The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

Hi Everyone! It’s Becky. I love holiday books, and I was thrilled when I found a new romance based around Hanukkah.  The Matzah Ball was a cute book but didn’t quite live up to my hopes.    

Title: The Matzah Ball
Author: Jean Meltzer
Note: I listed to the audiobook.

Summary: Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is the daughter of an acclaimed Rabbi with a secret. Rachel loves Christmas. She is the writer of dozens best selling Christmas romance books, but when her publisher asks for Hannakkah romance, Rachel must embrace her family’s holiday traditions for material. There is just one problem the most popular event of the holiday season is The Matzah Ball hosted by Jacob Greenberg, Rachel’s camp boyfriend turned enemy. Can Rachel find inspiration for her new novel and maybe find romance?

Review: I was excited when I read the description for The Matzah Ball. I had never read a Hannakah romance, and I was excited to read my first. This book had its cute moments, but I didn’t love it like I wanted to

The Matzah Ball has the distinction of being one of the few romance books I have read that takes place at Hanukkah. The book’s seasonal setting was refreshing, and I appreciated the different view of the holiday season. I did not, however, appreciate the characters. I found Rachel to be tiresome. She was a very successful writer, the kind that can say New York Times bestseller, and has movie adaptations of her books, but she’s afraid to tell anyone she writes Christmas books. I don’t get it. Her parents are accepting and kind. Why would they have a problem with her career? Also, I never warmed up to Jacob. Meltzer tries to make him charming, but instead, his jokes and pranks are annoying and mean. Also, I never warmed up to Rachel and Jacob as a couple. I never rooted for them to get together. I never actually cared about their relationship. 

Yet, there are positives in this novel. We need more holiday books that branch out past Christmas. Also, Meltzer addressed Rachel’s Chronic Fatigue Syndrom with the seriousness and the respect the disorder deserves. I would happily read more books about people living full lives with chronic illnesses.  

Basically, aspects of The Matzah Ball are fun, and the book is a cute holiday read but, for me, it won’t become a holiday classic.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5

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