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Playing with Matches

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  3,594 ratings  ·  512 reviews
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 Jo
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Touchstone
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Average rating 3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,594 ratings  ·  512 reviews

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Me for the first half of this book: Fun!!! Pink cover!!! Fun!!! Yay matchmaking!!!

Me for the second half of this book: We have found the vessel of the apocalypse on this planet. All of human suffering is encapsulated within these pages. The container for the cause of all negativity in this world exists in this story alone, and her name is Sasha, and she is a fictional matchmaker.

If I was a normal person, I would say, "This book was very fun for fifty percent and I enjoyed it immensely and flew t
Fafa's Book Corner
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Mini review:

Minor spoilers ahead!


GR 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
Oof.. this was bad. 🙁

Playing with Matches, by Hannah Orenstein left alot to be desired. This contemporary romance follows the life of newly graduated, Sasha Goldberg. Sasha is twenty-two and madly in love with her Finance boyfriend, Jonathan. When her dream career of writing for People magazine falls trough, she manages to land upon the unique opportunity to work as a Matchmaker for New York Citys Elite. Sasha feels like she has it all; the unique, interesting job..the amazing-sucessful boyfrie
Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)

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
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
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 d
I was enjoying this until 90% and then I swear to god it turned into a horror story. I feel misled by the summary. This is more of a coming-of-age contemporary novel than a romance. The romantic interest(s) are terrible, and I guess that's the lesson I'm supposed to come away with about men in general. But any man in his 30s perving on a woman just out of college can't be trusted, so I should have known.

Probably what bugs me the most is that, while I suppose this book is largely autobiographica
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 ...more
Sarah Joint
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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 ...more
Hannah Orenstein
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
If I don't think my own book is worth five stars, there's a problem. ...more
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)


I 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
Crystal King
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- ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I have a question, do writers even care whether anybody would wish to read about what’s happening in their MC’s stories? Because Hannah Orenstein obviously doesn’t. This heroine is sooooooooooooo stupid. And boring, and un-interesting and I reiterate stupid, stupid and stupid. I skipped such a huge chunk from the middle of this stupid book and I’m still feeling annoyed. Who cares what’s going to happen to this idiot?
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
3.5 stars

Little 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
Roshan Berentes
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Playing with Matches had been recommended to me by someone who shares similar tastes in novels. She knows my preferences too well, as I really enjoyed this story and had a hard time putting it down. I was thinking about it whenever I wasn't immersed in the pages.

Hannah Orenstein uses sharp and witty dialogue to make her characters come to life. I love that the story is set in NYC and you can really feel the vibe of the city through her descriptions. Sasha was easily relatable, even though we're
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
As much fun as reading Hannah's tweets (which you should understand is the highest of praise) ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, arc
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.
Melissa Italiano
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a fun beach read! Classic rom-com style. Gives off Devil Wears Prada vibes but for matchmaking which is something entertainment media hasn't really touched upon yet!

Books On The Subway picked it for this month's #OffTheRailsBookClub which met last night. We had the pleasure of having the author come and answer some questions and it made the book even more enjoyable to learn that so much of it is based on her own experience.

This book has so much potential for a sequel and I'm here f
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny-reads, romance, 2018
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
Ella Star
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this coming-of-age chick-lit! Makes me want to move to NYC.

I was expecting a sugary-sweet chick-lit in Sophie Kinsella's lane when I picked up this book. Instead, I got a bittersweet coming of age story about a 22-year-old New Yorker, a matchmaker for a dating agency whose life felt heartwarmingly familiar.

I admit Playing With Matches was a total cover buy for me! I mean how could anyone *not* but this book after seeing the adorable cover art? I absolutely adore it and can't wait to
Janelle Janson
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
Georgia Clark
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful. A fun and relatable rom-com for the Tinder age. Get ready to swipe right!
Jul 24, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I fucking HATE millennials.
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
I picked up this novel because it was suggested in a letter from the editor at the beginning of my ARC of My Favorite Half-Night Stand that said book "is perfect for fans of The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella, and Playing with Matches by Hannah Orenstein. Well, I've read and adored two of the three, so obviously I had to give this newest recommendation -- of sorts -- a try. And I adored it, as well, but in a totally different way. Because I kind of also hat ...more
Lisa Aiello
3.5 stars. This was an above-decent read. It was kind of like Sex and the City if Carrie were a matchmaker and really young and not quite as seasoned in the ways of the bit city world. Sasha finds herself working as a matchmaker, without really intending for that to happen. She isn't necessarily qualified to do so, but she throws herself headlong into it. After all, she found her perfect man, so how hard can it be to troll Tinder and JDate and every other dating website, and find the perfect mat ...more
Meredith Schorr
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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Hannah Orenstein is the author of Playing with Matches and Love at First Like, and is the senior dating editor at Elite Daily. Previously, she was a writer and editor at She lives in Brooklyn.

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