Sunday, 27 January 2019

Book review: Playing With Matches | 'Devil Wears Prada has met it's match'

It’s rare to come across a rom-com that is up there with Mean Girls, Devil Wears Prada, Gossip Girl etc. but Hannah Orenstein has come up with the perfect cocktail, a modern-day tale of heartbreak, Tinder and a 20-something woman trying to make it in the big city.

So, what’s it about?

Playing With Matches follows the life of Sasha Goldberg, a young woman who has a lot going for her. She’s just graduated with a journalism degree from NYU, has a chic apartment in New York which she shares with her best friend (who is basically a young Samantha Jones from Sex in the City) and is in a relationship with a hunky and intelligent banker.

But things go from pretty perfect to utterly sh*t real fast. Realising how difficult it is to get into the industry of journalism, Sasha uses her family’s darkest secret to score her a job as a matchmaker and hunts to find the richest people in New York the love of their life. The youngster desperately runs around trying to find dates for the TV exec who wanted kids five years ago, a forty-year-old bald virgin, and a fussy as f*ck woman who has a seven-page-long checklist for her “ideal” man.

As a true rom-com goes, the hunky banker boyfriend betrays her, and Sasha goes off the rails. Falling for someone that she is forbidden to go near – one of her client’s matches.


As someone who grew up watching the likes of Mean Girls, Clueless and other classic rom-coms it has sparked a need for new films and books that can match their greatness for years. I’ve read and watched them all, finding every single one either dull, unoriginal or just overly cringe.

But the author, Hannah Orenstein, has truly hit the nail on the head by using her own experiences to write about something we craved. A relatable rom-com that will have us nodding along, relating and even tearing up with the character.

As a journalist herself, Hannah based Sasha’s character on how her twenties began as a matchmaker while finding her way in the industry. Although she told Bustle that the majority of the book is “fictionalized” the bones of it come from her own experiences.

It’s the kind of book that makes you realise you’re not alone. That every 20-something struggles with their career, paying rent, heartbreak and all the ball ache that comes from swiping on Tinder.

Dating in your twenties is an endless bit of romping, ghosting and things falling through. But as the book proves, nothing is set in stone and isn’t that the sheer thrill of life?

Much like The Devil Wears Prada, it’s the light entertainment we all need while flicking through pages on a beach, a tube or in bed.

It’s also much more entertaining than swiping through Tinder…


It’s one any girl can relate to in some ways. I psychically couldn’t put it down and cursed as I had to get off the tube and close its glossy front cover.  

If you adored Mean Girls, got inspired over The Devil Wears Prada and laughed while watching Mean Girls, then this one is for you.

Undoubtedly a 5/5.

Written by VavaViolet’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sophie Blackman.



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