"If I could give one piece of advice to every teenager in the world, it would be this: when you move away from home, move far, far away, ad never look back. My biggest mistake? I didn't move far enough. In fact, I only moved three houses down the road. The perfect distance for my mother to interfere in my life, even more than she did when I lived under her own roof."
Kismetology by Jaimie Admans stars Mackenzie (better known to her friends as Mac). After dating her boyfriend Dan for a year, they decide to move in together. Unbeknownst to them, Mac's mother chose a house and payed a deposit before they knew it. The main catch? It's three doors down from her own.
Three months later and tensions are beginning to reach boiling point. Every night they perform the same dance. Mac's mother comes over, puts on a soap and complains about everything. Most of the time her attention is focused on belittling their choices in decor or putting Dan down, while her Yorkshire Terrier (Baby) runs around, chewing up their expensive cushions and peeing in all the house plants.
The time had come for a change, and Mac decides the best way to occupy her mother is by getting her a new man. She has been divorced for 10 years and Mac's reasoning is that she must be lonely. If she can get her the company of a man, he might keep her preoccupied long enough for them to enjoy some time "mum-free". But, how do you find the perfect man for a woman who takes three months to choose curtains? Or sews very detailed animal costumes for her dog, sometimes resulting in a near arrest after taking Baby to the park dressed as a crocodile?
The more Mac thinks about it, the more she becomes involved. After all, she can't just bring her mum any Tom, Dick or Harry. So what does she do? She decides to screen dates, a sort of date interview if you will. She finds men, goes on a "date" with them to see whether they're suitable and, if so, passes them along to her mother.
But Mac has no idea where to start. How does a 29 year old woman go about meeting men twice her age? So she starts with people she or people they know. Her first potential match? Jenn (a colleague from work) suggests her father, Jeff, who has been divorced for 6 years. Mac thinks he's charming and kind- the perfect man for her mother. So, she sets them up. At first her mother is a little skeptical of being set up on a blind date, but soon gets into it.
All seems to go well, until her mother comes back asking for someone else. A few tries later and Mac finds things getting awkward. Asking friends may not be the best strategy, so she starts trawling the personal ads. Of course, everyone knows you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince and Mac meets a lot of them. The things she does for her mother. But, she has to find the cream of the crop or her mother won't be interested, or worse, may even doubt her skills and call the whole thing off. Mac screens man after man after questionable species, coming up with a few good catches, that her mother turns her nose up at.
But something magical has happened. Through the process, Mac discovers she actually likes being a matchmaker and maybe she could make a career out of it. Why not? There must be a market for it? She doesn't particularly enjoy her current job, so maybe this could be a new beginning for more than one of them?
The main plot is enjoyable, but the subplot is a less so. Mac and Dan are going through a bit of a rough patch in their relationship and they can both be a little unpleasant to each other at times. But the thing is, all relationships have lows, but if the majority of the interactions between two people are lows, it won't last much longer. To me, there were't enough good moments between them to make their story pleasant. Everything in moderation after all. You can't have just bad or just good, but need a little of both. Otherwise, there's a danger of the characters being boring or irritating. Mac and Dan just never seem to do anything together. Almost all of the interactions we see between them involve other people. And the conclusion to their story is predictable.
But, like I said, the main plot is entertaining. Some of the characters are hilarious and the dates ofter go from bad to worse. Between her eccentric mother and the unbelievable men she meets for her, there are bound to be a few laughs.
Overall, this is a feel-good book. An easy read, that modern times would call a good "beach read". Personally, I never really liked the term, so I'll call it the perfect lazy afternoon read.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author through a giveaway. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.