A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai [in Booklist]
When Simi’s habitual klutziness leads (surprise!) to the unlikely pairing of her recently single cousin with the furniture store owner’s lawyer-to-be son, her mother and masi – mother’s sister – have irrefutable proof that Simi’s inherited the family talent: matchmaking. For three generations, the women in Simi’s Indian American family have been sought-after vicholi – and, admit it or not, Simi has the gift, never mind her protestations: Simi’s an artist-in-the-making – her medium is mehendi, traditional Indian henna-inked art.
As sophomores, Simi and BFF Noah find the perfect opportunity to increase their social clout with a matchmaking app Simi’s older brother has written. Once unleashed on their high school, the results are promising, until the school’s reigning mean girl balks at her match and channels her dissatisfaction into wicked revenge.
Priya Ayyar, whose Indian American background fuels her versatility to voice 15-year-old teens as effortlessly as their concerned grandmothers, dexterously embodies a broadly diverse cast, from breathy-with-excitement Simi to quietly cautious Noah, impatient brother Navdeep, icy queen bee Amanda, nervous wannabe sidekicks, and an entire school waiting for A Match Made in Mehendi.
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult