Blaine for the Win

Blaine for the Win
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
April 12, 2022
ISBN
978-1534497467
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After being dumped so his boyfriend can pursue more “serious” guys, a teen boy decides to prove he can be serious, too, by running for senior class president in this joyful romp from the author of The Sky Blues.

High school junior Blaine Bowers has it all—the perfect boyfriend, a pretty sweet gig as a muralist for local Windy City businesses, a loving family, and awesome, talented friends. And he is absolutely, 100% positive that aforementioned perfect boyfriend—​senior student council president and Mr. Popular of Wicker West High School, Joey—is going to invite Blaine to spend spring break with his family in beautiful, sunny Cabo San Lucas.

Except Joey breaks up with him instead. In public. On their one-year anniversary.

Because, according to Joey, Blaine is too goofy, too flighty, too…unserious. And if Joey wants to go far in life, he needs to start dating more serious guys. Guys like Zach Chesterton.

Determined to prove that Blaine can be what Joey wants, Blaine decides to enter the running to become his successor (and beat out Joey’s new boyfriend, Zach) as senior student council president.

But is he willing to sacrifice everything he loves about himself to do it?

Editor review

1 review
delightful YA contemporary
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
BLAINE FOR THE WIN is an absolutely delightful YA contemporary. When Blaine gets dumped on his one year anniversary with Joey for not being serious enough, he decides to get serious to get him back. He begins with giving up painting murals, something that is a passion project to brighten up Chicago working with local businesses. He also decides that he is going to run for senior class president - and then finds out that Joey has already quickly moved on with the frontrunner in the race, Zach.

As the race heats up, Blaine begins to learn more about himself, what he is really passionate about, and what it means to be a leader. He also begins to get to know Danny better, a guy who started as an acquaintance until Blaine broke his aloe vera plant. As a member of the student council, he has the knowledge Blaine needs to help win this race, and he also is pretty cool on his own too.

What I loved: This was such a delightful read with plenty of rom-com feels and giggles alongside some thought-provoking themes. In the author's note, it's clear that this was inspired as a YA Legally Blonde, and the book definitely carries those charming vibes throughout. While the inspiration is clear, this is something new, fresh, and really fun to read. The plot stays focused on the election and the key characters, and it felt like a really quick read - I ended up finishing it in one sitting, because it was just too fun to put down.

Blaine is a really compelling character. He's messy and does not always consider others' feelings when he reacts, but he's learning and trying to be the best version of himself that he can. He is absolutely endearing, and his passion project of murals was where he really shone. Danny was another really sweet character who comes in with some wisdom. I would have loved seeing even more of him, just because he was so great (as was his father who comes in with some key conversations). Blaine's aunt Starr stole the show in the scenes she is in - she is in between jobs, staying with his family, and taking care of things around the house. She was amazing. Blaine's other friends, Trish, his BFF and Campaign Captain, and her girlfriend Camilla were also standout people. Trish in particular had a critical role in the campaign and in Blaine's life. She was really someone I would love to know.

There are some really important themes in the story about politics, embracing yourself, finding your way, mental health and its importance, relationships, family, and friendships. These were really thought-provoking and handled well. I particularly appreciated the way mental health was included as a theme throughout, understanding the pressures that teens face and the need to address them.

Final verdict: Delightful and absolutely charming, BLAINE FOR THE WIN is a stand-out YA contemporary about finding yourself, politics, and high school. Highly recommend for fans of THE (UN)POPULAR VOTE, SO THIS IS EVER AFTER, and MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE.
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