ARC Review: You Have a Match by Emma Lord

From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.*

*Summary from Goodreads

Title: You Have a Match
Author: Emma Lord
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Targeted Age Range: Young Adult
Representation: Filipino love interest, lesbian main character, Filipino side character, lesbian side character & minor character
Trigger Warnings: Grief, anxiety, injury (mild), death of a family member, adoption/transracial adoption, parental conflict
Rating:  ★★★★★

Earlier this year I read Emma Lord’s debut novel Tweet Cute and was absolutely obsessed with it! I’ve definitely been recommending it to pretty much everyone I know. After finishing Tweet Cute, I told myself that I needed to get my hands on an ARC of her next book and a huge thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for making it possible and bringing me some MUCH NEEDED joy and excitement nine months into a global pandemic! 

Emma Lord has this amazing ability to write books that you literally do not want to put down. Once starting one of her books you just want to keep reading and fully submerge yourself into the story and characters that she’s created. That’s how I felt with Tweet Cute, and You Have a Match is no exception. Her stories are so fun and joyful with characters that are so likable and relatable, while also having lots of depth emotionally, something that I sometimes think is missing in YA literature.

I loved these characters so so so much. I felt really connected to both Abby and Savvy; I saw different sides of myself in them which I think is so cool because they’re really two sides of the same coin. I felt represented in Leo and Mickey through their heritage (huge thank you to Emma Lord for having Filipino love interests, we LOVE to see it) and their love of food/cooking – I mean I’m more of a baker, but still. I also just loved all of the little mentions of Filipino culture, it just made my heart so incredibly happy and I would like a book all about Leo and Mickey’s friendship and cooking adventures. I loved Finn. I thought he was a great character and was a really good friend to Abby when she needed someone to talk to and just kind of let loose. Connie having biannual Legally Blonde watches was the biggest mood and she really was a good friend even if she made some misguided choices. I thought that all of the characters were really well written and fleshed out. 

As much as I love a good love story – especially friends to lovers stories but we’ll get to that in a moment – I love YA books that have a focus on family. That’s something I think can be missing in YA books so I loved that it is a huge focus in this book. I loved watching Abby and Savvy’s relationship grow and develop. I personally think the progression of their relationship was very realistic. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to go through seventeen/eighteen years of life thinking you’re either an only child (Savvy) or the oldest child (Abby) and then just find out “JK you have another sibling!” That’s a lot to process and I think that their reactions were very believable especially with how different their personalities could be. I loved seeing them learn to understand each other and really care about each other. *Alexis Rose voice* love that journey for them!

Okay, this book is like the PERFECT friends-to-lovers story and I’m still obsessing over Abby and Leo. Like first of all, can we talk about his serious support of Abby and her photography? HE MADE AN INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT FOR HER Y’ALL. He posts the photos she takes of his food and she’s so supportive of his cooking. We love supportive best friends that are secretly harboring feelings for each other! I loved all the puns about Abby’s last name (Day) and how whenever Abby made one of the puns when Leo wasn’t around she thought about how he would appreciate the pun. SO CUTE. I pretty much was shipping it right from the first page, so I definitely spent much of the book saying to myself “JUST TELL THEM HOW YOU FEEL!!!!!” I was feeling all the feels. This is friends to lovers at it’s best! 

This book also made me insanely emotional. I had a feeling that I was going to cry (because Cossette told me I would and she knows what makes me cry) but I was actually incredibly moved while reading. Throughout the book, one of the things that Abby struggles with is dealing with the loss of her grandfather. Emma Lord makes a point of letting us know that Abby was very close to her grandfather and that he was a very important part of her life. I’m very lucky that I was/am very close with all of my grandparents. Abby feeling lost without her grandfather was incredibly relatable to me. My mom’s parents had a huge part in raising me, and all of my grandparents have definitely influenced who I am as a person. When I was much younger than Abby, I had lost two of my grandparents in the span of about 2 years, and even though it’s been 10+ years there are still days where I feel completely lost without them. I fully understood what Abby was going through and I honestly just wanted to give her a huge hug and let her know that she wasn’t alone and that while the pain could feel like too much sometimes she would be able to get through it and her grandfather would be so proud of her. There are only a handful or so of YA books that I can think of where the main character has a really close relationship with their grandparents and it’s something I would love to see more of. 

Something else that made me insanely emotional was when Savvy was talking about her anxiety. She mentions that sometimes she feels that there are things she’s missed out on because she was either distracted or felt like she needed to stick to a certain set of rules that she had created for herself. She says that missing out on things makes her anxious, but not sticking to her plans would also cause her a lot of distress. I feel that so hard, like all the time, and when she was admitting that I honestly just cried because like with Abby, I just wanted to hug her and tell her that she would be okay. This book had so many powerful moments that were just so touching. 

You Have a Match was one of my most anticipated reads for 2021 and this book made me a puddle of goo in the absolute best way and I’m obsessed with it. I can’t wait for the official release on January 12th so that I can buy a copy and make all of my friends read it and obsess over it with me. If you love friends to lovers stories, coming of age stories, and stories rooted in friendship/family, you need to read You Have a Match

Goodreads | TheStorygraph | Bookshop | Indie Bound

About the Author

Emma Lord is the author of TWEET CUTE and upcoming YOU HAVE A MATCH, and a digital media editor living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

13 thoughts on “ARC Review: You Have a Match by Emma Lord

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