Goodreads: The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker
Series: Fairy-Tale Matchmaker #1
Published: October 7, 2014
Tired of the dangers of the human world, Cory Feathering quits the Tooth Fairy Guild and decides to pursue a different career. She’s had visions of some of her friends together, so perhaps she can become a matchmaker. (If only her visions would be a bit less blurry!) She knew her mother, proud tooth fairy to the core, would be upset with her, but she had no idea the Guild itself would persecute her and sabotage every new job she tries.
The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker follows young Cory Feathering as she tries to find a job that makes a difference in the world. (What’s the point of collecting teeth anyway?!) The story takes Cory through a number of odd jobs and paths through the fairy world as she searches for the one thing she would like to make a career. Seeing beloved fairy tale characters in a new light—as people who need to hire babysitters or someone to mow their lawns—is tons of fun, but the entire premise of the story is an odd choice for a middle grade novel. One girl’s search for the perfect career is something that will speak more to recent college graduates than to middle school students.
Cory’s characterization definitely suffers from the disconnect between the intended audience and the subject matter. Although Cory is never given an age, the book hints she is a teen; the fairy school system seems to include graduating from Junior Fey School and then starting job training, without any equivalent of high school or college. Yet implying that Cory a teen does not mean she has teen concerns; finding a job, moving out of home, worrying about paying rent and other bills are all issues that will speak mostly to readers in their young twenties.
Adding confusion to this mess is the fact that Cory sounds more like a tween than either a teen or young adult. When sending her resignation later to the Tooth Fairy Guild, she simply writes, “I quit!” When inquiring about a help-wanted ad in the paper, she sends a missive that says, “Who are you?” While these scenes might be intended to add humor to the novel, they simply make Cory seem immature and as if she does not know how to look for a job at all. As an older reader who actually does have similar concerns as Cory, I am mainly irritated she can manage to be hired by multiple people while acting so unprofessionally.
The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker does have some fun moments. It is interesting to see new perspectives on the other characters Cory meets, who include everyone from Little Miss Muffet to Humpty Dumpty to the Three Little Pigs. Cory also gets into some entertaining scrapes while performing odd jobs around the fairy world. I will be reading the sequel, The Perfect Match, to find out what happens next. I just struggle with categorizing the book because it seems designed to please adults more than children, and I have difficultly imagining what type, age, or reading-level of child I would recommend this to.