Playing with Matches
Named a Best Book of Summer by Refinery 29, Bustle, and PopSugar“The best rom-com of the season…overflowing with charm and heart.”—Bustle“The perfect Summer read—smart, funny, escapist, and bursting with charm.”—PopSugar In the tradition of Good in Bed and The Assistants comes a funny and smart comedy about a young matchmaker balancing her messy personal life and the demands of her eccentric clients.Sasha Goldberg has a lot going for her: a recent journalism degree from NYU, an apartment with her best friend Caroline, and a relationship that would be amazing if her finance-bro boyfriend Jonathan would ever look up from his BlackBerry. But when her dream career falls through, she uses her family’s darkest secret to land a job as a matchmaker for New York City’s elite at the dating service Bliss.Despite her inexperience, Sasha throws herself into her new career, trolling for catches on Tinder, coaching her clients through rejection, and dishing out dating advice to people twice her age. She sets up a TV exec who wanted kids five years ago, a forty-year-old baseball-loving virgin, and a consultant with a rigorous five-page checklist for her ideal match.Sasha hopes to find her clients The One, like she did. But when Jonathan betrays her, she spirals out of control—and right into the arms of a writer with a charming Southern drawl, who she had previously set up with one of her clients. He’s strictly off-limits, but with her relationship on the rocks, all bets are off.Fresh, sweet, and laugh-out-loud funny, Playing with Matches is the addictive story about dating in today’s swipe-heavy society, and a young woman trying to find her own place in the world.

Playing with Matches Details

TitlePlaying with Matches
Author
ReleaseJun 26th, 2018
PublisherTouchstone
ISBN-139781501178481
Rating
GenreWomens Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Fiction, Contemporary, Adult

Playing with Matches Review

  • Fafa's Book Corner
    January 1, 1970
    Mini review:Minor spoilers ahead!DNFGR Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge: Let's Get It On. When I had heard about this book through Twitter I was excited! I haven't read a book about matchmaking and the synopsis sounded hilarious. Unfortunately it wasn't for me.The beginning was good! I was invested and the writing really brought out Sasha's personality. As I read on I realized that Playing with Matches is one of those really readable books. In that sense it was addictive. But it came to a point Mini review:Minor spoilers ahead!DNFGR Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge: Let's Get It On. When I had heard about this book through Twitter I was excited! I haven't read a book about matchmaking and the synopsis sounded hilarious. Unfortunately it wasn't for me.The beginning was good! I was invested and the writing really brought out Sasha's personality. As I read on I realized that Playing with Matches is one of those really readable books. In that sense it was addictive. But it came to a point where I didn't really care about the story.I did find Sasha relateble. And I was in awe about the matchmaking world. However the only character that I really liked and cared about was Sasha. I was really surprised that I didn't really care for her best friend. I usually tend to care for the best friend character.And there were some things I didn't really get behind. The whole situation with Adam was a bit awkward. And you know that Sasha has a tiny crush on him. To top it off the matchmakers aren't allowed to start a relationship with their clients or potential matches. The synopsis does mention that she starts a relationship with Adam. To be fair I didn't get to that point, but it still made me a tad bit uncomfortable. Overall this wasn't for me. I still recommend.
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  • Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)
    January 1, 1970
    I was looking for a quick read to breeze through the weekend, and Playing with Matches did not disappoint. Fun and fresh, it makes a perfect vacation read; or, if you need something light to break up those ugly cry drama reads – well then, why not pick up this one? It is available for purchase on Tuesday, June 26th!Sasha Goldberg has the life other’s are envious of – which is why they hire matchmakers, right? – a successful, handsome boyfriend in the dating abyss of what is New York City. She la I was looking for a quick read to breeze through the weekend, and Playing with Matches did not disappoint. Fun and fresh, it makes a perfect vacation read; or, if you need something light to break up those ugly cry drama reads – well then, why not pick up this one? It is available for purchase on Tuesday, June 26th!Sasha Goldberg has the life other’s are envious of – which is why they hire matchmakers, right? – a successful, handsome boyfriend in the dating abyss of what is New York City. She lands her first job as a matchmaker learning the inner workings of the single scene and is more thankful for Jonathan every day – until she isn’t.Her head and heart are not aligned and she gets into a predicament that while keeping her mind off serious things (like her life), it can get her into hot water at work. Will Sasha figure it out? What is “it” that she needs to figure out anyhow? Have a read and find out!Playing with Matches is author Hannah Orenstein’s debut novel.I received an arc of this book from NetGalley for my honest review.To read my reviews visit: www.saturdaynitereader.com
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  • Sarah Joint
    January 1, 1970
    This is book candy, sweet and easy to savor - but not so sweet it'll hurt your stomach. It was exactly what I needed to read right now and it's a great summer release. There's plenty of cute moments, romance, and humor. The main character is quite charming, a young college graduate living in Manhattan. Job offers in her chosen field of journalism aren't exactly falling in her lap, so she's keeping her options open. Browsing the job offers on Craig's List one day leads her in an interesting direc This is book candy, sweet and easy to savor - but not so sweet it'll hurt your stomach. It was exactly what I needed to read right now and it's a great summer release. There's plenty of cute moments, romance, and humor. The main character is quite charming, a young college graduate living in Manhattan. Job offers in her chosen field of journalism aren't exactly falling in her lap, so she's keeping her options open. Browsing the job offers on Craig's List one day leads her in an interesting direction: a matchmaking agency. At only 21, she doesn't have a lot of relationship experience, but uses the story about how her parents met to get her foot in the door.When Sasha got the job, she thought she was headed to a ring on her finger one day from long-term boyfriend Jonathan. Until he makes a confession, and she finds herself single. Stunned and out-of-sorts, she invites a man she had unsuccessfully set up with one of her clients out on a date. It's strictly forbidden, but she had been drawn to him as soon as she met him... what harm could one date do?The stories of Sasha's clients alternate between hilarious and heartwarming. It's a really fun, immensely readable book. And can we just mention the adorable cover?! If you're in the mood for something light with romance and humor, I'd absolutely give it a shot.I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley and Touchstone, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
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  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    Sasha Goldberg's plans as a writer are quickly derailed when her boss tells her he doesn't have the funds to hire her on after her graduation. She's stuck--in New York City--without a Plan B. When she sees a job listing for a matchmaker, she's intrigued. Sasha's secret is that her parents met through a kind of matchmaker: her father chose her mom through a catalog and paid for her to come to the United States from Russia. Of course, it didn't exactly work out (they're divorced), but Sasha uses t Sasha Goldberg's plans as a writer are quickly derailed when her boss tells her he doesn't have the funds to hire her on after her graduation. She's stuck--in New York City--without a Plan B. When she sees a job listing for a matchmaker, she's intrigued. Sasha's secret is that her parents met through a kind of matchmaker: her father chose her mom through a catalog and paid for her to come to the United States from Russia. Of course, it didn't exactly work out (they're divorced), but Sasha uses the story to get hired on at Bliss, an exclusive NYC matchmaking service. She's hopeful the job will tide her over while she waits for a writing gig. And, she thinks, she has to know something about love, since she's successfully with her boyfriend, Jonathan, who works around-the-clock in his Wall Street gig. But matchmaking isn't as easy as it looks--it's a lot of stressful Tinder swiping and tracking down potential mates in random ways--and it becomes even more complicated when Sasha develops a crush on one of her client's matches. One of the firm's rules is that matches are off-limits. Sasha's struggling: can she keep it all together?This is one of those books where I find myself going into it warily, because you just know things are going to come crashing down, and you (me) are not 100% sure you want to be there for all of it. It's not a secret (it's in the book description) that Sasha and Jonathan break up and that she gets into a relationship with Adam, one of her client's matches. For some reason, I often have an issue with these sorts of books where the character just makes bad choices: Sasha makes no attempt to avoid what will be an inevitable downfall with Adam, so I found myself cringing as she made a string of poor decisions. That's not to say Sasha isn't an engaging character. This book is very readable, and I certainly liked Sasha and reading about her life. However, I can't lie:I probably am a little older than the target audience for this novel. It offers a fun and engaging look at the dating scene in New York, but there wasn't a lot I could relate to. I felt protective of Sasha, not empathetic to her, if that makes any sense. Honestly, the book just made me feel relieved I no longer have to date or deal with basically anything Sasha had to endure during the course of this novel. Still, Orenstein does a good job at capturing Sasha's voice and what it's like to be a young twenty-something trying to survive in the city. Sasha's relationship with her best friend Caroline and her mom are well-done. I didn't think there was as much overall about matchmaking as a job as I'd hoped--it seemed to be a lot of Tinder swiping and chatting--so that was a little bit of a bummer, but there was enough to know it's a job I'd never want! Overall, if you're young and still dating, you'll probably really enjoy this book--especially if you live in a city. If not, some of its essence may be a bit lost of you, but you'll still like Orenstein's witty writing and the arc of Sasha's struggles. 3.5 stars. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review (thank you!). Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+ ~ Instagram
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    One of the first things I thought when I started this one was, thank god I don’t have to navigate dating anymore! Back when I was single the internet was in it’s infancy, there were definitely no apps much less dating apps. Mybfirst cell phone was a travesty, there was nothing smart about it. It wasn’t quite as huge as Zach Morris dinosaur phone, but it wasn’t much better. Hats off to all you guys trying to date in this crazy era, I don’t know how you guys manage! Through Sasha, Orenstein brings One of the first things I thought when I started this one was, thank god I don’t have to navigate dating anymore! Back when I was single the internet was in it’s infancy, there were definitely no apps much less dating apps. Mybfirst cell phone was a travesty, there was nothing smart about it. It wasn’t quite as huge as Zach Morris dinosaur phone, but it wasn’t much better. Hats off to all you guys trying to date in this crazy era, I don’t know how you guys manage! Through Sasha, Orenstein brings this world of matchmaking and Tinder to life with hilarity and genuine warmth, singles and smug marrieds alike will be cracking up at some of these matches.Sasha is a recently graduated early twenty something with big hopes and dreams and no money. Her new job at Bliss seems like the easiest way to earn a living in the world, but as messy as her life is before she starts, it gets worse. Her professional and personal life starts to blend together and she has some seriously difficult clients as well, girlfriend has her hands full. The clients of Bliss were one of the best parts to me, they represented all ages, races and sociological statuses and they well all pretty picky and demanding as well. So many funny scenarios and situations came about through these dates, you can read this for the comic relief alone and be satisfied.This was just a really fun and silly read, ideal when you really want to escape your own reality and just be entertained by someone else’s drama. I didn’t have much in common with Sasha but I did still really like her and was rooting for her all the way through. The ending wasn’t as wrapped up as I usually prefer but it did work here and I respect the author for leaving things how she did, it was bold and realistic which is always refreshing.Playing With Matches in three words: Fresh, Easy and Entertaining.
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    What originally drew me to this book was the title and the cover! Cover gush! <3. I love the matches that are pictures of men! Super cute and oh so true haha. I feel like this would have been the absolute perfect read for me before I met my fiance... because I met him on a dating app! :). So... I can DEFINITELY relate to all those horror stories of meeting some yucky men to say the least. And.. all those omg moments that you're thinking.. wow did I just get catfished by someone?! Yup... I sur What originally drew me to this book was the title and the cover! Cover gush! <3. I love the matches that are pictures of men! Super cute and oh so true haha. I feel like this would have been the absolute perfect read for me before I met my fiance... because I met him on a dating app! :). So... I can DEFINITELY relate to all those horror stories of meeting some yucky men to say the least. And.. all those omg moments that you're thinking.. wow did I just get catfished by someone?! Yup... I sure did haha. This book follows our main character Sasha who is a recent journalism graduate trying to figure her life out. She is a matchmaker for the elite... and she ends up coaching her clients along. Little does Sasha know... she is betrayed by her own boyfriend. She can barely hold herself together let alone her clients! This book is a change to my usual thrillers... and a nice light summer read. If you're aching for a change of pace/light read then I would say give this one a try :).Thank you to Touchstone and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest review.Published to GR: 6/17/18Publication date: 6/26/18
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  • Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
    January 1, 1970
    MY RATING: 4.5/5 STARSI received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.I was captivated by the cover of this book when I first saw it on the Simon and Schuster Instagram stories. Look how simply stunning it is! It's pink! It features cartoons! Two of my favourite things to include in a cover for a book. I know I'm being shallow by judging a book by it's cover but a girl just loves her pink. This book also screamed romance and the chick-lit type of story that the world is cra MY RATING: 4.5/5 STARSI received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.I was captivated by the cover of this book when I first saw it on the Simon and Schuster Instagram stories. Look how simply stunning it is! It's pink! It features cartoons! Two of my favourite things to include in a cover for a book. I know I'm being shallow by judging a book by it's cover but a girl just loves her pink. This book also screamed romance and the chick-lit type of story that the world is craving right now and it did. Not. Disappoint.In Playing with Matches by Hannah Orenstein, we follow our heroine Sasha Goldberg, a new grad who simply needs a job. Her hardworking and intelligent boyfriend Jonathan, the man she's been dating since her college years, has landed himself an elite position as a financial analyst intern at one of the world's leading investment firms. Sasha doesn't feel inferior to him at any point of the book but instead praises herself and knows her self-worth when she lands a job as the youngest matchmaker in New York's biggest matchmaking firms. Sasha is swept up in this fantasy world of chatting up gorgeous men and women, hoping to set them up on dates while earning a pretty penny for each one. She thinks glamour not Tinder. She craves fun nights in the bar not signing up on multiple dating profiles using alias names and changing her sex to lure in the opposite sex clients. While Sasha does have her fair dose of glamour, she sees her life slowly unraveling.Her best friend is starting to get annoyed because Sasha's been neglecting her. Her boyfriend seems more distant as he spends more time with his boss than with her and her job is mostly coaching her clients through dates 24/7. It's getting rough. When things fall apart, Sasha's story seems to come back together almost miraculously. Her friends forgive her and her love life takes off. Things do seem a little too perfect but I loved how Hannah developed her characters to wear rose colored glasses only to have the truth of it all slap them in their faces. I really appreciated the realistic elements in the story where things don't always go Sasha's way and one of the most beautiful things a person can achieve is to stand on their own two feet by themselves.I loved the writing. It was light and fun and something someone who appreciates a novel from Sophie Kinsella or Molly Harper or Leah Mclaren can really enjoy. I also really appreciated how Hannah came from a writing background. She worked at Seventeen! Guys, I adored Seventeen when I was growing up and I can see how her ease of writing something fun like Seventeen articles flowed into her writing style.MY RECOMMENDATIONI strongly recommend this book to readers in their 20's. We're not old enough to know everything but we're also not young enough to be ignorant. This book included really important self-growth and development that translates well for all of us to appreciate.
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  • Crystal King
    January 1, 1970
    What an absolutely fun book this is! I was thrilled to receive an advanced copy of this novel and it did not disappoint. Sasha Goldberg is a matchmaker for an elite dating service, one that specializes in customized connections. The thing is, her own life is riddled with disconnections, resulting in a rollicking good read as Sasha tries to make sense of the various relationships that have turned her life topsy-turvy. It's a fast moving, romantic tale with interesting and complex characters, pop- What an absolutely fun book this is! I was thrilled to receive an advanced copy of this novel and it did not disappoint. Sasha Goldberg is a matchmaker for an elite dating service, one that specializes in customized connections. The thing is, her own life is riddled with disconnections, resulting in a rollicking good read as Sasha tries to make sense of the various relationships that have turned her life topsy-turvy. It's a fast moving, romantic tale with interesting and complex characters, pop-culture to color the page and a contemporary NYC backdrop to cement it together. Playing with Matches is a perfect gift for your best girlfriend or an excellent addition to your own summer beach bag.
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  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsLittle did I realize that I had actually seen this author on a panel when I attended an event for Match Made in Manhattan and the Strand Bookstore. I remember her discussing this book and thought I needed to get my hands on a copy and lo, and behold, here I have one!Dating in New York is HARD y'all. HARD! I've lived in a variety of cities and have found New York to be the hardest. Whether it's because there's just such an abundance of people to choose from, or the hustle and bustle of l 3.5 starsLittle did I realize that I had actually seen this author on a panel when I attended an event for Match Made in Manhattan and the Strand Bookstore. I remember her discussing this book and thought I needed to get my hands on a copy and lo, and behold, here I have one!Dating in New York is HARD y'all. HARD! I've lived in a variety of cities and have found New York to be the hardest. Whether it's because there's just such an abundance of people to choose from, or the hustle and bustle of long hours and long nights that sometimes leaves little room, or desire, to make an effort. Online dating is something I do NOT like and who has money for this kind of matchmaking service?! Overall this is a super cute story. Sasha is relatable and yet at some points I'm screaming "THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE!" Then I think that just because I haven't had some overly romantic gesture thrown at me ala movie/book life doesn't mean it can't ACTUALLY happen to someone. The matchmaking parts were very entertaining and I have no doubt a job like that would probably turn me off of dating altogether. It was exhausting just reading about the wants and needs of people (most completely unrealistic). However, it is SO true that you may have a checklist of what you consider the perfect person, but it's highly likely you won't end up with someone who checks off all, or even some, of them.I did enjoy the ending as it wasn't something I was expecting from a romance book. I'm not quite certain I absolutely love this book, but it certainly kept me entertained for a quick read. If you like chic-lit contemporary books and are looking for a quick beach read, I'd say this is a good one to pick up!Thank you to Touchstone for this copy!
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  • Roshan Berentes
    January 1, 1970
    Playing with Matches is about a fresh-out-of-college New Yorker who tries to make sense of her love life while working at a high-profile match making agency. The book explores the huge societal pressure women face to find that one perfect match. While sending a profound message, Playing with Matches is hilarious and impossible to put down! Perfect summer read--a breath of fresh air full of wit and great characters. Also maybe the most instagrammable cover of 2018!
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  • Elyssa
    January 1, 1970
    Ms. Orenstein has lovingly, delightfully crafted a story that will have you turning pages so fast that time will also fly! It's a delicious story about a young matchmaker that I couldn't put down, one I kept getting excited about picking up, that I would think about while on my way to work, and that I was sad had finished when it was over.
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  • Simone
    January 1, 1970
    When I first started this book, I thought I was going to get another Devil Wears Prada where a young woman who knows nothing about matchmaking is thrust to deliver romance to strangers. When the book starts, you read that Sasha is the product of something I thought was just a myth; her father purchased her mom on a Russian bride catalog.Like, wow. Can we please unpack that life for a bit? This isn't something you read all the time especially since it is pretty much frowned upon to be ordering yo When I first started this book, I thought I was going to get another Devil Wears Prada where a young woman who knows nothing about matchmaking is thrust to deliver romance to strangers. When the book starts, you read that Sasha is the product of something I thought was just a myth; her father purchased her mom on a Russian bride catalog.Like, wow. Can we please unpack that life for a bit? This isn't something you read all the time especially since it is pretty much frowned upon to be ordering your bride off the Internet or something. However, it happens.But this book isn't about that life. Instead, it's about a young woman who appears to have her life together and suddenly it changes when she starts her first job out of college. And I couldn't put the book down. For real, I finished this book on the four-hour flight back from Los Angeles.Sometimes when you need a palate cleanser, it just needs to be simple and easy. Nothing too frilly and nothing too heavy otherwise your brain is bogged down with so many heavy thoughts you just want to hide away. People need a reason to believe that things like fate and love and joy exist in the world and this book delivers it.This book was definitely your average "things are falling apart and I'm trying to get my shit together, but it just doesn't go my way" book. It's kind of like a rom com right when things fall apart. However, instead of getting any better it only gets worse.Seriously, this book was so fun and it was a breeze to read. I definitely recommend if you're in a love rut or even if you need to step away from that serious relationship for a minute and live vicariously through someone else.I wish there was a little bit more into the whole matchmaking world than what we saw. From what I can tell, matchmakers just wear baggy pjs and eat bagels all day while putting high-profile singles together. It seems kind of easy and very hard at the same time.I think the only fault I can really find here is the ending. I found myself feeling the same way I felt about Tina Fey's memoir. I think I even said aloud "wow, that's it?" when it ended.But it took me a few days to understand why Hannah Orenstein ended the book that way. It has nothing to do with sensationalism or getting a rise out of the reader. It has everything to do with reality. In reality, not everything goes your way and maybe you don't get the guy in the end. For someone like Sasha, I think that it's an open invitation to really think about what you want and what you want to be.The entire story revolves around her own love life being entangled amongst the love lives she set up for her clients. Her mother is always emphasizing that she should go out and have fun while she's still young and I completely agree with her. I can imagine that Sasha wanted the husband and kids right away because she felt that was what she had to do. However, she gets this blank slate at the end and the only thing I can imagine her doing is living it up.I received a copy of this book from Touchstone for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.
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  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    What a fun and unique read! Living in New York, I loved seeing the city through someone else's eyes — and now have some new recommendations for restaurants and bars! I found myself thinking about the main character and what she would do next when I wasn't even reading the book. Personally, I think that shows the skill of the writer: keeping me interested in her story at all times. I absolutely loved this book.
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  • Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    As much fun as reading Hannah's tweets (which you should understand is the highest of praise)
  • Georgia Clark
    January 1, 1970
    Delightful. A fun and relatable rom-com for the Tinder age. Get ready to swipe right!
  • Colleen
    January 1, 1970
    I've been duped by books twice in my reading career. The first was when I didn't read a description well enough and ended up reading a Jane Austen retelling when I'm just not a fan, and the other time was this book. I loved the book. All the way up until about 95%, where, I am very sad to say, the ending completely ruined the whole thing for me. The premise is great: fresh from college, Sasha needs to job. She sees an ad for a matchmaking service, and, given her parents' relationship, applies im I've been duped by books twice in my reading career. The first was when I didn't read a description well enough and ended up reading a Jane Austen retelling when I'm just not a fan, and the other time was this book. I loved the book. All the way up until about 95%, where, I am very sad to say, the ending completely ruined the whole thing for me. The premise is great: fresh from college, Sasha needs to job. She sees an ad for a matchmaking service, and, given her parents' relationship, applies immediately. A book about a matchmaker setting people up on dates? Yes, sign me up for that perfect little rom-com! The characters were great. So many varied personalities that I never felt like I was simply reading the same person with a different name. They were perfectly villainy or funny or sweet or swoon worthy, whichever the case may be. The guys she was finding were too funny and as a reader, you empathize with her plight. She begins with a boyfriend, so it should be no shock to the reader that something happens there. The what, the how it was handled, the place in the novel it occurred were all done well enough to keep an avid chick lit reader flipping to the next page (or swiping, as was my case). The after drama with the wedding they were both in was so well done, so realistic, that I almost reached for a glass of wine myself. The new guy who comes in, the guts it takes to reach out and pursue the way she did- I loved it. It was 5 star material. Around 60%, the novel started to drag, I won't lie. I didn't mind that though because the way the author handled it was like time was just passing and there was nothing important to share. As the reader, I appreciated that gap in time to make the story, and specifically the romance, seem real, even if I'm also like oh, let's get going again. Still good. Still 5 to 4 1/2 star territory. The characters weren't perfect, which made them perfect, the dialogue was funny, and the romance was hot and yet clean and not explicit. THEN. Around 95%, when Mindy comes to her and says she's pregnant with Adam's baby, that's where the story lost it for me. I loved the drama. I loved the twist. I knew she had to get fired from that job at some point, I didn't care about that. Honestly, I thought it would be bigger and more dramatic than that, but whatever. I didn't care that Adam is a good guy and I knew he'd want something to do with the baby. I care that I'm at 95%, and I'm nervous as to how the author is going to wrap up the ending. Spoiler: she didn't. Adam dumps her. I'm not mad about that decision. It makes sense with the story. BUT THEN THE NOVEL ENDS. She gets the job at Esquire.com and then bam. Author acknowledgements. And one very unhappy reader. 20 more pages. An epilogue. A promise of a sequel. GIVE ME SOMETHING. Reading through the About the Author and the bad ending makes sense. Apparently I've picked up a modern day Devil Wears Prada, where "based on" is code for names have been changed. I'm good with write what you know, in fact I love it. But I picked up a chick-lit, rom-com novel. Is it too much to expect that my heroine ends up at least with the hope of reconciliation with Adam at the end? I really get *why* Ms. Orenstein wrote that ending. Similiarly, I understand why the original Gilmore Girls series ended with Rory saying no to a proposal: the whole world is now at our MC's fingers! She doesn't have to settle down and become a young wife and/or mom like her own Russian mother. In fact, her mother is probably thrilled. Now she can go out and have fun. I really understand that that's life and sometimes it doesn't end up the way we want. But that is not why I read chick-lit. It is a sweet, thought breakup (what ever that really means). I don't have issue with that. I have issue with the abrupt ending. With having to complete the storyline in my mind to make myself satisfied with the work. Did I enjoy my time reading? Until 97%, yes, very much so. And I greatly appreciate that the author took the time and effort to write this. It really was an enjoyable read until the ending. Would I recommend it to a girlfriend? Probably not. The ending wasn't strong enough "she don't need no man to be happy!" for me to justify the whole no man in a chick-lit book thing. Would I give the author another shot? For sure!! The writing really was fun, quick, fluffy chick-lit! Everything you'd want in a book like this! But I'll be double checking the ending prior to reading. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to preview this book in exchange for an honest review. Honestly, thank you. If I had bought this for my Kindle, I would've ended up returning it for a refund as soon as I finished. The ending is the last impression.
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  • Janelle
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks so much Touchstone Books for providing my free copy of PLAYING WITH MATCHES by Hannah Orenstein - all opinions are my own.This is the perfect palate cleanser to balance out those heavy reads. It’s easy-breezy, quickly paced, addictive, and so much fun to read! I kept flipping through the pages to see what decisions our main protagonist would make next. The story centers on Sasha Goldberg, a recent college graduate living in New York City, who is desperate to find a job. She is the product Thanks so much Touchstone Books for providing my free copy of PLAYING WITH MATCHES by Hannah Orenstein - all opinions are my own.This is the perfect palate cleanser to balance out those heavy reads. It’s easy-breezy, quickly paced, addictive, and so much fun to read! I kept flipping through the pages to see what decisions our main protagonist would make next. The story centers on Sasha Goldberg, a recent college graduate living in New York City, who is desperate to find a job. She is the product of divorced parents as her mom was a Russian mail order bride. So needless to say her parents didn’t make the best match. She soon finds herself working for an elite matchmaking service, in the midst of the dating scene trying to pair people together. Of course, things start to go wrong when her own love life gets entangled with her clients.I am not usually a romcom reader, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I especially appreciate the realistic elements and how not everything is neatly wrapped up in a bow. And I’m obsessed with the eye-catching cover!! PLAYING WITH MATCHES is the perfect summer read with well-thought-out and complex characters that will keep you totally engaged. This is a debut novel, so I’m very interested to see what Orenstein comes out with next!
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  • Meredith Schorr
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this debut novel! I found the vibe to be very much like The Devil Wears Prada and Bond Girl, both books I also liked a lot. Great writing style. It was so much fun reading about a young matchmaker with zero experience trying to set other people up while her own relationship was imploding. I liked Sasha a lot. She had her flaws, but she was a good person at the heart of it and so, so young. The book managed to be very sexy at times without ever being graphic. I found that impress I really enjoyed this debut novel! I found the vibe to be very much like The Devil Wears Prada and Bond Girl, both books I also liked a lot. Great writing style. It was so much fun reading about a young matchmaker with zero experience trying to set other people up while her own relationship was imploding. I liked Sasha a lot. She had her flaws, but she was a good person at the heart of it and so, so young. The book managed to be very sexy at times without ever being graphic. I found that impressive. I would definitely shy away from matchmaking services now that I know so much of it is done with dating sites I could do myself! The ending really threw me for a loop and I did not see it coming! I hope the author has another book coming out because I'd love to read her sophomore effort.Thank you to Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I really needed this mindless book about finding love in NYC after the last one. Would recommend to someone who needs a quick beach read.
  • Gaele
    January 1, 1970
    Sasha has everything she thought important on graduating from NYU: a great apartment in NYC, a roommate/best friend, a boyfriend and the world at her feet. But, when her dream job isn’t at her fingertips, she’s got to find something, and the advert for Bliss, a matchmaking service just may be her only option. Oh sure, people can scoff at arranged relationships, or even internet dating: but she knows that it works – her parents are her example. Yep – you read that right, Sasha’s father found her Sasha has everything she thought important on graduating from NYU: a great apartment in NYC, a roommate/best friend, a boyfriend and the world at her feet. But, when her dream job isn’t at her fingertips, she’s got to find something, and the advert for Bliss, a matchmaking service just may be her only option. Oh sure, people can scoff at arranged relationships, or even internet dating: but she knows that it works – her parents are her example. Yep – you read that right, Sasha’s father found her mother on a ‘Russian brides” site, and their relationship has stood the test of time. So – she applies for and joins the team at Bliss – and soon she is busy doing all the things one would expect when finding the ‘One” for one of her clients. And Sasha is good at her job: she’s able to get down to the core of people quickly, she sees potential and offers advice on everything from patience to conversation topics – all while her own relationship is moving from rose-colored perfect, to sensing flaws, to being merely a spectator to the life her boyfriend is experiencing. So – here’s where things go a bit pear shaped for Sasha, if not unexpectedly. She finds another potential match for a client – and realizes that this man would be the perfect match for her: there’s just one issue. She’d be committing career suicide in a joy she not only likes, but is good at, should she step over that line. Orenstein has written a lovely character in Sasha - a solid, good-hearted and ambitious young woman who, despite her occasional uncertainty and inexperience manages to keep herself out of most of the major pitfalls that are looming around her: until she doesn’t. She’s never really given up her desire to use her journalism skills to work for a major magazine, and when her life starts to unravel after discovering her boyfriend is less than she had believed, she’s also got someone in the wings who is much more than she had previously. That doesn’t come without it’s complications either – and leaves her with one HUGE decision to make – one that perfectly fits the new-found confidence and dreams for her future. A bit expected when things start to fall apart, with a lovely relationship that Sasha has with the hustle and bustle (and hidden gems) in New York – the story is a wonderful light read: easy to follow along, feeling plausible and possible, with a heroine in Sasha who is resilient and determined, and proof that sometimes life steers you in unexpected directions, it’s how you choose to deal with the detours that matters. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Review first appeared at I am, Indeed
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    After reading this I suppose I can see why so many people have enjoyed it but unfortunately, I wasn't one of them. The cover and title both caught my attention, but the overall story just didn't work for me. *ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    Playing with Matches by Hannah Orestein is a story of Sasha Goldberg being hired as a New York City matchmaker, she is twenty-one. For me this book was just OK, I enjoy this type of book, but I really didn't care for any of the characters. I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • michele
    January 1, 1970
    A fun, light read, perfect for the summer. I did lose a little interest mid way through, but was happy I continued reading. The ending surprised me, it wasn't as fluffy as I assumed it would be and I loved that.
  • Tess
    January 1, 1970
    A total fun summer beach read that I ate up in two days. It can sometimes be a bit too self aware, and a lot of NYC insidery stuff that may be a turn off to some, but it moved fast and was a fun world to escape into.
  • Emma Benshoff
    January 1, 1970
    Fun, easy read!
  • Kate Vocke
    January 1, 1970
    Ummm can I please be a matchmaker for my job so I can just date cute boys all day and my husband has to let me cause um hello - it's my JOB! OK that sounds weird, and I think I'm a bit old saying "cute boys" but hey, I'm just dreaming right?!Sasha Goldberg is young, pretty, fresh out of NYU, has a gorgeous boyfriend working in finance, and an amazing roommate who is basically a sister to her. When her dream job working for People.com falls though, she applies to work at Bliss. An elite matchmaki Ummm can I please be a matchmaker for my job so I can just date cute boys all day and my husband has to let me cause um hello - it's my JOB! OK that sounds weird, and I think I'm a bit old saying "cute boys" but hey, I'm just dreaming right?!Sasha Goldberg is young, pretty, fresh out of NYU, has a gorgeous boyfriend working in finance, and an amazing roommate who is basically a sister to her. When her dream job working for People.com falls though, she applies to work at Bliss. An elite matchmaking service for those who can afford such a thing. With ZERO experience in the match making business (and almost equally the same amount in dating in general) - she gets hired because of a family secret she reveals, that makes her stand out.She soon realizes matchmaking is hard work! It's definitely a full time job pairing up the desperate, the picky, the insane! But she is all in - swiping on Tinder for matches for her clients, setting up unique dates, wrangling and fielding calls and texts, giving "advice" to women twice her age! Her boyfriend Jonathan is perfect and perfect FOR her. She initially thinks, 'hey I've found my forever guy - how hard could it be to help find someone else their one and only?' Until something happens that makes her question if Jonathan really is THAT guy. And question basically every life choice she makes.I really wish there was a bit more matchmaking stories in this - they were so fun and interesting. But we mostly delve into Sasha and what's going on in her life - and some really horrible choices she makes. I found a lot of her choices a bit unbelievable and her struggle to make them a bit annoying. It's mostly probably because I found her a bit unlikeable and snooty - same with most of the other characters. The storyline was fairly predictable but I zipped through it one day. It was well-structured and easy flowing and fun to follow. The concept and the way the story unfolded was fun as well, and I enjoyed reading it.Thanks to NetGalley and Touchstone for the opportunity to read and review!
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  • Peebee
    January 1, 1970
    A fun, light debut novel in the chick lit genre that nonetheless creates a heroine of substance. I underestimated this book when I started, and am still not quite sure about the ending, but the ending (without spoilers) both surprised me and made me have more respect for the rest of the book. It apparently comes from the author’s experience working for a matchmaking service and now writing as a dating columnist, and as implausible as having that career path might sound, it was fun to learn about A fun, light debut novel in the chick lit genre that nonetheless creates a heroine of substance. I underestimated this book when I started, and am still not quite sure about the ending, but the ending (without spoilers) both surprised me and made me have more respect for the rest of the book. It apparently comes from the author’s experience working for a matchmaking service and now writing as a dating columnist, and as implausible as having that career path might sound, it was fun to learn about it through the book. And Sasha may be young, but she’s not as naive as one might initially expect, and handles herself well in some complicated situations. If you like books about single women and men navigating what it’s like to date in NYC, this is a very good example of the genre. I didn’t know that BlackBerrys were still around, much less talked about so much in the iPhone/Android era, but otherwise, the book felt reasonably authentic to me. And quite enjoyable as well. I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Boz
    January 1, 1970
    A light, breezy fun, romantic comedy. In "Playing with Matches", NYU journalism major, Sasha Goldberg, has her dream career fall apart and in a last ditch effort to get a job, any job, she ends up working as an elite matchmaker at an elite dating service and hilarity ensues. It was delightly cringeworthy to read about the dating escapades of her clients and even Sasha herself, as she falls for one of her clients.The author has a great voice, The title of the book and cover art is clever. I have A light, breezy fun, romantic comedy. In "Playing with Matches", NYU journalism major, Sasha Goldberg, has her dream career fall apart and in a last ditch effort to get a job, any job, she ends up working as an elite matchmaker at an elite dating service and hilarity ensues. It was delightly cringeworthy to read about the dating escapades of her clients and even Sasha herself, as she falls for one of her clients.The author has a great voice, The title of the book and cover art is clever. I have been a fan of her past work at Cosmo and recently at Elite Daily. She perfectly encompasses what it's like to be a recent graduate and navigating a job that has nothing to do with your degree and how to manage friendship, and the dating scene when you're paid to be an expert.. I'm excited to see what comes next for her.I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.
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  • Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    Playing with Matches is a cute, light read about a 22 year old matchmaker in NYC, just trying to make her way at her first job out of college while balancing friendship and her own relationship. This book reads like a rom-com, and I enjoyed that there were doses of reality in the storyline. For those of us who have lived through the swipe right era, some of the frustrations of dating in the digital age will definitely ring true. I’d recommend this book for anyone in their 20s, or those just look Playing with Matches is a cute, light read about a 22 year old matchmaker in NYC, just trying to make her way at her first job out of college while balancing friendship and her own relationship. This book reads like a rom-com, and I enjoyed that there were doses of reality in the storyline. For those of us who have lived through the swipe right era, some of the frustrations of dating in the digital age will definitely ring true. I’d recommend this book for anyone in their 20s, or those just looking for a breezy summer read!I was provided an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Marianne
    January 1, 1970
    I can see the appeal for this book but I don't think I'm the target audience. I felt this was "too young" (for lack of a better way to put it) for me (I'm in my 40's).I hated to, but with so many good books on my tbr list I decided to DNF. I do appreciate the arc in exchange for an honest review and thank the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity.
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