A Happy Catastrophe by Maddie Dawson

Have you ever been disappointed to see a sequel for a book you loved? I wasn’t expecting a follow-up to Matchmaking for Beginners and, more than that, I didn’t really want one. Matchmaking for Beginners was close to perfect in my eyes and I didn’t want the author to mess with that. I just wanted to settle down and grow old with the memory of the magic that had originally captivated me. Anything more felt silly.

So I was not happy to see A Happy Catastrophe in my recommended section. I felt oddly betrayed by it. Why was she going to mess with this perfect world she had created for me? I didn’t want the love story of Patrick and Marnie to get bogged down with the mundane events of normal life. Why would I? When you can have the memory of magic, why would you want a mundane life?

Because of that feeling, I had low expectations. Really, really, really low expectations. I didn’t want this book. I didn’t want to like it. I didn’t even really want to read it. I started it out stubborn and determined not to like it.

But then the magic came back and I just couldn’t help myself. I fell in love again. Maddie Dawson has a gift to bring love into even the most normal of scenes. Her characters are charming and they have a way of weaseling right into your heart. Even when you don’t want to like them, you absolutely love them.

Plus, even the beginning of this book was absolutely enchanting. The love magic never ends! When Marnie introduced Graham and Winnie to each other, I knew I was a goner. And I even loved the fact that everyone thought Marnie could “magic” a baby into existence.

More than that, though, I loved Marnie’s personal development since the first book. She comes across as way more self possessed and exponentially happier. Character growth always appeals to me and there’s something magical to be found in self improvement, too.

Of course, I was a little bit confused by her personality becoming more free-form so to speak. She had a more hippie-like nature if that makes sense that I didn’t remember existing in the first place. Maybe the magic of matchmaking got to her. I just don’t remember her being as vibrant or as trusting in the universe. She seems to have absorbed more than a good of Blix’s personality. Not that that’s a bad thing. I love her all the more for it.

I did find myself loving Patrick a good bit less for the majority of this one though. He puts so many limits on himself. Comparing him to Marnie became a bit of a habit for me this book. Marnie was so amazing that it made him feel kind of bleh. Until, of course, he didn’t anymore.

And I’ve got to say I really loved this book in general. I recommend reading the first book and then this one, of course, but both are worth a read. The book ended perfectly (maybe a little predictably), and even though I didn’t want it at first… A Happy Catastrophe was everything I could have wanted if I had just been smart enough to know I wanted it! An absolutely lovely book.

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