Cover Image: Matchmaking for Beginners

Matchmaking for Beginners

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Member Reviews

What an enchanting, light-hearted read. I really enjoyed it and the magic it was filled with. The main story was entertaining and moved along quickly with plenty of backstories to make it feel whole. The characters in the building were all great fun and written really well. Blix and her free-spiritedness that seemed contagious, Patrick and his tragic yet lovable charm, Jessica and her cynical, heartbroken and hopeful outlook. Noah was crap. I get that he was meant to be poo but he had zero redeemable qualities that could explain why Marnie would be with him. Marnie’s entire family seemed pretty bad, which helps support her connection with Blix. Marnie was fun but kind of dumb. Her constant dumb choices got tiring. She seemed like an immature child. I would’ve preferred a lead character with stronger, more independent qualities but Marnie is still very likable. A great and fun story for the romantic at heart and those who believe in a little destiny.
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Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this title. This book is a DNF at 25% for me. I just couldn't get into the story, but I know other readers will enjoy it.
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Marnie MacGraw is ready to marry, and ignores some red flags to push forward to marry Noah.  Her great aunt by marriage, Blix, considers herself a matchmaker and warns Marnie of the uselessness of marrying Noah.  Blix also finds a kindred spirit in Marnie, who also sees the "sparkles" of couples.  After Marnie and Noah split, she is adrift and ends up heading back to Jacksonville, Florida to her parents' home.  Once there Marnie reunites with Jeremy, her high school love.  Jeremy offers the promise of marriage, a home, a couple children, etc.  And, Marnie is ready for steady.  Then, Blix dies and leaves her Brooklyn house to Marnie, offering Marnie a chance to begin her big, wonderful life.  To gain the house, though, Marnie must stay in Brooklyn for 3 months and give it a chance.  Since she is at a crossroads, she accepts the offer and makes a move to Brooklyn.  Tenants in the Brooklyn brownstone enrich Marnie's life and give her the direction she needs to move forward with her life.
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Matchmaking for Beginners is all about Marnie, a young woman who is adopted by a bizarrely unique woman named Blix. Blix comes into Marnie's life as the great aunt of Marnie's fiance' Noah (who soon after she marries and then divorces, a decision the couple makes on their honeymoon). To heal from her disaster of a "marriage," Marnie moves back into her childhood home with her parents; she falls back into a life of dependable ease with her mom and dad and her sister, sister's husband, and their new baby. But the icing of the dependable cake is falling back in love with Jeremy, her high school best friend-turned-boyfriend-whom-she-dumped-for-the-Hot-Guy(TM). Marnie and Jeremy decide to advance their relationship to engaged right before Marnie receives a surprising letter: Blix, after dying from cancer, has left Marnie her brownstone in Brooklyn! But there's a catch: Marnie must live in the house (and therefore get to know its quirky, mismatched tenants, too) for three months before she can put it on the market (if she decides to do so). So, off to Brooklyn Marnie goes. But there are more surprises in store for Marnie when she gets to the brownstone. Will Marnie ever get the hang of this uncanny ability to *see* when two people are falling in love or are perfect for one another? Will living in Blix's house, a more practiced matchmaker, help Marnie get her love life on track? Will Marnie figure out her way forward without overly present parents or a skates-by-on-his-charm (ex-)husband? 

I had so many problems with Matchmaking for Beginners. 

The main issue is how early-2000's rom-com Matching for Beginners is. Marnie jumps from guy to guy to guy without a whole lot of "slow burn" for the emotions to sizzle and form and jump. The closest we get is her relationship with Jeremy, whom she ends up describing as too boring. It felt a little like the pot calling the kettle black because, essentially, Noah had broken up with Marnie because he felt *she* was too boring. When I read a romance, I want to have feels, and Matchmaking did not do that for me at all. It was too surface-level and there wasn't enough character development to satiate my tastes. 

The diction that Dawson gives to Marnie is unrealistic. Marnie is in her late 20's, yet she (and her sister) say "I can't even." Unironically. As someone also in her late 20's, I don't know any of my peers who say that phrase. It's definitely more of a Gen Z phrase. Additionally, Dawson describes the glasses that Sammy, and some other characters wear, as "plastic." It took me a while to figure out what she was trying to describe. But she meant the trendy glasses that, I suppose, are really made of plastic, but I've never heard them called such. It just brought the verisimilitude to a screeching halt; an older writer *trying* too hard to appeal to a younger audience. 

Thirdly is how money is treated --or rather ignored-- throughout. Marnie is a preschool teacher and her fiance' is a music teacher. Granted, he comes from money, but they live in an upscale apartment in California? Please. There's no way they could afford that. And Marnie can just jump on a flight from Florida to NYC? With what savings? And then she gets a part-time job in a flower shop in Brooklyn? There's no way she can continue to live at her standard of living once Blix's generous housing allowance is up. Too many millennials struggle with debt, and Marnie is likely to be one of those individuals. 

In all, this might be a cute read for older readers who want a PG-13 romance. However, I can't see it fulfilling a lot of millennials' reading tastes as Dawson tries too hard on being relatable-- and it has fallen flat.
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I had a little trouble getting into this book right away with the alternating perspectives, but after just a few chapters I began to love and root for both Marnie and Blix! It seemed like perfect timing when Marnie met Blix, and if she hadn’t, I’m sure her life would have turned out quite differently. As Marnie struggles through some difficult life changes, I kept finding myself wondering how Blix would tie in to all of them, since she was going through a tough reality as well. Overall, the characters and storyline ended up to be well developed and I really enjoyed this read. Thank you, NetGalley for the ARC!
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This book was so fun and kept me interested right until the end. The characters were well developed and the story was heartfelt. I would definitely suggest this for book group!
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Thank you Net Galley, Maddie Dawson and the Publisher for an ARC Copy in exchange for an honest review.  

After reading a while lot of mystery and thrillers ~ this book was like a drink of cool water.  This book is adorable, it is charming, it is sweet. This is the perfect beach read. ~read this book, you will not regret it. 

Maddie Dawson is an extremely talented writer.  Her characters are cute and quirky. The storyline is oh so sweet and that is why this book is getting 5 stars
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I added this to my overflowing TBR pile, due to the numerous positive reviews I found on the web. And the novel won't disappoint you a bit. As you must have guessed already, the storyline is unique and the incorporation of magic realism blends well with the plot.
        What interested me most was Marnie, the imperfect heroine. I have seen many complaining of her as she has cheated on her fiance. Well, obviously that is a major issue, but may be that is what makes this novel dear to our hearts. Even with the little magical powers involved, this splashes us with reality, giving a break to perfect Cinderella stories.
         Then there is Blix, who I think have blixed all us readers. One could almost feel her wishes of happiness flowing throughout the book, seeping into our bloodstream and to our heart. Her matchmaking projects are one of a kind and many a time I felt really jealous as to how she marched on with her life.
        All in all, I will recommend this precious book to anyone looking for a different romance read. It will surprise and enthral you till the very end!
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No matter how much we try to plan things out—our family, our career, our relationships—most of us find that our lives don’t go as we expect. And in Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson, one woman’s path takes her everywhere but where she planned.

Review published on and aired on Shelf Discovery.
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3* Brownstone Stars

I chose to read this book because I loved the cover and the title of the book interested me. However it fell a bit short for me. I found the beginning to be a bit slow and boring. It did start picking up toward the latter part of the book. 

The characters in the book that lived in the Brownstone house were quirky and loveable. They all had their own stories to tell and battles to fight. I enjoyed Marnie, the heroine, as she was sweet and kind especially towards her “acquired neighbors” in the Brownstone house she inherited. 

If you are looking for a read that has humor, a touch of romance and colorful characters then this read is for you.

Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for a copy of this book to read and review
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Matchmaking for Beginners was a charming book.  The story is told from 2 different perspectives - the 2 main female characters.  Both of them were engaging from the start of the story, and I was rooting for them the whole way through.   If you are looking for an fun read that will leaving you feeling happy and satisfied at the end, this is book for you.  I couldn't put it down!
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I absolutely adored this book. Maddie Dawson has a talent for writing fully developed characters who are interesting and exciting to read about. She makes you care what happens to the people in the story. 
There are two main characters in this story. Blix is the free spirited woman who is dying of cancer but wants to help others find love and happiness before her death. She is a matchmaker and does spells for others, and she has found a kindred spirit in her Great nephew's fiancee Marnie. She wants Marnie to live a big life, and puts a few surprises in place to ensure that this big life occurs.
Marnie feels like she is falling apart, and meeting Blix and speaking with her change her life. There are big changes that happen for her, and you root for her through them all. 
I would highly recommend this story, which was easy and enjoyable to read. I have read one other book by this author and find that she really has a knack for character development. I will be looking for more stories from her!
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A perfect book for fans of old fashioned chick lit.  Dawson has a good storytelling style and  if you're a fan of this genre, you will thoroughly enjoy meeting Marnie and Blix and the whole cast of characters Marnie meets along the way.  This is a happy positive read.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  Throw this one in your beach bag (or whenever you need a pick me up!)
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By Maddie Dawson
Publisher. Lake Union Publishing
Publication date: June 1, 2018

Marnie is hopelessly in love and determined to marry the man of her dreams. However after 2 weeks the marriage fails, and she is devasted and goes home to her parents where she reconnects with her ex boyfriend from high school.  Surprisingly she is left in the will of her ex husbands aunt the house along with all the responsibilities that accompany it.
This book is very charming, and magical. It’s a nice love story with a positive message. Marnie is looking for love and desperate to get her husband back, so she does the desperate thing and asks the crazy Witchy aunt for a spell. I love how Blitz responded. “Your going to be absolutely ok. You have a big life coming.”
Blitz is a wonderful, colorful, charismatic character that is lovable and inspiring . As you read about her there is a sense of awe about her that seems to exude from page. 
All the characters in this book are unique and well developed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and HIGHLY recommend MATCHMAKERS GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS.
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Marnie is marrying her romantic boyfriend, Noah.  They go home to the South to meet his family and she instantly bonds with his Great-Aunt Blix.  Blix is a matchmaker and the black sheep of the family who lives in Brooklyn.  She rents out apartments to a motley crew of people.  The problem is, Blix is sure that Marnie and Noah are not meant to be and that she is perfect for the mysteriously scarred Patrick that lives in her basement apartment.  Blix holds her tongue at the engagement party, but tells Marnie that she is meant for a great big life.

Marnie finds that hard to believe when life takes some unexpected turns.  Will she be able to tap into her inner strength and the matchmaker magic that Blix is sure she has?

I don’t want to give more away of the plot as there were quite a few twists and turns.  I thought it was a great story.  Life is stressful right now at work and with moving and this book was a great way to relax at the end of the day . . . although it was so engaging it kept me up instead of helping me to sleep!

I loved the characters in the story.  I will admit that Marnie annoyed me at times with her decisions, but I really enjoyed reading her journey and how she went from a very low point of life to really understanding herself and where she wanted to go.  I loved Blix and would love a spinoff of her in her younger years with her various adventures.  I also enjoyed that the story had a bit of a magical element to it as well.  The story was told between alternating viewpoints of Marnie and Blix.

Favorite Quotes:

“My California life, my adulthood, quietly folds itself up like a map and tiptoes away.  Nobody but me even sees it go.”

“But no, it’s a star.  Blazing out, probably from millions of years ago.  Isn’t that what they say?  That when we look at the stars, we are seeing the past.”

Overall, Matchmaking for Beginners was a wonderful story of a young woman really discovering herself and her potential, and of another woman at the end of her life trying to help others.

Book Source:  E-book Copy for being a part of the TLC Book Tour.  Thank-you!
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I will be honest.  I chose this book because of the title.  I like the cover too.  

I started reading Matchmaking and was immediately like, oh no.  What book did I choose?  One about reading other's auras and magic in match making?  One where they "see" things in others?  No.  I have so many books I want to read, I do not need to read this one.  But let me just read one more page.

It sucked me in.  I am still not sure how I feel about Marnie or Blix.  Kind of annoyed, kind of entralled I suppose.  It helps that Marnie is from Florida (me too!) and ends up in Park Slope, Brooklyn-where I lived for 11 years.  It is the perfect place for this kind of story, because the cast of unlikely characters could actually occur there.  I had similar misfits in my life, and we all kind of went together, for awhile.

While I could do without some of the "magic" I liked the basic story line.  It is a quick read, easy to follow, despite the many characters.
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Sadly this book did not turn out to be the light hearted story I expected. There were a fee nice moments, just too few. I really didn't like the main character Marnie at all, 
(spoiler) especially as she cheated on her fiancé.  The decisions she made throughout the book puzzled me and made it a difficult book to get drawn into.
I received an advance reader copy from Netgalley.
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What a wonderful, magical, beautiful story! I am so sad that this is over. This book was in my top three to reads for 2018 and I’m thrilled that I received a copy from NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for a review. 

The main reason why I wanted to read this was because of the gorgeous cover and multiple praises I’ve seen about this new release. Filled with romance, humor, and a little bit of magic, I loved majority of the characters dearly. After the death of her eccentric ex great-aunt in law, Blix, Marnie heads to Brooklyn after inheriting her house. There she discovers that she shares a similar ability as Blix in regards to seeing who would be a perfect match. There are so many wonderful quotes in this book. Add this to the top of your list! We all need a little Blix Holliday in our lives. 

“We’re all running out of time. And...we also have all the time in the world.”
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Not as light and fluffy as expected but enjoyable and charming. I really wasn't sure what to expect but was delighted by this book. It was different from what I'd expected but worth a read.
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This was my first introduction to Maddie Dawson, and I will definitely be seeking out her other works. The writing is lovely, the characters are flawed and wonderful, and the story moves right along. I recommend this for a joyful summer read!
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