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on 7 February 2006
I’ve been a fan of Chris Manby’s books since reading her first novel ‘Flatmates’, and although I found her last book ‘Seven Sunny Days’ quite disappointing, I was really looking forward to reading ‘The Matchbreaker’, and it didn’t let me down.
The book tells the story of Lindsay, an only child brought up by an indulgent single father. She is totally spoiled and selfish, unhappy with her father’s choice of girlfriend, and having managed to successfully drive his three previous fiancées away she has little trouble getting rid of fiancée number four Karen – albeit in quite surprising and unexpected circumstances.
The rest of the story is concerned with how Lindsay, after losing everything, tries to redeem herself, mainly in her efforts to reunite her father and Karen. She undergoes a transformation of sorts, but not without some heartache along the way, and although not as completely believable as it perhaps should be, by the end of the story Lindsay is a much better person for her experiences.
I tend to read books quite quickly, and although this book is not short at 400+ pages, I still finished it inside of two days because the storyline is quite engrossing and very different from Chris Manby’s other books. I was surprised by the ending, some of the revelations were fairly obvious, but not all of them…although there is a slight air of convenience in the way that loose ends are tied up. Overall, I found the story quite heartwarming; Lindsay’s character is quite difficult to like at the beginning and she does things that are not morally sound at all, but through the course of the book she does seem to learn and grow up.
If you’ve read any of Chris Manby’s books before, or even if you haven’t, I recommend you read this one – it really is her best effort yet!
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on 15 September 2008
the book started well and was funny in places. clearly lindsay is a daddy's girl and benefits well from that, she is used to it being just her and her dad in the house. but her father is oblivious to how his attitude towards her makes her the person she is. along comes karen who i think is just hilarous and upsets lindsay's world. so after 200 odd pages her dad sees he light and throws lindsay out and she has to face the world. this part of the book is clearly the weaker section and for those who were paying attention will figure out who exactly barney is unlike lindsay. all the loose ends are tied up in true happy ending style very quickly at the end.
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on 8 September 2010
I loved this book - very funny and original
If you love Chris Manby's books you'll love this one too.
If you've never read a Chris Manby book; you'll love them if you like to giggle and sometimes cry with laughter while reading something light-hearted and of course the fundamental chick-lit. Perfect beach read. Great for women of all ages although the characters are mid-late 20s - early 30s (so for me perfect as the characters are around my age)
I haven't read many other chick-lit writers mainly because I look to these books to not be soppy and romantic and usually a feel good option from whatever relationship blunders and blips I have going on in my own life so for what I want they are brilliant. My favourite Chris Manby book so far...? Ready or Not closely followed by Running Away From Richard.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
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on 5 April 2007
Much like the reviewer below, this was the first Chris Manby book I've ever read, and I have to say that I'm VERY impressed. I set out to read this book with the view that it would be a funny, romantic, light-hearted read - and this it was.

The Plot: Original (I've personally never read anything remotely similar before). The story was entertaining. Chris Manby has a fantastic technique of mentioning something at the beginning, something insignificant, but then it turns out to be hugely important by the end. I found the plot to be incredibly consistent. The twist at the end was (slightly) unpredictable and (very) heart-warming.

The Characters: As much as I enjoyed this book, I really hated the main character (Lindsey) during the first half the book. It was only after the first 200 pages or so that I actually came to sort of like her. She comes across as selfish, spoilt, judgemental and very inconsiderate during the first half, but in the second half she sort of realises this and sets about trying to make things right - in her own way. As for the other characters, well; they all fitted in perfectly with the plot and they were all funny in their own right.

I found "The Matchbreaker" to be an addictive, funny read and Chris Manby has failed to disappoint. I'll certainly be buying some more books by the author! I'd recommend to all.
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on 31 December 2006
I found Lindsay an unlikeable heroine. She committed attempted murder, and even before that she'd risked causing death by planting drugs on someone going to Thailand - where drug smuggling can get you executed. Her sabotaging of her dad's relationships was cruel and cynical.There is a bit in the book when, hard-up, she fritters money she can't afford on 'retail therapy'. That scene would work with a sympathetic character like Becky from the Kinsella 'Shopaholic' books, but just doesn't work here.

Yes, towards the end of the book she purports to be turning a new leaf, but she only changes when under pressure. How genuine is her change? She couldn't even confess to Poupeh that it was her who wrote the scandalous letter at school!

At the end, there are far too many plot twists and a Dickens novel or Shakespearean comedy (and I DON'T mean that in a good way). And Chris, a hijab is just a headscarf. It can't cover you from head to foot!

The novel is saved - just - by the fact that Chris Manby has a good writing style. You zip along at a merry pace, and the plot never drages. The zigzagging between past and present is a bit jarring, but Manby can pull it off. We get to grips with how Lindsay came to be what she became, but sadly I don't think it's enough to make her a sympathetic character.

Altogether, just about readable, but not a worthy addition to the Manby canon. This seems to me to be the sort of novel that gets churned out as the fifth of a five-novel contract.
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Enjoyed it but it seemed to me that the main selfish character got morals a bit too quickly than her manners would suggest.
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on 6 June 2013
I picked up this book after buying it second hand and was drawn to it as the main character shares the same name as me :). I really enjoyed this novel. This started out as a light read; girl who is jealous of her father's girlfriends who goes to great lengths to thwart their relationships. Lindsey at first is not a likeable character. Her father has raised her on her own after her mother dies and she has grown in to a very indulged, spoilt and superficial person. Her attempts at breaking up her Father's last relationship with Karen, however, are her undoing. Her Father finds out about her "deed" which not only ends their relationship but also puts his fiancee's life in danger. Lindsey then becomes homeless and cut off from her Father's security and wealth. She meets a former school friend Poupah Gharani who takes pity on her and also reveals her job, a private investigator. And their the fun begins... Karen has moved on from her Father Alex. After having an epiphany about her terrible behaviour, Lindsey, with Poupeh's help hatches a plan to reunite her Father with his former love. Yet there is only one spanner in the works; Barney Cavannagh , Karen's supposed new love. Lindsey goes undercover as Jane Smith to be a honeytrapper, to trap Barney and reveal to Karen that her new love is cheating. Thus hoping to expose Barney as a love cheat and reunite her Father with Karen.

This is a very funny book but it deals with some dark themes; bereavement, guilt and jealously. However, it is a very lovely, well written book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is my first Chris Manby book but it will definitely not be my last. Marvellous !
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on 4 May 2007
This is the first Chris Manby book I have read and I wasn't disappointed. At first I wasn't convinced I was going to like it as it was bought on a whim and kept being pushed to the bottom of the book reading pile. However I was very pleasantly surprised, I found it to be extremely witty and laughed out loud on a number of occasions (thankfully in the privacy of my own home). It was really funny, clever and original. I liked the way she developed Lindsay's character because at the beginning I really did not like her, and I thought Barney sounded absolutely lovely. I will be keeping my eyes open for other Chris Manby books.
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on 30 September 2013
I felt such an emotional response toward the main character and love when books can do that to me. I loved the development of the story which went off in a number of directions; at first I thought 'Hmm a bit too unbelievable' but then it got interesting and I really enjoyed it!
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on 11 February 2007
This is the first Chris Manby book that I have read and I did not expect to like it, but I have to say it was very good, having read the other reviews, I do agree to a certain extent but if you read it for what it is and do not take things too seriously, then you can enjoy it. Lindsey was an unlikeable character I agree - but you had to feel sorry for her in a way!!! Perhaps I'm too easily pleased!!!
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