Reviews

Blaine for the Win by Robbie Couch

drakoulis's review

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5.0

Another funny, heartfelt and sweet YA story from Robbie Couch!

Blaine For The Win is a book of self-discovery first and foremost. Blaine starts doubting every aspect of himself when his boyfriend Joey dumps him on their anniversary for not being "Serious" enough for his ultra-rich family's expectations. Blaine loves painting murals, wearing colorful clothes and doesn't fit the boxes of a "Serious Guy", as he mockingly calls Joey later. His parents work endless hours to make do and his company at home is his recently unemployed aunt.

In an impulsive decision, Blaine decides to run for senior student council president to show Joey (and himself) that he too, is a Serious Guy. During his journey, with the support of his best friend Trish, her dinosaur-loving girlfriend Camilla and his unexpected ally Danny, he campaigns on a mental health platform, reconsiders his choices and his real motivations, and finds out that happiness is different for everyone.

The side characters were an integral point of the story: Trish is a hurricane, a force of nature, Danny is a cinamonn roll and the absolute sweetest, Camilla and Aunt Starr are rays of sunshine, and there is a dog!

If you've read The Sky Blues , you'll notice some common themes and personality traits, like e.g. the default reaction of Blaine being more or less like the one of Sky: retreat to himself, hide in his room and enter a spiral of self-pity. Or the importance of friends when facing obstacles in life. And of course the sweet HEA romance plot!

There are also election shennanigans: intrigue, speeches, debates!

Blaine for the Win is a book that will make you smile!

sleepysncring's review

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secondhand embarrassment 🙁

pabloandres's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

maddieandherbooks's review

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4.0

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for the arc!

I enjoyed this book! I liked the Legally Blonde references, and the book was easy to read (also the cover!! I love it so much). This was a relatively quick read, and it was very light-hearted. The drama in it is nicely resolved, and the book just has good vibes.

“Blaine For the Win” follows the main character, Blaine Bowers, and his friends through their senior class president election. It’s pretty much “Legally Blonde” adapted for high school students, and I really enjoyed it. There’s a diverse set of characters, and the author has also focused on mental health issues in schools as one of the issues the characters want to confront throughout their election campaign.

This book was well-written, but the second half of the book felt better to me than the first half. It felt like more of the story happened in the latter half, so the beginning fell kind of flat for me. I found the ending to be a very satisfying conclusion, but there’s not a lot of chemistry in the characters’ romantic relationships, which was a bit of a letdown. The friendships made up for it, though (Trish was definitely my favourite character).

Over all, this book is worth a read! :)

the_gare_bear's review

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4.0

Cute queer YA novel. Think legally blonde but the high school gay version. A fun fast read.

timvindigni's review

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3.0

The Sky Blues was one of my favorite reads of last year, so I was really excited to pick up Blaine For The Win. Unfortunately, this book fell a little flat for me. I know it’s acknowledged in the author’s note, but this really was just high school legally blonde with lower stakes. I had a hard time understanding why I should care. Non-the-less, I really enjoy Couch’s writing style and how I always feel like part of the friend groups in his stories, so I can’t bring myself to rate this anything lower than 3 stars. Even if it felt more like a 2.

jsncnrd's review against another edition

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5.0

After reading The Sky Blues the other week, I was so stoked that another book from Robbie Couch was coming. And it was f*cking wonderful. Seriously, this was such a delight to read.

I loved these characters, and loved this diversity / inclusion we got. It was so nice to have characters representing minorities that are sometimes hard to find, even in queer literature. Trish was EVERYTHING. I loved the direct references to Legally Blonde -- "what, like it's hard?" -- which is such a queer cult classic to begin with. One of my favorite elements of the book was its focus on mental health in teenagers. The discussion that was had around this topic was meaningful and authentic. The way that Robbie works serious topics like these into his books so effortlessly and seamlessly is a testament to his talent as a writer.

Also -- "Taylor Swift gets me," is probably the most relatable sentence I have ever read in a book, and the Folklore references were everything. Speaking of.... I feel like "Babe" by Taylor is essentially this book in a nutshell. I mean...

Blaine: "If you call me 'babe' one more time..."
Taylor: "This is the last time I'll ever call you 'babe' ..."

Love to see it!

reads_cats's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

Was worried abt the whole Zach thing for the last quarter but it all turned out fine

spiffyb13's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

lillanaa's review

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5.0

This was way more fun than I anticipated, and way lighter on the romance than I expected. I definitely see where Couch was going, Legally Blonde references are scattered throughout, but it's not a bad thing. This is very much homage, not a blatant copy, and it feels... Homey. There's something comforting and cozy here, and the characters fill in exactly what I wanted from it. I can tell the different reference points pretty clearly, but after a while things start to muddle into their own story, something uplifting and fun. Definitely a high recommendation.