January is my catch up month, which means I’m reading a bunch of January, February, and overdue ARCs to try and play, well, catch up! We have another NetGalley ARC review today for You Have a Match by Emma Lord, which was so freaking good!
I requested a copy through NetGalley from Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
You Have a Match by Emma Lord
Publication Date: January 12th, 2021
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.
But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.
When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.
The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.
But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.
I love the secret sibling trope, and the fact that Savannah (Savvy) is Abby’s sister while she’s living at home with her parents and brothers, was a really cool basis for this book. Savvy and Abby are pretty different personality wise, but physically, they’re almost identical. Even with this difference in personality, they grow closer over time and learn to get along in order to figure out why Savvy was given up for adoption and what secrets their parents have been hiding.
One thing I didn’t like about the sister interactions is how judgement Abby can be at times. She learned photography from Poppy, her grandfather, and likes to do nature and landscape photography. Cool. Savvy also does photography, but mostly for Instagram. Abby isn’t a fan of Savvy’s interest in being an influencer and without even getting to know Savvy, Abby makes a lot of assumptions out of her. And, of course, she contemplates leaving camp and does the same flip flop with her willingness to stay. One moment she wants to leave and insults Savvy and the next she wants to stay and it’s all good. It was a little too much.
As the book goes on, Abby becomes more accepting of the idea of Instagram and influencers in general, though she still likes to hold it over Savvy’s head for whatever reason. Her interactions with Leo get more and more awkward as they continue not communicating with each other on what happened and how they feel. Abby wasn’t my favorite protagonist – she was pretty mean at times with a self-inflated ego, but the other characters made the book so much better. Savvy is a rule follower, but she’s also really nice and excited to be working at the camp, which means she’s willing to break some rules to keep people happy. Leo is a sweetheart and Mickey, Savvy’s friend, is so fun I would honestly be friends with her.
One thing I liked about this book was that we aren’t just following one love story, but two. Both Abby and Savvy go through a romantic journey. Abby as she pines for her best friend Leo. And Savvy as she struggles with her relationship with her girlfriend Jo. Then of course we have the identity journey. Savvy is learning about her biological family as well as Leo learning more about his culture. Seeing as Leo was adopted with his sister Carla, he grew up in a white household. We see Leo get a chance to connect with his heritage through Micky who is also Filipino. There’s a lot of self growth and reflection in this book, which is one of the things I love the most about it.
Overall, while I was peeved with Abby at times, in the end I loved watching her journey. We get beautiful nature scenery, food that I would kill to eat, and friends who I wish were real. And by the end, I couldn’t stop smiling and for that, this book gets a // 5 stars!
If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out Emma’s other book, Tweet Cute, or you can check out The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss by Amy Noelle Parks!