Henna or paint?
Matchmaking or the magic of art?
Family expectations or her own dreams?
Simi wants a future in art, not becoming a traditional matchmaker like her mom and aunt and grandmother, nor excelling in STEM like her Indian-American parents expect – let big brother Navdeep please them with his amazing computer skills.
Sophomore year is their turn to get out of the shadows where the popular crowd shoves everyone, Simi and best friend Noah decide, just like the transfer students who don’t know that Amanda tries to run everything at their New Jersey high school.
Hmm… incorporating her mehendi henna designs into a large-scale artwork could be perfect for Simi’s signature project.
Maybe stand out by matchmaking! Using Navdeep’s stalled app (Mom insists on talking in person), Noah’s clever quiz questions, and Simi’s charming icons, they create Matched! limited to students at their school.
At first, Simi and Noah stay quiet about Matched! but when more and more students take the quiz, their secret is out – and kids are excited to see who their top Matches will be.
Ohh… soccer stars Ethan and Tea are perfectly Matched even as Amanda keeps saying she’s getting Ethan back.
Umm… maybe Simi’s Matches include long-time crush Aiden from art or Suraj who transferred here for robotics.
Eek… Noah won’t tell Simi if cute new guy Connor from California is one of his matches – surely they’re compatible!
As Matches begin to meet in person and decide whether to go out or not, Amanda’s demands to be Matched with Ethan grow more frenzied – yikes!
Enjoy this debut novel to see which Matches flare brightly!
Have you ever tried a matching app?
Book info: A Match Made in Mehendi / Nandini Bajpai. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, hardcover 2019, paperback 2020. [author site] [publisher site] Personal collection; cover image courtesy of the publisher.