While there are many that deride contemporary romantic fiction and chicklit, I believe that when executed well, the genre can be compelling and a whole lot of fun. We all like to suspend reality for a few moments and see a happy ending every once in a while, right? Why else are disney movies so popular?
While it’s not a skill to follow a formulae, it is one to create characters that have a likeable attitude and also to write conversation that is compelling. Susan Elizabeth Phillips has created a lovable and hapless protagonist in Annabelle Granger – battered and bruised from her life experiences but still with enough ‘perky attitude’ to make waves. Heath Champion is your typical, initially unlikeable, tough nut to crack – the perfect challenge for Annabelle. Phillips peels back the layers of the characters with sufficient care to hook her audience. For instance, Heath’s interactions with a precocious 3 year old at a ‘fairy party’ add a lovely touch.
In addition to the plight of Annabelle and Heath, several other great characters with their own stories add depth and colour to Match Me If You Can. I’ve also learnt many of those characters play leading roles in Phillips’ previous novels.
Reading for pleasure cannot always be about broadening one’s mind – every now and then I like a bit of pure escapism. Match Me If You Can ticked all the boxes on that score.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 3.5 / 5
Genre: Romance, Humour