Rematch by Erynn Mangum
Book Details: Book #2 in the Lauren Holbrook series, Christian YA
Publishing Details: Tyndale House Publishers, 8/27/2007
You know, like those cheesy musicals. Guy and girl start to exhibit the universal signs for attraction, and before any shy “Hey, want to go out with me?” can be established, they burst into song and spill their guts right in front of each other.
Lauren Holbrook is back, and despite her friends’ pleading requests, her matchmaking days are far from over. She knows that two of her co-workers, Brandon and Hannah, are destined to be together, and she’ll do anything to help them reach the altar. Not to mention the fact that Shawn – the coffee guy – is totally falling for her friend Hallie.
Despite her confidence when it comes to love, Lauren is thrown completely off-guard when her long-time single, awkward, and hypochondriac dad announces that he’s going on a singles’ retreat to meet new people. What will happen if her dad finds love again? Will Lauren ever find love for herself?
Pros and Cons:
This is the second book in the Lauren Holbrook series and I’m sure most of you remember me raving about the first one (review here). All of the wonderful qualities that made that book so great return with a vengeance in this novel. The same quirky narration that Lauren always brings is present, along with her crazy exploits and coffee addictions. And – like the last novel – despite it being a Christian book, that’s easy to forget sometimes. Christianity isn’t being shoved down your throat every other page and it has a good storyline outside of scenes that take place in church. While the Bible is often quoted, so are classics stories like Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, and many others. This is less of a hardcore Christian book than it is a book with hardcore Christian characters.
I did, however, have more issues with this book than I did with the last one. I think the problem I had is that these issues were in the last book, too, but they didn’t bother me because they didn’t last as long. Now I’ve experienced them for two books and it’s starting to get on my nerves a little bit.
First of all, the narrator of the story, Lauren, is said to be in her early twenties. The issue is, her thoughts, dialogue, and actions make her seem like a fourteen year old girl. There’s nothing wrong with being a fourteen year old girl, but it does get a little tiring when that teenager is actually supposed to be an adult interacting with other adults. My second issue is the descriptions at some parts. I think Erynn Mangum does a good job of describing emotions, but sometimes she gets a little extreme. It felt so unrealistic to have characters described as having “tears streaming down their face” and “falling to the floor/rolling around” every time something even slightly funny happened. That rarely happens in real life, and it happened at least five times throughout this book. Lastly, there were some phrases in this book that were repeated over and over again, or changed only slightly. If I removed a book from my TBR pile every time one of these phrases was said…
- I stuck out my tongue
- I’m going to take that as a compliment
- Here’s what I do/think/want/some other variation:
…I would be out of books halfway through. And that’s saying a lot.
All of those things considered, it was really hard for me to rate this book. I know it sounds like I have a lot of issues with it – and I kind of do – but there was never a second that I was reading it where I wasn’t enjoying it. Contemporaries like this aren’t usually too intense, so I don’t expect to be completely blown away after reading it. This book has its flaws, it’s not quite as good as the first one, but I would still recommend it and I’m holding out hope for the conclusion to the series.