You Have a Match

St. Martin’s/Wednesday Bks. Jan. 2021. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250237309.
Gr 7 Up–Family secrets and self-exploration are at the heart of this novel about Abby, a rising high school senior who finds surprising family news through a mail-order genetic test. After completing tests with her two best friends, Abby is contacted by Savvy, another teenager, who shares that Abby’s parents are also Savannah’s biological parents. The girls meet and decide to attend camp together to piece together their family history. Throughout the book, characters focus on finding their passions, and Abby and her best friend Leo fall in love. While the camp setting is unrealistic at times, Lord’s descriptions of the Pacific Northwest are rich with sensory details. Abby and Leo’s romance is tender and sweet, and full of realistic misunderstandings. The topic of adoption is a necessary one in YA literature, but this portrait leaves much to be desired. Abby and Savvy are not the only characters with an adoption story—Leo was adopted from the Philippines by a white family at birth, but his story is given short shrift; his emotions about it are only mentioned periodically and go largely unaddressed by Abby. Lord’s juxtaposition of the two adoption stories centers the experience of the white adoptee over the transracial Filipino adoptee and creates an imbalance, rather than a diverse and nuanced story.
VERDICT This book serves up intriguing family drama, beautiful sensory details, and a swoony romance, but leaves the reader unsatisfied. Recommended for secondary purchase only.

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