Cover Image: Blaine for the Win

Blaine for the Win

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When Blaine's boyfriend breaks up with him because he is "not serious enough", Blaine decides to prove that he is serious by running for senior student council president.

When I first started this novel, I found it to be a bit disorienting. It took me some time before I was able to fully appreciate the context, the characters and the pop culture references. It took me even longer to realize that the story was inspired by Legally Blonde! However, despite this, I still found myself engrossed. I wanted to see Blaine receive the recognition and love that he deserved and I was rooting for him and his friends to succeed (and I really enjoyed the "aha moment" when I finally did realize that it was inspired by Legally Blonde). 

What I loved about this book was the fact that it questions what it really means to be "serious". Does one have to pursue a career in politics to be "serious"? As a teacher, I have seen this concern raised by my students. In my experience, students interested in pursuing interests such as the arts are at times considered to be pursuing something less worthy than their peers who are pursuing more "serious" endeavours, such as business. and I appreciate how the novel makes one question this belief. 

I also loved how this book deals with saying no and turning down "good opportunities". In my experience, saying no is a skill that is hard to develop and I think it is wonderful that this skill was modelled in this story. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for the ARC of this book.
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Blaine for the Win is a cute, lighthearted read that I'm sure many fans of YA will enjoy, but as I grow further and further away from the target demographic for YA, I find myself only really loving specific titles within the genre. I think a lot of YA books do great things in terms of conversations around diversity, sexuality, and mental health. Blaine for the Win fell short for me even though it's trying to engage in those same conversations. I know teenagers don't always make the best decisions, but Blaine's main motivator throughout the book is essentially just selfishness. His friends were constantly going out of their way to help him, and all he did was be really shitty to them for no reason? Which would be fine if the book didn't want you to root for him, even though his friends (who are not white) do all of the work for his campaign as he fails upward, in true white guy fashion. I think it would've been way more interesting to explore that dynamic in more depth at the end of the book, and have Blaine actually realize why his behaviour sucked, and how it would make his friends feel to negate all of the work they put in his campaign. Fleshing out his relationships with other characters, especially Trish and Danny, would have helped the book feel less like a two-dimensional Legally Blonde. All that said, the writing is solid and there are some fun moments throughout the book — I just wish Blaine for the Win gave me more than it did. 

*This ARC was provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion*
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Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Blaine for the Win in exchange for an honest review.

This book is gay AND European (I think. I don't know exactly what Robbie's background is but I'm hoping at least some of their ancestors are from europe so that opening works?). I got about a chapter in before realizing "wait, is this gay Legally Blonde?" and the book only leans into that from here. Like its source material, this dances the line between heavier subject matter and rom-com perfectly, providing both a realistically complicated yet enjoyable to read queer coming of age story. It's very very Legally Blonde and I know a few reviews so far have been upset about that but honestly, it's a rom-com. It reading like a rom-com comes with the territory.
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A queer retelling of Legally Blond - yes, yes and yes! I enjoyed this read so much. It was the perfect queer feel-good contemporary ya. After getting dumped by his boyfriend, Blaine decides to run for Senior student council president, maybe not for all the right reasons at first but that does change. The hardest part about running is that this is an area where Blaine has no knowledge or experience in and it seems like he's going to have to become a bit of someone he's not to get what he wants. But Blaine and his friends team up to make sure he doesn't loose himself while doing something that's completely out of his element. That's what I really loved was that Blaine and his friends though outside the box for the campaign I think in the end Blaine became an even more authentic version of himself. Not to mention the slow-burn classmates to friends to potentially something more between Blaine and Danny was wonderful. I found myself loving all of the supporting characters just as much as Blaine. Aunt star was a personal favourite, but all of Blaine's friends were such great characters as well. All of the elements of the story had made for such a wonderful read. 
Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the arc!
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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 was living for 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! :)
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Ohmygod ohmygod you guys, I was finally able to score a copy of Robbie Couch’s new book (what? Like it’s hard?). Blaine for the Win (releasing April 2022) is the Legally Blonde inspired queer YA you didn’t know you needed but actually legitimately and desperately do need. 

When Blaine is dumped by his boyfriend (on THEIR anniversary at a FANCY restaurant), he is left with no choice but to do what it takes to get him back. This means Blaine need ls to leave behind the things that bring him joy, like painting awesomely wonderful murals, and become SERIOUS. In this case, serious = running for class president. 

It’s a charming story of found family, and finding yourself.  Exactly the kind of charm one expects from a Robbie Couch book.
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Robbie Couch is the king of feel-good queer YA! This relatable, funny, and sweet story feels like a safety blanket, wrapping heavier stuff like mental health.

Whereas The Sky Blues was an insta love—I fell head over heels, Blaine for the Win was a slow burn. Chapter by chapter Robbie pulled me further into the story until I couldn’t do anything but surrender. And surrender I did! To his captivating writing. To Blaine’s journey to get Joey back by entering the senior class president election. To the wonderfully diverse cast of supporting characters. To aloha or aloe vera plants. To Aunt Star, everyone’s number one cheerleader. And let’s not forget sweet Danny. I fell in love with him, time and again.

’Let’s talk’? It’s a brilliant way to start a campaign to become senior class president. I loved how Robbie showed us that Blaine, his friends, and his family all were anxious about something. I treasured those beautiful and vulnerable conversations about fears. Life isn’t always beautiful, and it’s so important to share our mental state with others. And although mental health is such a heavy topic, this book was happy and funny and fluffy at the same time.

Robbie, you’ve done it again! I can’t wait to read your next novel! Like I said: you really are the king of feel-good queer YA.
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I actually cant deal with how cute this was!!!!! I needed a feel-good kind of book right now and this was absolutely perfect!!!!
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