Cover Image: The Match Disaster

The Match Disaster

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Member Reviews

THE MATCH DISASTER - Latesha Kellam

TOO MUCH DETAIL - 2 stars

Plot - 2 stars - Not sure of the plot here. The book blurb says that this woman has entered a new relationship and expects to be treated better than with her first. But it seems so obvious, right from the beginning, that she lets this new man walk all over her. So all we hear about is the play-by-play of every aspect of their relationship, in exhaustive (and unnecessary) detail. 

Writing - 1.5 stars - The writing seemed very amateurish. It felt like a report for school rather than a smooth and seamless building of a story. It was basically written as a diary and included excruciating detail, such as where they went for dinner, what they wore, every conversation they had. I didn't quite get the point of the book since it really put the author in a bad light and made her seem gullible and mis-used. There also were many grammatical mistakes. Typos can be attributed to the publisher and lack of proofreading, but improper grammar is just unacceptable. For example, the character would say "I use to think that..." instead of "I used to think that..."

Characters - 2 stars - These characters both have their faults. Now that's not a deal breaker for a successful book, but neither of the characters seems to understand the basics of a good relationship. The male is self-absorbed, despite the fact that he thinks he's a good boyfriend. He reminds me of the joke about the guy who says...now let's talk about you...and asks, "what do YOU think about me?" And the female was such a doormat that I couldn't get past my frustration with her. She seemed to feel herself liberated and strong, but she always gave in to his whims and moods, thinking she didn't want to rock the boat. Obviously, you haven't been in a good relationship before if this is what you feel is an improvement, but this guy is the very definition of a toxic relationship. 

Title - 4 stars - I like the title; a bit of a play on words where the match could refer to an actual physical match that caused a fire or other disaster, but really it refers to the match.com match the heroine made.

Cover - 4 stars - Beautiful cover. Again, this emphasizes the play on words, showing an actual lit match but really referring to the match.com relationship she's in.

Overall - 2 stars - It's interesting to me that neither of these characters is named. It's all told in the first person, pretty much like a diary. The disadvantage is that the reader can't really relate to either character since it's such a one-sided story. We only hear about the woman's point of view, and I've got to admit that it was incredibly frustrating to read about her relationship with her new man since he was obviously a hot-head and thoughtless about her. But we don't actually know a lot about the man despite the fact that they've dated for 5 years. So either she didn't understand him or ever bother to get to know him beneath the surface...or he kept himself from her, which is another obvious red flag. In any case, I couldn't understand the motivations of either character. They obviously had mixed feelings about each other, yet they continued to belabor this relationship long past its expiration date.
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Sometimes people are in each other's lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. After experiencing the first two in a marriage and an engagement that didn't last with other people, Lacey and Thomas both try looking for lasting love again on a popular matchmaking site. Lacey is skeptical and cautious in getting to know Thomas despite their similarities. They're both successful thirty-something professionals with children. Beneath the surface, each of them struggles with a complicated mix of spiritual wounds and vulnerabilities, which Lacey internalizes and Thomas externalizes. Subtle warning flags in the first year show up with increasing frequency and duration each year until a final implosion decimates them. It's Lacey's contemplative narration as she examines their relationship in the clarity of hindsight that hooks readers into caring about what happens, even while knowing heartbreak is inevitable. 

If, as the saying goes, people are only as sick as their secrets, then there's one significant, unexplained cliffhanger mentioned at the midpoint of this engrossing story, referred to as a “life changing secret" that one character reveals to the other in a text message, but never gets explained to readers, which weakens the overall strength of an otherwise satisfying conclusion. The Match Disaster is an emotionally intimate cathartic debriefing of a romance that wasn't meant to last forever. It resonates with relatable themes about the challenges of making and sustaining healthy relationships while juggling life's daily demands. Lacey and Thomas's bumpy journey offers heartfelt wisdom in its portrayal of the risks and rewards of pursuing intimate human connections.
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