An unforgiveable email prank involving an elderly teacher forces 16-year-old Raina Resnick’s expulsion from her New York Jewish high school and banishment to Toronto to live with her strict aunt.
Poor school behavior and a knack for thoughtless action have fostered Raina’s negative reputation. She is somewhat unjustly blamed for her sister Leah’s broken engagement, and when she tries to make amends with a series of well-intended efforts, all seems to go awry. Somehow, this arrogant teen does have one positive, unusual talent for her age—matching hopelessly older singles clueless about dating protocol. In an attempt to drum up new prospective-husband material for Leah and repair their relationship, Raina creates an anonymous matchmaking website, Matchmaven. She secretly nurtures relationships and doles out advice for her tight-knit community, “where there’s only 1.1 degrees of separation,” which includes a financial consultant, an elderly widower and even her dragon lady of a school principal. This dual life, as the double-entendre title implies, ignites late-night escapades, failing grades and much scrutiny from school officials and family. Jewish readers attuned to the matrimonial expectations for observant youth will relate to Rosen’s cleverly metaphoric middle-class descriptions while chuckling at the often improbable, fast-paced shenanigans of her protagonist.
Fizzy, funny and ultimately redemptive. (Fiction. 13-16)