollercoaster of a journey, as Marnie tries to leave the past behind and deal with an unexpected present that doesn’t quite fit with the picture she’s always had of her future. It is in Brooklyn, where she meets all the characters from Blix’s life and explores the magic of her matchmaking gift–not without plenty of mishaps along the way, that Marnie discovers the power of love and healing, and she finally finds where she truly belongs.

“It’s in the broken places where the light gets in.”

As corny as all of this sounds, I finished this book feeling so happy and comforted, and sometimes, that’s all you really need from a book, isn’t it? I’m glad that I followed along with the Audiobook because although it took me nearly three times as long to finish it, it gave me the chance to really immerse myself in the story and build a strong attachment to the characters. Although I found Marnie’s character desperate and pretty annoying at the start, her character growth throughout the story was very satisfying, and I’m happy with how she learned to embrace herself in the end. I think Amy McFadden does a wonderful job narrating Marnie, and I don’t think I could have picked a better voice than Joyce Bean for Blix. There’s something so grandmotherly and comforting about Bean’s voice and although it was only for the first few chapters, every time Blix would ‘reappear’ in subsequent chapters, I would still hear the part as if she spoke it. 😂

If you’re looking for a fun, sassy romcom, I’d definitely recommend this!

Have you read Matchmaking for Beginners? Do you like romance?
Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

16 thoughts on “Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson – #BookReview

  1. “You need a mantra to help you. You can borrow mine, if you want: ‘Whatever happens, love that.” …. this stole my attention and made me want to read the book! I love a cute romcom but I REALLY LOVE ones that are endlessly quotable 😍 it makes the read that much more pleasant! I hadn’t thought of reading audio for this but I’m tempted by Amy McFaddens narration. Lovely review! Jen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jen 😃 This one is DEFINITELY quotable! I LOVE this mantra/motto — it’s so simple but perfect (and totes easy to remember)! The narration was really enjoyable and I thought the voices done really well. Blix’s narrator stole the show for me though lol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a great romcom. There are definitely some struggles, I know I definitely struggled with the main character Marnie at the start, but she really grew on me. And BLIX! Everyone needs a Blix in their life! 😍

      Like

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