Book Reviews

Amy McDougall, Master Matchmaker by Gary Pedler at Fitzroy Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by ParisDude on 05-April-2021

Book Blurb

Thirteen-year-old Amy McDougall is worried about Travis, the single gay guy who adopted her when she was a kid. He wants a boyfriend yet isn't having any luck finding one himself. Amy decides the solution is for someone else to do the finding. Someone like her! Amy's first attempts at matchmaking are embarrassing flops, despite advice from her hyper-smart best friend Grace. But then Amy hits the jackpot, getting Travis together with her middle school Spanish teacher, Enrique Diaz. ¡Muy bien! “I'm a master matchmaker,” Amy boasts to Grace. Grace isn't impressed. “One measly match does not prove you're a master matchmaker,” she insists. Determined to lay claim to the title, Amy makes a match between Edith, Grace's mom, and Brian, a handsome businessman. After that, she even finds Grace a boyfriend, nerdy-but-cute Denry. By now Amy is sure no one can deny that she's Amy McDougall, Master Matchmaker. Still, Amy soon finds there can be a price to pay for meddling in other people's lives. Amy McDougall, Master Matchmaker is a fun and engaging tale which takes a fresh look at important subjects like love and friendship.


Book Review

Imagine a thirteen-year-old adopted girl trying to find the perfect boyfriend for her single, gay dad because she fancies herself to be a master matchmaker. Amy McDougall is living with her dad Travis, a photographer, and their meditative cat Flora in their big apartment in San Francisco. They have their cherished rituals such as their Movie Musical Nights each Thursday and get along splendidly. But Amy takes it into her head to find her picky and somewhat indecisive dad a boyfriend. Her first attempts at fiddling with Travis’s Match account turn out to be fruitless, however, and even her best friend, nerdy Grace Kwan, is unable to help her. That’s when Amy decides her Spanish teacher Enrique Diaz is the best catch for her dad. Plotting and scheming, she finally manages to make the two men meet, date, then fall in love with each other.


Spurred on by this first success, Amy tries out her newfound matchmaking abilities with Grace’s single mom Edith. Another success. Even Grace herself, who pretends to be resolutely uninterested in finding a boyfriend, ends up in a relationship expertly engineered by cunning Amy. But little by little, her success starts to have downsides. Does Amy really need to endure loathsome tennis lessons with Enrique merely because pretending to love tennis has been part of her initial scheme to bring her dad and Enrique closer to each other? And what of Grace being threatened with moving far away from Amy because her mom’s new boyfriend asks them to move in?


This was a perfect read that left me with a cozy feeling. Amy is a cute, quirky, sometimes impetuous, but determined young girl I immediately loved. She’s caring and warm-hearted, easygoing, outspoken, and cute. The whole novel was cute, by the way, with lively, three-dimensional main and secondary characters who all warmed my heart. Perfectly paced and expertly written, with not a single typo or mistake in sight (good proofreading is possible!), the plot swept me away with its ups and downs, its unexpected turns and twists. The dialogues were priceless, witty and funny, as were many of Amy’s conclusions and asides. Her best friend Grace was a hoot, too. Just one example of the droll writing: when Grace suggests to Amy that maybe her dad could meet someone in his job and Amy replies that he only takes pictures of “stuff for sale on websites. Laptops and bikes and things like that”, Grace wryly replies, “Yeah, and most bikes aren’t ready for a long-term relationship. They just want to keep moving on.” Well, the whole book was just as amusing and entertaining.


I guess this is meant to be a YA novel, but as with many other books written for a young adult public in mind, when they’re any good, they always make a perfect read for older adults such as yours truly, too. I really adored it and highly recommend it to anybody who seeks to spend a jolly good reading experience.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-April-2021
Price $8.49 ebook, $15.95 paperback
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