ARC Review – A Happy Catastrophe by Maddie Dawson


Chick Lit | 381 pages | 05.26.2020 | Lake Union Publishing


This is the story of what happens after the happily-ever-after. In Matchmaking for Beginners, Marnie inherits her matchmaking abilities from Blix and finds love herself with Patrick. So what happens next? Life that is, and the little things and stresses that go along with it. Marnie and Patrick are at a junction of their union – both seemingly wanting different things and both struggling to communicate that. Top that with a surprise visitor from Patrick’s past and a series of misunderstandings, fights, and relationship-altering decisions are unavoidable. This is one of those novels that starts off all cute and sweet and then turns real and deep.

I’m always intrigued by stories that tell us what happens after that life-changing kiss, after that you’re-the-one confession of love, after that they-finally-found-each-other crescendo. Maddie Dawson writes quirky and unique characters, which are one-half inspirational and one-half infuriating. Their interactions feel organic and their backstories are relatable. You want them to succeed. You’re rooting for them. They give you enough magic that you’re willing to overlook the little bit too perfect bow-on-top ending. Taking this to the next level and telling the story of after is difficult and I felt that Dawson just accomplished that so-so. The plot was interesting and fast enough to hold my attention. But the what seemed so complex characters in book 1 just felt a bit flat in this installment. I had a hard time getting truly involved in their lives. I found myself not really caring how this story ends for them. So, all in all, this novel was a fun way to spend my time but isn’t going to stick with me and didn’t make me think. Something was missing and all I can think of is that it was the depth of the characters.

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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