The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker by E. D. Baker. Source: Bloomsbury via Goodreads First Reads. Format: ARC, Bloomsbury, 2014, release day October 7th, 2014.
The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker is a charming, fun middle-grade novel that I was so fortunate to receive from Bloomsbury through their Goodreads giveaway. It sounded like a really cute story about the characters from our favorite childhood nursery stories, and I started this book with an open mind, not completely sure what I’d be getting into. Well, let me tell you that this book just warmed my heart. I hadn’t heard of E. D. Baker before; now I am a huge fan.
Cory is a tooth fairy, a member of the prestigious Tooth Fairy Guild. But being a tooth fairy, the path her tooth fairy mother urged her to go down, is something Cory knows is not her calling in life. She wants to help people, so she quits her job as a tooth fairy and moves into her Uncle Micah’s house while she finds her feet. She takes odd jobs found through the newspaper and ends up meeting so many lively characters. She babysits Humpty Dumpty, helps Marjorie Muffet with her spider problem, cans beans for Jack’s mother, mows the lawns of the three pigs, helps find Santa Claus a new summer house–and sets up her new-found friends on dates with one another (although it’s a bit more organic than how I phrased it). She does all this and more while being mysteriously (or not so mysteriously) harassed by the Tooth Fairy Guild for leaving them. The Guild is out to ruin Cory’s chances of having a new career and certainly go to some drastic measures to punish her when she refuses to rejoin.
I really liked Cory. She’s smart and unafraid, but also hesitant and self-doubting. She grows throughout the story and learns to look at life differently. She’s got some great friends who support her. Her Uncle Micah is really her rock, letting her stay with him as long as she needs, and barely even minding when her pet woodchuck, Noodles, chews a hole through his carpet. (Man, I loved Noodles so much. Greatest woodchuck I’ve ever read about. Possibly the only woodchuck I’ve read about, but still so great and such a personality.) Cory’s mother is a piece of work, and their strained relationship isn’t magically solved by the book’s end, which I thought was refreshing and (sadly) realistic.
To sum it up, The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker is just a really enjoyable book that I heartily recommend to those who enjoy middle-grade fantasy and or fairy tale characters. Cory’s one cool girl, and it was nice to see her have her own fairy-tale ending after all the consequences of quitting her job in order to find one she was passionate about. ♦
*I received this book from the publisher through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for review consideration. This in no way affects my review; all opinions are my own. Thank you, Bloomsbury!