When 16-year-old Raina Resnick is expelled from her Manhattan private school, she’s sent to live with her strict aunt — but Raina feels like she’s persona non grata no matter where she goes. Her sister, Leah, blames her for her broken engagement, and she’s a social pariah at her new school. In the tight-knit Jewish community, Raina finds she is good at one thing: matchmaking! As the anonymous “Match- Maven,” Raina sets up hopeless singles desperate to find the One.
A cross between Jane Austen’s Emma, Dear Abby, and Yenta the matchmaker, Raina’s double life soon has her barely staying awake in class. Can she find the perfect match for her sister and get back on her good side, or will her tanking grades mean a second expulsion?
In her debut novel, Suri Rosen creates a comic and heartwarming story of one girl trying to find happiness for others, and redemption for herself.
Suri Rosen dabbles in many arts, but excels in daydreaming. She has worked as a professional artist, filmmaker, journalist, and TV producer. Playing with Matches is her first novel. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
"Charming … Rosen gives us a coming-of-age tale with a twist featuring a fun heroine who puts 100 per cent toward creating a happy ending." — Quill & Quire
"This charming story of growing up and owning up, will ring true with readers, particularly those who share her cultural traditions." — School Library Journal“Fizzy, funny and ultimately redemptive.” — Kirkus Reviews“Playing with Matches is compulsively readable. It is absolute fun, and Rain is the best kind of narrator." — CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“Suri Rosen has created a set of characters fully realized. Each has positive traits and some flaws, making them inherently human. . . . Readers may want to keep a box of tissues nearby." — Jewish Book Council
"Playing with Matches is a fabulously unique story—formal matchmaking is definitely not a regular theme in YA—that embeds all the angst of falling in love and growing up and doing right by your family and yourself all under one cover." — CanLit for Little Canadians
"This is a funny, refreshing look at the challenges of being a teenager, when the world seems against you no matter how hard you try to make things right … because Rosen chooses to amuse rather than preach, her gentle lesson about self-discovery and forgiveness will resonate with young adult readers." — National Reading Campaign
“I’d never read a YA novel with a Modern Orthodox Jewish main character before, and this one was funny, sweet, charming, and so, so recognizable to me in ways big and small that reading it made my heart explode a little.” — Barnes & Noble BNTEEN Blog
”Playing with Matches is a cute story, but it will also touch your heart — My Book Views
"Besides being a sweet, big-hearted coming-of-age comedy, this offers a fascinating glimpse into the importance of the matchmaking role in observant Jewish communities." — The Bulletin of The Center for Children’s Books
"Breezy and entertaining." — Ottawa Jewish Bulletin
"Deliciously plotted and unflaggingly entertaining, the narration of Rain's double-life adventures is frantic, funny, and finally heart-warming . . . a catch readers won't want to miss." — Books for Kids
“While Playing With Matches is aimed at a teen audience, adults who enjoy light fiction will also find it absorbing reading." — The Reporter