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The Matchmaker's List

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One devoted modern girl + a meddlesome, traditional grandmother = a heartwarming multicultural romantic comedy about finding love where you least expect it

Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn't mean she has to like it--or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina's side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tight-knit Indian-immigrant community, but now she's ambushing Raina with a list of suitable bachelors. Is it too much to ask for a little space? Besides, what Nani doesn't know won't hurt her...

As Raina's life spirals into a parade of Nani-approved bachelors and disastrous blind dates, she must find a way out of this modern-day arranged-marriage trap without shattering her beloved grandmother's dreams.

352 pages, Paperback

First published January 22, 2019

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About the author

Sonya Lalli

5 books681 followers
Sonya Lalli is a Canadian writer of Indian heritage. She studied law in her hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and at Columbia University in New York City. She completed an MA in Creative Writing and Publishing at City University London in 2015, and currently works as a journalist at a legal magazine in London. She has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and loves travel, yoga, piano, reading and cocktail bartending.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,065 reviews
Profile Image for Katy O. .
2,326 reviews723 followers
January 27, 2019
SPOILERS BELOW but they are regarding problematic content and I believe they are important for deciding whether to invest your reading time.
Okay, I'm not going to waste time talking about the things I did like about the book. Because the problematic content so far overshadows that. It is NOT OKAY to have a woman pretend to be a lesbian to avoid her grandmother's pressure for her to find a husband. It is NOT OKAY to lie to everyone on earth and pretend to be gay to make life easier for yourself. It is NOT okay to lie to a gay teen who has the courage to come out to you, and then continue to lie about it. The whole situation is so so so so wrong and I'm appalled that Berkley published this. I *think* the author was trying to share issues in conservative Indian families but this is so far from the right way of doing it that I'm disgusted. And then to even have her (for real) lesbian friend just go along with the lie too? And only have ONE person really call her out on the horrible nature of what she's doing, but then be like, oh, but we can't tell people YET. WTF. This book is so hetero-central that I can't promote it.

And now for nitpicking.

1) Why is she so obsessed with her Blackberry in 2019? People from Toronto assure this US reviewer that they are just as outdated there as here.
2) The differing POVs in the flashbacks and last chapter were very weird. Those alone knocked this book down to a 3 star for me even before the fake-gay thing.
3) I understand having conflicted views on your heritage, but the overall tone regarding being Indian in this book were incredibly negative.
4) The cover is deceptively cutesy for the content and the blurbs are ridiculous. There was NOTHING funny in this book. Seriously. And it's not a romance. Don't call it that - it's a discredit to the actual romance genre.

Okay, that's all! This was a free review copy but obviously that didn't influence my opinion ;-)
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,168 reviews37.3k followers
January 22, 2019
4 Stars.

Full of laughs, heartbreak and lots of little surprises.

Sometimes life is about finding your truth and about being brave enough to fight for it.

Raina is twenty-nine. Her Nani desperately wants to see her married before she turns thirty. Raina, however is not ready. After all, she isn’t dating anyone and her breakup with her last boyfriend, Dev, two years ago left her completely broken hearted. Her Nani and her best friend Shay seem to think that marriage will somehow make everything better. Nani has it all figured out – she comes up with a matchmakers list – a list of potential suitors for her Raina. Let the games begin!

A bit of hilarity mixed with just the right touch of, well, everything! Family, friendship, heartbreak and yes, love. For Raina, who would like more than anything to find her own way in life; for her Nani, who discovers that it’s hard to see your loved ones struggle and not obtain the future you want for them. “The Matchmaker’s List” by Sonya Lalli is a novel that makes you ponder what’s most important in life and it is an absolute delight! It has received a lot of mixed reviews – all I can say is, don’t follow them, read this novel and decide for yourself.

This was a buddy read with Kaceey! Thanks for sharing this one with me!

Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group and to Sonya Lalli for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Published on Goodreads on 1.20.19.
*Will be published on Amazon and Twitter on 1.22.19.
Excerpt to be published on Instagram.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,130 reviews3,714 followers
January 20, 2019
Five heartwarming 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
A positively sweet, romantic comedy that had me smiling with joy, (and yes crying!) from page one right to the very end!

At only 29, Raina is a successful business woman living in Toronto.
Raised in a traditional Indian home, and introduced to all the culture, beliefs and values that her beloved Nani shared with her since birth.
Only problem, (at least according to Nani.) Poor Raina is still single.

And so, in lieu of her upcoming milestone 30th birthday, Raina reluctantly agreed to allow her dear Nani to help arrange dates for her. Basically the modern prelude to an arranged marriage.

I’ve been BLISSFULLY (cleverly added by my sneaky husband.🙄) married for years now, but wow did this book take me back to my single days and the horrible, yet laughable blind dates I endured! Some real doozies! Nearly as bad as Raina's! But alas, one did work out – that’s how my husband and I met.

Sonya Lalli shines a focused light on the struggle of old-world culture clashing with the new generations. Something usually has to give, one side or the other.
Whether it’s letting go of your family’s beliefs and your upbringing, or perhaps parting with a piece of yourself.
While this book explores all the complicated give and take, it is joyfully laced with humor throughout.
It was such a light and heartwarming tale of family and love. Learning to let go of the past and opening yourself to the future.

Beautifully written, I highly recommend!

A wonderful buddy read with Susanne!❄️

Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for a copy of this book to read and review.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,608 reviews5,998 followers
September 7, 2018
I told myself I was going to make myself finish this book tonight. I lost that battle.

This book had so much potential! It just ended up being soooo boring. The story was a almost 30 year old woman had promised her Nani that if she wasn't married by thirty that she would let her help her "find a mate"..and it could have worked. Nani's character sorta tried to bridge the gap of being a modern woman with her Indian heritage. Her- I tried to like. I just felt that enough time was not given to flesh out her character. Bummer

Then the main character Raina..she just got on my dang nerves. At the point where I gave up the ghost on the book she was back to mooning over the guy that dumped her years ago. He refused to meet her family and this girl was old school with her Nani and we were supposed to buy that? Not. Plus, he treated her like poo but of course that was the guy of her dreams. He lurrrrvvved her. *gag*

She reads as so immature for a almost thirty year old woman. I went into this book wanting a rom-com that touched on some subjects that haven't been done to death..such as arranged marriages. I didn't get that.

My head hurts.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review
Profile Image for Christy.
3,923 reviews33.1k followers
July 10, 2020

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The Matchmaker’s List was a fantastic debut novel by Sonya Lalli. By the cover and the blurb, I was expecting this to be a cutesy and fun rom-com. While it was that, it was also much more angsty and emotional than I thought it would be.

Raina is almost thirty. Raina’s grandmother is from India and holds their traditions to heart. She wants Raina married and settled down, and it seems all Raina wants to do is work. After having her heart broken years ago, Raina just isn’t in the dating game right now. But her grandma isn’t having that. Grandmother plays matchmaker much to Raina’s dismay.

Raina goes on some awful dates an meets some questionable characters, all per her grandma's picking. Nothing feels right. Raina is desperate to get her grandmother off her back and ends up getting herself in a bit of a pickle. It’s one of those lies that seems harmless at the time then gets completely out of control. Trying to navigate life, she is at a crossroads. Coming clean could mean hurting a lot of people she loves but she can’t keep on as she’s keeping on. Raina will have to decide what she wants in life and what is most important- her own self love and happiness.

I really did enjoy The Matchmaker’s List. It was part romance, part chick-lit, and it had a lot of heart. I loved the family ties, the friendship, and the self acceptance. This was a coming of age story of sorts, and I loved being along for Raina’s journey. Raina who never felt good enough finally got that validation she needed, but more importantly, she felt it herself.
“I don’t need you to have husband.” She moved her left hand to my cheek. “You are perfect, my Raina. Just as you are.”

If you’re looking for a heartwarming story of self discovery, family, friendship, and love- pick this one up! It was highly entertaining and a lot of fun to read.
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,024 reviews15.7k followers
February 17, 2019
This was an adorable romcom bursting with culture, family, friendship, fun, and love!

This was a charming feel-good story that put a big smile on my face! This book did a really good job of showcasing the expectations and pressure we as parents sometimes put on our children when it comes to love, marriage, and many other things... I think the pressure to be “perfect“ is greater in some cultures than others.... but I think almost all parents regardless of culture want the absolute best for their children, we want them to be happy, and it is always hard to let go.... Sonya Lalli did a tremendous job of handling some serious subject matter with respect and compassion... she took the pressures of belonging and assimilating and added in some heart, hope, and humor!

Raina has just turned 29, she was raised by her Nanny Who is a traditional Indian woman... her Nanny is bound and determined to get Raina married off... I think the fact that she feels as though she “failed“ when it came to Raina’s mother adds even more pressure... Raina wants nothing more than to make her beloved grandmother happy so she acquiesces and agrees to date some of the men on “the list“... The biggest problem? Raina is still hung up on her ex, and when her ex comes back into the picture she is hopeful to rekindle the flame... feeling the pressure and the pull of pleasing herself or pleasing her grandma and others leads Raina to some poor decision making.... decisions that impact many others in her life, decisions that she soon regrets, decisions with ramifications, decisions that she ultimately has to atone for.... so how will Raina extricate herself from this mess? And will she ever find true love?

The characters and culture in this story we’re all so colorful and just popped off those pages! Raina’s stress to please not disappoint was palpable as was her grandmothers love... The complexities of familial entanglements really shown through in this book... I especially found the relationship between Raina’s grandmother and mother quite interesting and complicated... there were quite a few complicated relationships in this book most likely compounded by the struggle between the old and the new... Raina’s dating adventures were quite cringe worthy and humorous! And relatable, I mean who hasn’t been on a bad date? But through all the struggle, the complexities, the pressures, what really shown through in the story was LOVE! There was so much love amongst all these characters and even though sometimes it wasn’t shown in the best way, it was always there!

A wonderfully told story full of whimsy, heart, hope, and love! Absolutely recommend with all my heart!

🎵🎵🎵 song running through my head! This is what raina needed to say to her ex! What a tool he was!

To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
Everything you own in the box to the left
In the closet that's my stuff, yes
If I bought it please don't touch
And keep talking that mess, that's fine
But could you walk and talk at the same time?
And it's my mine name that is on that tag
So remove your bags let me call you a cab
Standing in the front yard telling me
How I'm such a fool, talking about
How I'll never ever find a man like you
You got me twisted
You must not know 'bout me
You must not know 'bout me
I could have another you in a minute
Matter fact he'll be here in a minute, baby
You must not know 'bout me
You must not know 'bout me
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don't you ever for a second get
To thinking…


*** many thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,354 reviews3,010 followers
October 23, 2018
I've looked forward to reading this for months so I guess my expectations were too high. My biggest problem with the story was I just didn't understand the main character. By the end of the book I just wished the story had revolved around her grandmother and mom instead.

Raina Anand has decided she will let her grandmother, Nani, find her a man. Living in an Indian-immigrant community there has to be at least one guy who Nani will approve of and will make Raina happy. Right?

I thought for sure this would be right up my alley but it ended up being such a disappointment. I just didn't get Raina. It makes for a frustrating read when you don't understand the character's motivations. I thought the backstory of her mother and grandmother was so much more interesting and would have enjoyed a book about them instead.

Maybe others will enjoy this one, but unfortunately it just wasn't for me.

Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.

Profile Image for Mackenzie - PhDiva Books.
481 reviews14.4k followers
February 18, 2019
Heartwarming, funny, and fresh—Sonya Lalli’s novel The Matchmaker’s List is already a favorite in the romantic comedy category for me! I loved the story about a woman who is feeling pressured to get married as she nears the age of 30, and I loved the way Lalli wrote. She lets her characters be flawed and make mistakes, but the book is also clearly filled with love. And not just romantic love! Family love, friendships, and the love of a community in a time of change. I hope you enjoy this one!

About the Book

One devoted modern girl + a meddlesome, traditional grandmother = a heartwarming multicultural romantic comedy about finding love where you least expect it.

Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn't mean she has to like it--or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina's side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tight-knit Indian-immigrant community, but now she's ambushing Raina with a list of suitable bachelors. Is it too much to ask for a little space? Besides, what Nani doesn't know won't hurt her...

As Raina's life spirals into a parade of Nani-approved bachelors and disastrous blind dates, she must find a way out of this modern-day arranged-marriage trap without shattering her beloved grandmother's dreams.


I found The Matchmaker’s list to be completely refreshing, bright, and filled with heart. To me, this was a book about a woman, and a community, on the cusp of transitioning from generations of tradition, and newer generations who are evolving to a different way of living their culture and religion. An evolution that maybe puts less emphasis on the way things were done in the past. Raina (and even her best friend Shay, to an extent), are both caught in the middle. Wanting to choose happiness on one side, and feeling pressure to not disappoint their families on the other.
But while Shay seems to know what will make her happy and just needs to find the courage to tell her mother, Raina doesn’t know what she wants from life. Raina has always done things because she felt she was supposed to. Which means that Raina has never really thought about what makes her happy. What she does know is that the pressure is becoming too much. Raina has lost a bit of herself, through a heartbreak and a career that she is good at, but not sure she enjoys.

Not everyone is brave enough to be themselves.

This line has stuck with me long after finishing this book. It’s not only the perfect line to describe the story, it’s something that we can all reflect on and learn from. I can think of several characters in this novel who learn this lesson throughout the book. For Raina, this book is about finding out who she is. Finding out how to be brave and live with the best of her and the worst of her out in the open.

A few things that I completely loved about this novel, in addition to what I already wrote. First, I loved many of the male characters. This is a female-centric novel (as it should be), and the women characters are incredibly well developed. But even many of the male characters who were supporting roles I found to be unique, refreshing, and delightful to read about. I think that is a hard balance to write!

Second, I loved the way the characters were drawn to be imperfect. No one is without fault in the debacle that happens. Raina is perhaps the character with the most outward mistake (that lie…it just spirals out of control and she doesn’t know how to reclaim it), but nearly all of the characters show the best of themselves and the things that make them imperfect. And they are all the more loveable for it!

Finally, I love the context and culture. An Indian community, and all of the quirky and fun and light, as well as the dark sides of a community such as this one. They love and support one another. And they also perpetuate traditions for the sake of tradition. In addition and related to this, there was such a cozy feel to this novel! Lalli mentions the smells and the textures a lot. Talcom powder. Cocoa butter. Roasted cumin. Pepper. Every scene and character had these cozy scents that really brought the book to life for me.

I read this one with my book besties Jennifer and Berit, and we all loved this story. The friendships, the family, and the community made this romantic comedy good-to-great. Because while there is a fantastic love story, to me this is a book about Raina—a woman finding herself in the midst of a cultural evolution that left her behind. I hope you love it as much as we did!

Thank you to Berkley for my partner copy!

Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,187 reviews30.5k followers
February 9, 2019
A fun romance with endearing characters!

Raina Anand has modern values, but her family is more traditional, especially her grandmother. Raina is receiving pressure to get married and along with that to allow her grandmother, Nani, to be matchmaker.

Nani has big plans with a long list of potential suitors. Raina ends up on one ridiculous date after another, and she’s looking for a way out. Will she find it and her own happiness one day?

The best parts of the book were Nani’s antics. She is warm and endearing and offered insight into some traditional Indian cultural norms.

It was also fun to experience Raina’s blind dates along with her, reliving my own disastrous dates from years ago when I was single.

The Matchmaker’s List is a fun and winsome tale of a family on the cusp of change- grappling with new ways versus old traditions. It was about growing up and choosing what’s important to you in life, and how to balance that bond with your family and what they wish for you. While I would have liked Raina to perhaps find a different way out of the matchmaking by Nani, it was the author’s choice, and without a doubt, I enjoyed this endearingly told story of Raina’s search for happiness.

Thank you to the publisher for the complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
February 27, 2019
Raina Anand lives in Toronto and was raised in a traditional Indian home by her grandmother, Nani. She is turning thirty and Nani is getting concerned that her granddaughter isn't married. Romance hasn't been on Raina’s agenda since she failed at her most recent long term relationship.
Nani is on a mission and provides Raina with lists of suitable single Indian men for a potential husband. Raina makes a light effort to make her grandmother happy but finds no suitor to her liking. They live in a tight-knit community and Raina begins to feel judged by her failures. This pressure builds further when she is asked to be the maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding.
”The Matchmaker’s List” is about a woman trying to balance a modern lifestyle with traditional values. This debut novel by Sonya Lalli has the core themes of romance, friendship, and the pursuit of happiness.
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,593 followers
February 6, 2019
<3 4 stars <3

Such a nice surprise, I devour it in one sitting.The plot was good and I loved the heroine.I like the writing, and I hope we can see more from this author.


I loved most of it, I just didn't liked the ending a lot and this is why I give it 4 stars.However, it was a great story.

The Matchmaker's List is sweet, intense and heartwarming.


Profile Image for Kendall.
644 reviews653 followers
January 23, 2019
I was very excited to read this book and had super high expectations for this. I have been putting off doing this review because I didn't know how to put in words how this book made me feel without mangling the book.

Raina decided that she wants to have her grandmother Nani help her find a man. I was expecting this to be a romance and I was pretty much thrown completely off guard with this book. Raina is feeling extreme pressure from her grandmother about getting married. But, Raina made so many questionable and odd decisions throughout this book. My biggest issue and in all honesty I was completely shocked that the author would have used this in her book... but Raina pretended to be gay during her dating process. Ok.. I don't even know where to start but this was absolutely appalling to me. I can't image someone that identifies as LGBTQ would think reading this book.

I'm not exactly sure what the author was trying to do here? But... after I read this part.... the entire book was ruined for me. This book is supposed to be about culture and love etc. How can this be about different cultures with "pretending" to be gay. Yikes... No... just plain wrong.

So... ok your family having extreme pressure on you to get married and settle down. Clear up in the book right away that Raina wasn't a lesbian. Don't have this through the ENTIRE book and continue to make this a theme? Why... that's just wrong.

I didn't like this book at all and would not recommend this. This was definitely not for me :(.

Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley for the arc in exchange for my honest review.

1.5 stars for me on this one.

Publication date: 2/5/19
Published to Goodreads: 1/22/19
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,120 reviews1,365 followers
September 29, 2018

Any time I hear about a brown romance author coming up with a new romance read, I am more than excited. As a brown woman, the feelings that I get seeing someone like myself being represented in a book with a happily ever after are just magical. I have been excited for The Matchmaker's List for precisely that reason since early last year. I wanted so much out of this book and ultimately, these expectations wound up being crushed.

A big part of why this book didn't click for me was my expectations. I went into The Matchmaker's List thinking that it was going to be a romantic comedy of sort. I would hardly categorize this book as such having now read it. It was actually angstier and a little bit darker than I was expecting it to be. Right off the bat, I was thrown off by this. Regardless, I decided to pause my reading for a bit and came back to it with a fresh perspective. Still though, there was just something preventing me from completely enjoying the story. I soon found out that it was the main character, Raina. I wanted to love Raina, but she wasn't my type of heroine. I understood her struggles and why she felt so much pressure from her Nani, her grandmother, wanting her to urgently get married. She often made questionable decisions and I found it hard to connect with her. Becky described her as a hot mess and I think that's a perfect description of Raina. I don't mind reading about hot-mess heroines, but I found that Raina took things too far. It wasn't a white lie, and it affected and hurt so many people around her. Perhaps if we had seen her working towards fixing this lie sooner I would have grown to care for her, but she dragged it and I thought she got off really easily at the end.

The whole matchmaking process and romances were also emotionally draining for me. I think that was the whole point with the matchmaking process at least, but I don't quite think the author intended for the romances to come across as tedious. So we know that Raina is hung up on this guy that she met and fell in love with while she was in London years ago. She goes on these dates with the guys that her grandmother suggests, but she is undeniably still in love with Dev. When Dev comes back into the picture things get really complicated for Raina. I think I'm going to sound like a broken record but Raina's romantic drama was just too much for me. I didn't like or care for any of the guys that were introduced, mostly because they were one-dimensional and there were so many of them that there was hardly enough time to get to know them. I genuinely disliked Dev as a person and couldn't see what Raina ever even saw in him. When she finally "picked" a guy at the end of the book, I was surprised by how quickly declarations of love came to be. I was honestly even surprised that the person was even a contender. I didn't dislike everything about The Matchmaker's List. There were some elements I really enjoyed - I thought the discussions of culture, dating, and arranged marriage were thought-provoking. I also adored Raina's Nani, who obviously deeply cared for her granddaughter, but wanted the best for her future. Lalli's writing is also strong, which is why I read the book to completion.

My advice to readers going into The Matchmaker's List is to go into it not expecting a contemporary romance, but more of a women's fiction read. I am sad that this didn't work for me, but I do hope that it works for other readers.
Profile Image for ♡.
214 reviews1 follower
August 16, 2020
4 matchmaking stars!👰🏽

Such a light and easy read! It was super real - as an Indo-Canadian, I really understood the topics discussed throughout the book, and felt for the characters. It displayed the right amount of emotion, without making the book too overwhelming or over-the-top!

Raina lives with her Nani (maternal-grandma). Her mother had her when she was really young, so her parents aren’t really in the picture. Since Nani was quite disappointed in her daughter, she took the responsibility of raising/caring for Raina.

Raina is hung up on Dev, her ex-bf. Nani wants Raina’s happiness and doesn’t want her to lead the same life as her mother, so they make an agreement: if Raina is still single at thirty, she’ll be open to dating/an arranged marriage. Arranged marriages are super common in south Asian cultures, and other cultures as well. Raina doesn’t really want this, but she agrees because she wants her Nani’s happiness more than anything. Although I do understand where Nani was coming from, there were many times when she just needed to take a step back and relax smh.

Raina’s best friend, Shay, has her wedding coming up. Along with being a maid of honour, Raina is going on many blind dates and trying to balance her work life. Later on, Dev comes back into her life and she’s super frustrated. She doesn’t exactly know what she’s looking for, but she does know that she’s probably not going to get whatever that is from Dev - he’s super fixated in his work life, and prioritizes it above everything else.

Shay introduces Raina to Asher, a friend of her fiancé. Raina and Asher spend time with one another, and grow to become friends.

Nani has a feeling that Raina may be a lesbian, so she asks her. Raina doesn’t deny this, as a means to escape all the pressure from dating and avoiding the topic of Dev. Soon after, everybody finds out that Raina is supposedly (even though she’s not) a lesbian. This creates a rift between the community and causes a lot of unnecessary drama. To add to this, it certainly does not help her friendship with Asher.

”There is no shame in love. We make choices, and then, we try and move on the best we can. We try and live with those choices.”

So will Raina settle with one of the men she goes on a blind date with? Will Dev officially be back in her life for good? Or will she attempt at a relationship with Asher?

I liked this book a lot! A lot of the ‘backwards thinking’ bothered me, but it definitely added to the reality of the situation. I loved that this book had a lot more of an emphasis on family complications rather than romance. It handled some pressing issues very well, without being offensive. If you’re looking for a book that’s light on the romance and has a good amount of family/community drama (with good representation) give this one a go! x
Profile Image for Geri Reads.
1,232 reviews2,066 followers
February 16, 2019
I love reading books from diverse authors, and The Matchmaker's List seems to be the perfect book to me. An Indian girl dealing with the weight of her family's expectations & then found true love in the process. Sounds like a book for me.

Unfortunately, it became readily apparent early on that this book won't end up being a good read for me after all.

I adore prickly and unlikable heroines but Raina isn't unlikable as much as she's just a horrible human being. I'm sorry but her lies did me in. I wanted to like her but Raina just didn't bounce back into my good reading graces after that especially since i felt like she never learned her lesson at all.

Anyway, if you guys are interested in reading meddling Indian families, arranged marriages, etc. I highly recommend Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh.

ARC provided by Berkley
Profile Image for Tabs.
810 reviews28 followers
January 27, 2019
It’s been ages since I’ve read a book with a main character who was this horrible a person. This is a women’s fiction/chick lit novel so selfishness is really not an unexpected protagonist trait. But lying about being gay for more more than half a book is something else entirely. And lying about being gay to an actual gay vulnerable teenager who asks for your help? UNFORGIVABLE.

Full review to come closer to release date.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lisa (Remarkablylisa).
2,290 reviews1,831 followers
February 6, 2019

I received an ARC from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for a honest review and to take part in the blog tour. 

Firstly, I can't really begin by explaining how much I enjoyed this book. When I think back to when I first received this copy and immediately started reading it, getting captivated by the words, enthralled by the story and our characters--there's just so much to talk about.  

The Matchmaker's List tells the story of a modern girl, Raina, who is creeping closer and closer to her thirties. In her culture, it's not normal or uncommon for someone her age to have no prospect of marriage. People around her usually marry young and with no relationship in sight, her grandmother, sets her up on a series of dates with suitable matches. Raina goes along with the plan to appease her grandmother but secretly resents her for it and resents every suitor because deep down, she wants to be independent and find love in her own time and also, she's still mending a broken heart. Soon Raina begins to crumble under the pressure of others and her world is tossed upside down with the return of her ex, falling out of her friendship with her best friend, and maybe finding someone she could love. 

I really enjoyed this book because the writing was simply gorgeous. It's plain but descriptive and rich with emotions. Sonya Lalli has a way of pulling in readers even with the most basic scenery like Raina going to work, doing some fancy finance stuff on her computer, or just staring out at the sunset thinking about life. It pulled me out of my reading slump because I related so much to Raina. I just loved reading about her navigating her late twenties and dealing with the pressures of everyone around her. And not to mention, I'm a huge sucker for books that take place in Toronto. I love reading about my home city and the places I visit around too just like the characters in the story. 


The book had swoony romance, a feminist stance, well-thought out characters, emotions, and cultural representation romance novels need nowadays. I strongly recommend on picking this one up.
Profile Image for Leigh Kramer.
Author 1 book1,208 followers
Shelved as 'not-reading-problematic-content'
January 31, 2019
After reading excerpts, I have addressed the publisher and am declining to review my advance copy due to problematic content. A plot line around a character pretending to be lesbian so she doesn't have to deal with her family wanting her to get married, even as a gay teen is coming out to her, is offensive to the LGBTQ+ community. She also proceeded to out that teen to all of her family and friends when she finally fessed up. How no one at the publisher recognized how deeply problematic this is only shows how much more work needs to be done in the industry. You can find details in Kate's review.
Profile Image for Simone.
559 reviews700 followers
January 27, 2019
::SPOILERS WARNING:: Just letting you know that halfway through this review, there's a big spoiler but I have to talk about it because it's the reason why I couldn't give it a full five stars.

I think when it comes to romance novels, you're expecting there to be two main characters. They're the love interests and you read throughout the novel as they volley back and forth before finally getting together. Even though this book is said to be a romance novel, I actually didn't see it that way. Yes, there's romance and love, but it's also about women and their dating lives.

In many ways, I resonated a lot with Raina. She's this young Indian Canadian woman with a lot of people lobbying men for her to marry. Not even date, but to become her husband. I think I resonated the most with her when she had an ex she couldn't get over. The way she felt about him was the way I felt about my ex and the years I spent trying to both get over him and still hold out in case he still loved me. That kind of experience really messes you up and regardless the number of dates you go on, it's hard to let go of.

I thought it was so interesting that Sonya Lalli used arranged marriages and the pressure many cultures have on marrying off their daughters. In many ways, Raina's life reminded me of my own. Yes, I have been asked by my parents if I wanted them to find me a husband. Yes, I've been in love with one person who repeatedly broke my heart. It finally took time and patience to find someone who really loved me for who I was and become my partner. I'm so glad that I waited it out and I think Raina does the same thing.

I also loved that Raina was a real person. She wasn't that "oh I'm so clumsy and quirky I can't even take myself seriously" like many women in romance novels are depicted. She's working at a job she doesn't have passion for. She's dating men her grandma thinks would be suitable husbands. She's helping her best friend get married and trying her best not to feel like this will never happen for her. I feel like women everywhere have felt exactly what Raina has felt before. You can say that she's a "hot mess" but if you think about it, we've all been a hot mess when it comes to love at one point in our lives.

But I felt like romance wasn't the primary theme in this book. In fact, I wouldn't really categorize this book as a romance. It's more contemporary fiction or womens' fiction where the fiction really speaks to women and their dating lives. This is the truth, people! Dating is messy. Love is messier. And this book shows what I feel is a real example of what dating life is like for many young folks. They may not have an eccentric grandmother, but they do have everything else.


The only thing I had issues with (and honestly, went back and forth in my mind) is the gay commentary. In the book, Raina's grandmother somehow gets it into her head that Raina must be gay. It's the reason why she's not with anyone and why she's disinterested in dating people. Of course, that couldn't be far from the truth but Raina doesn't correct her immediately. Raina doesn't deny it, but she doesn't do anything to fix it. Instead, she allows her grandmother to believe she's gay and she believes it pretty much up to the end of the novel. The whole community knows and it splits everyone down the middle.

As you can see, there's a few problems with that particular narrative. First off, no one should be "pretending" to be gay to avoid dating. If you don't want to date, then don't date and do what other responsible Asian kids do which is lie through your teeth about your dating life. It just makes a mockery of the LGBTQ community especially when one of the characters is a lesbian and is okay with Raina masking herself as a lesbian.

But despite it being problematic, I thought that it was an interesting way to spark conversation regarding the discrimination within the Indian community. I love that this became a big theme in the book, but I hate the way it was executed. If you wanted to touch on this topic, I think that the best way to do it is to make Raina actually a lesbian and the rest of the story about her struggle to come out to her family and her community. Of course, that would have changed the entire dynamic of the story, but at least it would feel more honest.

And I get it. In the anxiety and stress of your family pressuring you to get married and settle down, it might have slipped her mind to clarify right away that she wasn't gay. But when it kept going on until the end, I thought it was too long. I honestly thought it would be a quick moment in the book, but when it became one of the major themes, I was not happy about that.

I think if you focus on the fact that this stirred up some conversation about discrimination in the Indian community, then it doesn't feel as problematic.

But aside from that, I really enjoyed this book. I even teared up towards the end because I resonated so much with Raina and thinking about my own messy past love life. But the one thing I took away from this is that time heals all wounds. Time helps to get over those exes. It helps you find new loves. It helps you find yourself and what you really are meant to do in this life. If anything, that's the best message you can get from this book.
Profile Image for Eilonwy.
826 reviews207 followers
January 18, 2022
A solid 3-1/2 stars
Raina has promised her Nani that if she is still single on her 29th birthday, she'll let herself start being set up for an arranged marriage. When that day comes, Nani has a list ready.

But Raina isn't really ready to like any of those men. She's still hung up on a guy she knew when she was studying in London. He wasn't ready to settle down then, and probably isn't now either, but a sense of unfinished business is hard to shake.

But as Raina tries to avoid admitting to Nani and her best friend that she hasn't moved on, she spins a lie that has wider-reaching effects than she would ever have guessed.
I enjoyed this book, but it is a bit of a sprawling mess. That cover and Nani's list on the first page of the book made me expect a romance. It is not. It's a literary coming-of-age-at-long-last story, and it covers the entire year between Raina's 29th and 30th birthdays. So it's a bit long-feeling. And it covers a lot of territory. There are at least two subplots in here that, IMO, the author could have saved for use with other books (with different characters), because there were just a few too many things going on.

And yet. I found Raina appealing, and appreciated spending time in her head, even amid all the painful circumstances in this book. She struggles, she faces her worst choices, and she grows. It's a well-done story. The cast of other characters are also interesting, and I enjoyed getting to know each of them as well.

I could have done without the series of flashbacks to pivotal events in Raina's life. The stories were interesting, and one in particular helped create empathy for Raina's wandering mother, but they were just a bit much in a book that was already a little too much.

This review sounds a bit lukewarm, but my 4 stars stand. This was an admirable, ambitious debut effort that achieves everything it sets out to do. Just in a somewhat winding way.

Content warning: Raina's Big Lie is majorly problematic and goes on waaay too long. If you want to know what it is, plenty of other reviews for this book will tell you. I was deeply uncomfortable with it, but at the same time, it showed such a wonderful side of Nani, and provided a powerful positive punch at the end of the book, so I'm forgiving it and I think all my squirming while I was reading it was worth it. YMMV, of course.
Profile Image for Lisa Wolf.
1,654 reviews208 followers
October 6, 2019
The Matchmaker's List had been on my to-read list for a while, and after a few heavier books, I thought this would make a nice, light change of pace. And yes, it did, but it was also frustrating and ultimately disappointing.

In The Matchmaker's List, Raina is 29 years old, a serious career woman -- an investment banker -- coming off a break-up with the love of her life. Dev is another investment banker, hard-driven in a way that Raina isn't, and always puts his career ahead of their relationship. Raina is so blinded by love that she puts up with it, until she just can't any more. As the book starts, Raina is living back in Canada after her time in London with Dev has ended, single, and devoted to her grandmother Nani, the woman who raised her.

Raina's best friend Shay is newly engaged, and Shay's mother Sarla is planning the ultimate Indian wedding bonanza. Nani just wants to see Raina settled as well, so she convinces Raina to go on a series of blind dates with suitable men from Nani's list. The men are, for the most part, duds -- arrogant or looking for an insta-mommy to their kids or just plain strange, and Raina is so not into it.

It's a fairly cute set-up so far, right? Raina wants to please her Nani, and she's not having any romantic success on her own, so why not try some traditional matchmaking? Except Raina is still hung up on Dev, who stays in touch just enough to keep Raina on the hook.

And here's where I got really turned off by Raina's character: After a misunderstanding, Raina lets Nani think she's gay. In fact, she confirms it, thinking it'll stay between the two of them and keep Nani from pursuing even more extreme measures to find her a prime Indian man to marry. Of course, it doesn't stay between them, and soon, the entire Indian community knows the "truth" about Raina, causing a huge amount of scandal and division, and leading to Nani being shunned by the women she used to be friends with.

Still, Raina keeps up the fiction, even when she sees that Nani has been browsing the internet to learn more about gay rights and how to support one's gay chldren, even investigating reproductive options for lesbian couples. Yup, Nani is ready to become a gay rights activist in defense of her beloved Raina. Raina still doesn't back down -- not even when the boy she used to babysit, now 18 years old, uses Raina's "coming out" as inspiration for his own, pushing him out of the closet before he's really ready and causing a huge rift within his family.

On top of Raina's ongoing lie, which feels like a cop-out to me, so unnecessary and causing so much drama and tension, she just doesn't strike me as a particularly good friend or nice person. When Shay mentions that she'd like to introduce Raina to one of her fiancé's friends who's just back from traveling the world for the past few years, Raina labels him a drifter and dismisses him -- and when she meets him, she immediately decides he's a stoner with no real evidence to support her conclusion, and continues to refer to him that way to his face even during additional encounters. Judgmental much?

What seems the most unforgivable to me is the huge fight she and Shay have during Shay's bachelorette weekend, when Shay hears from Sarla that Raina is a lesbian. Shay knows that that's a lie, and confronts Raina, and the two end up in a screaming match, during which Raina says this awful thing to Shay:
"I wonder if Julien would still marry you if he knew what a slut you used to be."

Really? Slut-shaming her best friend? And threatening her this way? Just disgusting.

As is the way with what's supposed to be a breezy romantic story, things of course work out for Raina and she ends up meeting the man of her dreams, getting the awful ex-boyfriend out of her life, telling the truth to Nani, and making up with the boy who came out because of her and felt horribly betrayed. And of course, she and Shay make up and are closer than ever, with Shay supporting Raina every step of the way.

And really, I just couldn't. How could Shay possibly forgive Raina after the horrible thing she said? I'm sorry, I don't care how angry Raina was (without justification, I might add) -- I think her actions and statements were pretty unforgivable.

Also, by allowing Nani to believe she was gay, she thrust her unprepared grandmother into a controversy that caused her all sorts of grief and turmoil. Raina later seems to be using the experience to show how sexual orientation shouldn't matter in terms of being loved and supported by one's family and community, but it felt like co-opting someone else's struggle. Raina, a straight woman, pretending to be a lesbian for her own convenience, and somehow holding herself up as a symbol of pride and equality? No.

I wish I could say the story itself is charming enough to get me to see past these issues, but it's not. It wasn't a slog to get through or anything -- the narrative moves along quickly, and there are plenty of amusing incidents and vignettes that keep the pace going. Nani is a great character, and I enjoyed the sections that showed the complications of Raina's childhood, her mother's life, and the backstory for her relationship with Nani.

The cultural elements are also quite good -- I loved getting the little snippets about Raina cooking with Nani or enjoying their favorite Bollywood movies together, as well as the customs surrounding a traditional Hindu wedding, and can only imagine how spectacular it might be to actually be there and experience the gorgeous clothing and amazing tastes and sounds and smells.

Still, that doesn't outweigh how offensive I found so many of Raina's actions. I'd love to hear opposing thoughts, of course. But for myself, I can't really recommend this book, despite its occasional amusing and entertaining parts.
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,910 reviews853 followers
February 18, 2019
For a romance book, this wasn't very romantic. After 37% I just skimmed to see if it got any better.

A copy was kindly provided by Berkley Books in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ari .
933 reviews304 followers
January 28, 2019
*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

*2.5 Stars!*

It may be too early to call, but I definitely feel like 2019 is gonna be the year for brown girl romances! I've been adding romance books written by brown women featuring brown heroines to my TBR left and right and it makes me so excited to read romance books about girls just like me. The Matchmaker's List was one of those books on my list and I had really high hopes for it. Too bad it didn't end up living up to my expectations and I'm pretty bummed about it to say the least. Let's get this mini rant of a review started!

At twenty-nine, Raina Anand is tired of her family constantly badgering her about when she will find husband and finally settle down. So she decides to let her Nani play matchmaker as she sets Raina up on numerous dates with men who are deemed "husband material". Failed date after another, Raina is ready to throw in the towel and claim the single life for good. But when a blast from the past comes waltzing back into her life wanting a second chance, Raina finds herself having to make some tough choices that could either make or break the relationships with the ones she loves.

When I first picked up The Matchmaker's List, I had a hard time putting it down because I was really enjoying it. The whole story of Raina feeling pressured to find a husband and settle down is something I related so hard too because I'm literally going through the same thing right now. I swear, brown parents are okay with you being single until you reach a certain age and then they just want to you get married already. I loved seeing the Indian culture in this book and I especially loved Raina's relationship with her Nani. Her Nani was so sweet yet sassy and she's was definitely my favorite character in this book. So I was pretty much enjoying this story until about 40%—basically that's where shit hit the fan as the plot twist was introduced and I was so not here for it. Raina doesn't have the courage to tell her Nani that she is back with the ex that broke her heart, so the avoid being set up on anymore dates, Raina lets her Nani believe that she is gay. Like we really out here playing the fake gay card as a plot twist? In 2019?? Like who even approved this because y'all out yo damn minds if you thought a plot twist like this would sit well with readers! As for Raina, she is the worst because she let's this lie play out to the point where a secondary character confides to her that he is gay too and looks to Raina for help to come out to his parents. Like this isn't a cute look and we shouldn't be using sexuality as a twist like this. Honestly after that mess, I just hated Raina and I didn't really care for who she ended up with. The romance itself is just a whole mess because I didn't feel like Raina had any actual chemistry with any of the love interests we were introduced to. It was just awkward as a whole and even the way the story concluded left me confused. I think one of the major issues I had with this book besides the problematic plot twist has to be the way it is being promoted. This story is being promoted as a romantic comedy but it's anything but. This reads more like women's fiction and not a good one at that. The Matchmaker's List had the potential to be such a good book but I can't overlook the problematic twist which is why I won't be recommending this book to anyone.
Profile Image for Brooke — brooklynnnnereads.
1,035 reviews249 followers
February 1, 2019
3.5 stars

This debut was a very cute and fluffy, yet serious, contemporary that was extremely relatable. As a single twenty-seven year old that can get a little too devoted to her job, I can say that I relate to the main character on an extreme level (minus the dramatics….maybe). Along with dealing with being surrounded by couples 24/7, friends also attempt to play matchmaker and pair off all of their single friends. Luckily enough, my family has not been involved in this matchmaking scheme but it’s only time friends, the time is near.

Anyway, I digress.

This novel was entertaining, funny, and relatable, but most importantly it was diverse. Along with including many different ethnicities in the characters (both main and side characters), it included topics of LGBTQ. Especially the sometimes difficult topic of coming out.

Prior to picking this up, I knew that this was a novel that included different cultures but I didn’t know that it would also include LGBTQ so I was happily surprised. The more diverse topics included in novels, the better! Especially when it’s done in the way that this novel did it: naturally. All of these topics were integrated into the story in a casual way where it felt as if it was reality instead of it feeling forced with topics inserted that needed to be discussed.

Overall, it was a good and entertaining read. I think many people will be able to relate to some of the main character’s struggles and if not the main character, maybe another character within this story. I know I will be looking for more written by Sonya Lalli in the future as this debut was such a success.

***Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me an ARC and final copy, along with the opportunity to be a host in the blog tour for this book**
Profile Image for Sonica.
429 reviews62 followers
January 31, 2019
Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for awarding me a stop on the Blog Tour for The Matchmaker's List by Sonya Lalli. This title releases February 5.

This was such a cute read. A very different pace from my usual thriller suspense fiction grabs, but in the best way. This was a fun loving and enjoyable rom-com that has definitely swayed my interest further into this genre and the best part – it was truly Canadian made! The author, a Torontonian herself really left her mark with this romantic tale of young love in the city; it was like Sex and the City with a cross-cultural twist!

The story takes place in Toronto, a Canadian city I know all too well and have lived in for most of my life. It was a nice touch for me as a reader to be able to really imagine myself in a story that was full of familiar sights and sounds. The author definitely hit the nail on the mark (for me) with having this story set in one of my favourite hometown cities.

Lalli truly crafted a great little romantic comedy with complex and flawed (yet enjoyable) characters. My favourite character and lead female protagonist, Raina, (my version of Carrie Bradshaw) takes you on her journey to find love, which was ignited by her Nani's determination to find her a husband.

Hesitant at first, Raina eventually gives in to her Nani's demands and falls prey to the dating scene - the good, the bad and the ugly.

Witnessing Raina make her dating mistakes, and then seeing her learn and grow from each experience was not only relatable as a young woman, but it definitely allowed me to really connect with the characters and storyline and fully appreciate its premise.

Raina was the epitome of modern-day woman, with her maturity and independence but she fell short when she'd constantly revert back to her old ways and kept reversing onto paths that had previously led to no where. Raina, had that one infatuated love that wasn't really love at all but was consuming nonetheless and it kept her from truly putting herself out there and really making the most of her dating experience.

Whether you are a modern girl dating in this modern world, or a woman who's been there done that, Raina's romantic tour of Toronto, courtesy of her Nani, will surely be a treat. So buckle up and enjoy the ride - this is one tale most women dating in the 21st century can fully appreciate!
Profile Image for kavita .
250 reviews1 follower
August 1, 2023
this book made zero sense
debating if i should give it one star or none
Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,188 reviews1,342 followers
February 5, 2019
Full Review on The Candid Cover

The Matchmaker’s List is a rom-com that explores the struggles between maintaining cultural traditions and living in a society that doesn’t follow the same traditions. The characters in the book are quite interesting and fun to read about. Sonya Lalli has created a humorous story that will tug at your heartstrings at the same time.

I love books that feature grandparents and families. Nani is a classic busybody grandmother. She only wants what is best for her family and really is trying to help Rainia in the way that she feels is best. Raina really struggles with not wanting to upset her Nani and really goes through a process of growth as she tries to figure out her path in life.

There is so much humour in The Matchmaker’s List , and the dates that Raina goes on are at times quite hilarious. I especially enjoyed her date at a vegan restaurant and her descriptions of the food. Also, there is no shortage of romance in the book as Raina interacts with quite a few suitors and an ex-boyfriend as well. Overall, it is a perfect spring contemporary to add to your TBR.
Profile Image for FMABookReviews.
635 reviews394 followers
November 18, 2018
'The Matchmaker's List' is more than a romance about matchmaking. It is a story about family and tradition, and the responsibilities that come with those. It is about figuring out who you are and what you want to be while being okay with the fact that there will be people who don't agree with your life choices.
❝Gay. Straight. Indian. Not Indian.❞ She moves closer to him. ❝Not everyone is brave enough to be themselves.❞

'The Matchmaker's List' chronicles the life of Raina Anandas as she tries to balance the new, modern world of Canada, with the tradition and rituals of old world, India. With her 30th birthday on the horizon, Raina's grandmother is worried that if Raina doesn't marry soon, she never will.
❝You work, and work, and life is passing by. Men are passing by. Tell me, when is the right time? When will you be ready?❞

To put her grandmother at ease she agreed to allow her to set Raina up on dates. But the pressure to marry doesn't ease because these dates are with,
❝men whose family, religion, background, values, and sometimes even astrology match your own. It is having parents who want their children to marry into the 'culture', and so they hurl them against a brick wall of blind dates until one finally sticks. It is arranged dating, really; an agreement to decide quickly whether you are in love.❞

With one bad encounter after another, Raina questions the wisdom of arranged marriages and wonders why she isn't good enough as she is, and why she needs a man to complete her. These thoughts led her to make some questionable decisions. I am so glad, that the author showed the pain those decisions caused and showed us how Raina tried to redeem herself.

While I loved this story, I wasn't crazy about the ending. I felt it too abrupt and left so much unsaid and questions unanswered. In reality, I just didn't want it to end.

'The Matchmaker's List' is a heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking read, about the struggles of growing up in a family with strong opinions about right and wrong, and one that is heavily influenced by religion and tradition.

I was provided a review copy by the publisher. This did not influence my opinion of the book nor my review.

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Profile Image for book bruin.
1,201 reviews299 followers
January 13, 2019
After seeing the cover and blurb for The Matchmaker's List, I was excited to get my hands on it. It sounded like a fun (oh, those meddling matchmaking grandmothers!) and diverse read. Though I enjoyed the multicultural aspect of the story a lot, and there are plenty of silly and hilarious moments, I wouldn't consider this one truly a romcom. It was much more poignant and polarizing than I anticipated.

Our heroine, Raina, was sadly one of the main reasons why I did not love this book. I can definitely relate to the overwhelming pressures that family, friends, and community can unwittingly place on an individual. Even with this and the sadness surrounding her childhood, I had a hard time sympathizing with Raina because of her behavior throughout the book. I understand that it was part of her character arc to grow and recognize certain truths, but it was frustrating to see an almost 30 year old woman act this way. I don't want to be spoilery, but a good part of the book has her basically being a doormat (I wanted to throat punch Dev so badly!) and then she tells a lie by omission that ends up having HUGE repercussions. There were so many opportunities to come clean and explain, but over and over fear ruled her and she let the lie perpetuate and change lives. The situation with Asher felt forced and I'm a bit skeptical of the declarations that were made given their sporadic history. I really just wanted more from Raina and when she finally did come into her own, it just felt like too little too late.

Something I did love, however, was the overall message of love and acceptance. Yes, this is a romance, but it's more a romance about falling in love with yourself. Loving who you are and recognizing that you are enough exactly as you are. The writing was entertaining, but sometimes too detailed and descriptive for me. Overall I did enjoy Raina's journey and think the book's message will resonate with readers.

*I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book*
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,129 reviews13.8k followers
February 3, 2019
Berkley has been delivering all of the diverse romances and I have been all for it. When I saw that this was about an Indian woman who was being pressured to marry while still hung up on her ex, I was excited to get my hands on it!

Raina has just turned 29 and is feeling the pressure from her grandmother to find a man and get married. Raina agrees to try dating, which gives her grandmother the green light to set her up with every eligible Indian man she knows. Unfortunately for Raina, she's still hung up on her ex-boyfriend who she thought could have been the one. When the dates become too much, Raina feels trapped and doesn't want to disappoint her grandmother. Can she really find the man of her dreams with the pressure from everyone around her?

I wanted to like this book so much, but from the start I wasn't a fan of Raina's character. We weren't really given a lot of background of her and this ex she was so hung up on until well into the book, so it was hard to understand why she acted the way she did. Raina complained a lot and her whole life literally revolved around her love life. I get she was "running out of time" to find the one, but she put that above her friends, her family, her job...it just felt like too much for me.

I did enjoy seeing how hard it was for Raina to stay true to who she was while still trying to please her grandmother and their cultural expectations. While there were a ton of characters and it sometimes became hard to keep who was who straight, I did enjoy Raina's friends and family and how much they really cared for her.

Overall, this was definitely a disappointment for me. I didn't agree with some decisions Raina made and didn't completely buy why she acted the way she did. Raina ended up being to selfish for my taste and I just couldn't connect with her.
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