Reviewed by May
“What did you find out?”
Lucy leaned forward. “Well, I found out that Spencer has a magic penis.”
I choked. “A magic penis?”
“Yes, one poke with his magic penis, and women go completely crazy,” she said, like having a poke from a magic penis was a bad thing.
“Why is it magic? Does it do tricks or something?” Bridget asked seriously.
“I couldn’t get specifics,” Lucy said.
Matchpoint is book two in the matchmaker series, a book I’ve been anxiously awaiting. If you have not read the first book you can start here easily, but honestly the first book was so much better than this I will warn you right now that I recommend that one, and not this one. The Matchmaker series is told from the first person perspective of Gladie Berger. A young woman who is settling in to life in Cannes, CA and learning the business of matchmaking from her grandmother.
The series is light, funny, and based off the first two books you can expect to find a murder-mystery solved, a couple get matched up in true love, and watch Gladie get herself into plenty of trouble all around town.
“You are a nutcase,” he said finally. “Pathological.”
“Hey, your last girlfriend is running around town carrying a cleaver. Maybe you need to consider your own taste in soul mates.”
“Maybe I should,” he said, never taking his eyes off me.
In this book, Gladie finds herself in a dentist’s office with a murdered dentist, has the town police chief (aka he of the magic penis) Spencer hiding out in her bedroom, and is trying to figure out what’s up with her sort-of boyfriend and neighbor next door. All while an alien loving cult waiting for “the Arrival” has set up yurts in the town square.
As you might guess from the cover, there is more than one potential love match for our heroine. In my mind it isn’t really any contest though – there is a clear direction and only one has lasting potential in my mind. When you can be yourself around one guy and pretend to be perfect around the other – yeah. But enough of my ramblings about the love triangle, let me explain what didn’t work.
I can sum this up without any spoilers: This book reeked with desperation. It tried so hard to be funny at the expense of every single character as well as the plot. It was heavy handed and I felt like I was supposed to think things were funny, but they just weren’t.
Most of the charm and magic of the first book was lost here. I didn’t get lost in the story, I wasn’t rooting for Gladie, and I sure wasn’t intrigued by the mystery of it all. We didn’t need the over the top cult or insane townspeople for a good laugh. Gladie doesn’t have to act like a complete incompetent moron with not an ounce of intelligence for her to be hilarious and interesting. Quite simply, because the author was so clearly trying so hard to write a funny book, it failed.
I didn’t hate the book – but honestly what I liked about it is that it reminds me of books written a decade or more ago that were silly and fun and that blended my loves of both mystery and romance. It’s one of those books that had nostalgic appeal but by the time I was done I was entirely horrified by it. The story made me wince more than once because Gladie is simply not the kind of heroine I can stomach anymore.
She’s got the police chief sleeping with her and cuddling (no sex- they just spoon) in her bed because he’s hiding from facebook friends, but she’s trying to have a relationship with her mysterious next door neighbor. She’s running around without a cell phone because she doesn’t pay her bill for that but she spent money getting her hair done fancy. In other words, in every way possible the author makes her weak, stupid, and incapable. She is a silly female in all the worst ways, including her absolutely juvenile behavior when attracted to the opposite sex.
As a character, I expect development and growth in each novel. I also expect a main character to grow on me and to understand their motivations. What I understood in this book is that Gladie is a close relative of Stephanie Plum, and I can’t put myself through that kind of torture again. While this author can be hilarious (the first book is proof of that!) and I do really like some elements and details of this book, it really didn’t work. I’m giving it a D+/C- because I know my absolute intolerance for a really awful heroine is a huge part of why I’m grading it so low. The mystery part was ok, but because it is told in first person we can’t escape the sad mess that is Gladie and her maturity issues.