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Blaine for the Win

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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, t 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?


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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, t 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?

30 review for Blaine for the Win

  1. 5 out of 5

    Snjez

    This is a sweet coming-of-age story with a great set of characters and a bit of romance. Just like with the first book I've read by this author, The Sky Blues, I found this story to be very positive and uplifting. I really liked Blaine. He didn't always make the best decisions, but his character felt authentic and relatable. His friends were the best, and all relationships were pretty great in this one. I really appreciated the diversity and the subject matters discussed in the book. I was happy This is a sweet coming-of-age story with a great set of characters and a bit of romance. Just like with the first book I've read by this author, The Sky Blues, I found this story to be very positive and uplifting. I really liked Blaine. He didn't always make the best decisions, but his character felt authentic and relatable. His friends were the best, and all relationships were pretty great in this one. I really appreciated the diversity and the subject matters discussed in the book. I was happy with how things played out for everyone in the end, it was very satisfying. The audiobook is narrated by Michael Crouch, who also narrated this author's other book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just to add, I think the cover is super cute and it perfectly represents the story and the characters.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marieke (mariekes_mesmerizing_books)

    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 t 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. I received an ARC from Simon and Schuster and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Follow me on Instagram

  3. 5 out of 5

    Claude's Bookzone

    3.5 Stars It was touch and go there for a while as I deliberated whether I was going to dislike the main character, Blaine, too much to continue reading. In the end he really grew on me in all his messy glory. This ended up being quite a fun LGBTQIA+ YA romance set in the vicious world of high school class president elections. After being brutally dumped by his ladder-climbing boyfriend, Blaine decides to become someone worthy of winning him back. Predictable and safe but charming none the less.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ❦ jazmin

    Thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada for providing an ARC of Blaine for the Win in exchange for an honest review. Since the book has been released, this is the full review! ⇢Description Think: Queer, Legally Blonde, and although I haven’t seen the show, someone told me it seemed like Glee without the singing? Basically: iconic. 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, talente Thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada for providing an ARC of Blaine for the Win in exchange for an honest review. Since the book has been released, this is the full review! ⇢Description Think: Queer, Legally Blonde, and although I haven’t seen the show, someone told me it seemed like Glee without the singing? Basically: iconic. 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? ⇢Thoughts I really enjoyed this book. There’s something so fun and heartwarming about YA contemporaries and despite some of the deeper themes within this book, it completely invoked those emotions in me. I really liked Blaine and his growth and I LOVED the side characters and how much of a role they played. Another thing that may not be the most important to mention but that I want to really make a note of is how much I enjoyed Blaine’s passion for murals! I adore it when a character has a unique hobby or passion that you don’t see that often in books and the way that his love of painting tied into the themes of the book was super well done. Not many critiques here, so I’ll just say that I wanted a bit more from some aspects of the book. There were a lot of great angles that were explored on the surface but not more than that, and I think the book could have really profited from being a bit longer because of that! ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* *:・゚✧*:・゚✧ my carrd ❦ BOOKISH PRODUCTS: USE MY CODE JAZ10 ❦ BOOKMARKS, BLIND DATE WITH A BOOK ETC: USE MY CODE JAZ10 ❦ BOOKMARKS AND CANDLES: USE MY CODE JAZ10 ❦

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for an eARC in exchange for an honest review! This book was a cute and lighthearted story about a teenager's journey in learning to find his own happiness. As soon as I picked this up, I realized the problem with it. The story itself is promising and enjoyable. But frankly, I don't think it should have been a Legally Blonde retelling. What makes Legally Blonde so fantastic is its message about misogyny. Legally Blonde, at its core, is a feminist story a Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for an eARC in exchange for an honest review! This book was a cute and lighthearted story about a teenager's journey in learning to find his own happiness. As soon as I picked this up, I realized the problem with it. The story itself is promising and enjoyable. But frankly, I don't think it should have been a Legally Blonde retelling. What makes Legally Blonde so fantastic is its message about misogyny. Legally Blonde, at its core, is a feminist story about how women and feminine people are severely underestimated, because our passions and aesthetics and even the way we speak is systemically laughed at and put down. And by taking that story - the story of a woman who was always brilliant and just needed the world to see it - and centering men, it inherently diminishes - and kind of erases - what makes the original story so valuable. Now don't get me wrong, I love retellings, especially ones that shift the message or change it up a bit. However, I have a firm belief that retellings need to be able to answer two questions: "Why does this story need to be told here and now?" and "What perspective are you adding to this story that was missing before?" And though I think this book is able to somewhat answer the first question, I don't think it can answer the second. The things that are added just deviate too far from the original story to elevate itself as a retelling. I'm not against using the story of Legally Blonde as a vehicle to discuss teenage mental health issues but the two don't seem to mesh particularly well - again, maybe because the whole foundation of Legally Blonde is built upon the historical underestimation of women. Tbh, it felt a bit saddening to see a story that was groundbreaking for so many young women and feminine people rewritten by a man, changing its feminist message into one about teenage boys struggling with perfectionism and mental health. Also Elle Woods would be HORRIFIED by the outfits Blaine wears. CW: death of side character's parent (past, cancer, offscreen), mental health (anxiety, depressive episodes)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    Robbie Couch's upcoming YA novel, Blaine for the Win , is a fantastic, heartwarming story about finding yourself and deciding what you want from life and love. After loving Couch's first book, The Sky Blues (which was one of my favorites from last year, as you can see on this list), I was so excited to get an ARC of his new book, thanks to some arm-twisting by my dear friend Amy. Couch truly is the king of feel-good YA fiction!! Blaine is creative, artistic, a bit of a daydreamer. He loves Robbie Couch's upcoming YA novel, Blaine for the Win , is a fantastic, heartwarming story about finding yourself and deciding what you want from life and love. After loving Couch's first book, The Sky Blues (which was one of my favorites from last year, as you can see on this list), I was so excited to get an ARC of his new book, thanks to some arm-twisting by my dear friend Amy. Couch truly is the king of feel-good YA fiction!! Blaine is creative, artistic, a bit of a daydreamer. He loves painting murals on buildings in his downtown Chicago neighborhood, and he loves his boyfriend Joey, who is a type-A overachiever with plans of becoming president one day. When Joey breaks up with him—on their one-year anniversary and at the fanciest restaurant in Chicago—he tells Blaine he needs to date someone serious to be his partner in success. Blaine is too scatterbrained, too flighty, and he dresses too flamboyantly. Blaine is devastated but he’s determined to win Joey back. To do that, he’ll become a serious guy—and to prove it, he’s decided to run for senior class president, to succeed Joey—and defeat Joey’s new, perfect boyfriend, Zach. Given that Blaine has never even been on student council (or cared), it’s an uphill battle which will require a lot of work, not to mention the support of his best friend…and some unexpected others. But will becoming a serious guy ruin what is best about Blaine? Will it close his eyes to those who truly care about him? I loved this book x 1,000,000! It was sweet and fun, but there’s lots of discussion about teenagers’ mental health which is such an important topic to address. Blaine for the Win publishes 4/12, and if you’re a YA fan you’ll want to pick it up!! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2021 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2022/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2021.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Arvie

    Whatever book Robbie Couch is releasing, I’ll be sure to read it from now on. I totally love The Sky Blues and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna love the next book more. 8/22/21: IF EVER THIS BOOK BECAME A SERIES OR MOVIE, I'M POSITIVE THAT THIS WOULD BECOME A HUGE HIT ALL AROUND THE WORLD. Whatever book Robbie Couch is releasing, I’ll be sure to read it from now on. I totally love The Sky Blues and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna love the next book more. 8/22/21: IF EVER THIS BOOK BECAME A SERIES OR MOVIE, I'M POSITIVE THAT THIS WOULD BECOME A HUGE HIT ALL AROUND THE WORLD.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I read and absolutely loved The Sky Blues last year. An easy 5 star read! As soon as I saw Robbie Couch had a new book up for request I jumped on it!! And guess what!? I LOVED Blaine For The Win!! And YES! 5 stars again! What a fabulous, diverse cast of characters! My absolute favorite being Danny. He reminded me so much of my sixteen year old son. I'd love for my son to find himself a Danny someday, hehe! :) I also really loved how the importance of mental health was such a big part of this sto I read and absolutely loved The Sky Blues last year. An easy 5 star read! As soon as I saw Robbie Couch had a new book up for request I jumped on it!! And guess what!? I LOVED Blaine For The Win!! And YES! 5 stars again! What a fabulous, diverse cast of characters! My absolute favorite being Danny. He reminded me so much of my sixteen year old son. I'd love for my son to find himself a Danny someday, hehe! :) I also really loved how the importance of mental health was such a big part of this story. *High Five!* A heartfelt LGBTQIA+ story. YA fans! This one is for you! I adore a story of finding oneself. Huge thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for my gifted copy!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hsinju Chen

    4.5 stars rounding up. I couldn’t put down Blaine for the Win and finished it in two sittings. The vibe of it reminds me of TJ Klune’s The Extraordinaries (my review) but without superpowers. Blaine Bowers (~16, achillean) cannot believe he got dumped by Joey Oliver (gay). On their one-year anniversary. At the fanciest restaurant ever. Joey said he didn’t want to date the mural painter who isn’t the kind of Serious Guy he needs to become President of the United States one day. Blaine will win him 4.5 stars rounding up. I couldn’t put down Blaine for the Win and finished it in two sittings. The vibe of it reminds me of TJ Klune’s The Extraordinaries (my review) but without superpowers. Blaine Bowers (~16, achillean) cannot believe he got dumped by Joey Oliver (gay). On their one-year anniversary. At the fanciest restaurant ever. Joey said he didn’t want to date the mural painter who isn’t the kind of Serious Guy he needs to become President of the United States one day. Blaine will win him back by showing that he can ditch his mural painting gigs and be serious... by signing up to run for senior class president? Enlisting the help of his best friends Trish MacIntosh (sapphic, Black) and Camilla (sapphic) as well as the not-friend-only-acquaintance Danny Nguyen (bi, Vietnamese American) for an insider perspective from the student council, Blaine is ready to prove himself to be worthy of Joey. As the race kicks off, is winning Joey back still going to be Blaine’s goal? First of all, Blaine for the Win has a great cast that includes cute supporting sapphics, in addition to lots of achilleans. And I mean lots of achilleans, which we love to see. This book is YA and tackles a lot of Messy Teenage Feels. Blaine is not the perfect boy and he messes up sometimes. Okay, a lot, but he is learning how to not quit on things and holding onto his passion. Sure, he probably didn’t get enough retaliation of all the mistakes he made, but I did get nervous and worried for him throughout the book, which is saying something about the realness of Couch’s storytelling. The supporting cast is wonderful. Trish is amazing, and at one point, I wondered if she would become that BIPOC character who is just there to support the white main character without having her own story, but I think Couch did a pretty good job at giving her agency and power, too (you have to finish the whole book though). Camilla is mainly there to support Trish as the dinosaur-loving girlfriend. And Danny, the plant-loving sweet boy Danny. Even though his backstory was mentioned pretty early on in the book, I felt emotional, too. There are little to no homophobia in BFTW and many achillean characters that I am sure would mean a lot to young readers. I love that there are beautiful family relationships: Blaine and his aunt Starr, Danny and his father Bao, and even Zach Chesterton (the egotistical but popular candidate, also achillean) and his parents. And while the Olivers are not as great, their issues have nothing to do with Joey being gay, either. Another plus side is that Blaine’s dog Fudge did not gradually disappear as the story went on (I find it very common that fictional pets just sort of fades into the background when the story is not centered around animals). As much as I liked the book, it did bother me a little that one character felt out-of-character toward the end, which was plot-convenient. But it didn’t hinder my enjoyment by much. BFTW is a mostly light-hearted story about the disaster queer that is Blaine, but it also touches upon some heavier topics like mental health and grief and unemployment. Overall, this book is a winner, and I’m already looking forward to future books by Couch. content warnings: talks about mental health, anxiety, loss of family member (side character), unemployment I received an advanced digital copy from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Aceves

    Plot: gay YA Legally Blonde. Wonderfully executed. All the happy, funny, empowering stuff that you get from the movie. If you enjoyed The Sky Blues, you have to enjoy this one too (I enjoyed it even more). Robbie did that.

  11. 4 out of 5

    charlotte,

    read my review on reads rainbow Rep: gay mc, Vietnamese American bi li, Black sapphic character, Latina sapphic character, gay side characters read my review on reads rainbow Rep: gay mc, Vietnamese American bi li, Black sapphic character, Latina sapphic character, gay side characters

  12. 5 out of 5

    Drakoulis

    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 a 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!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    When I heard about the premise of Robbie Couch's second novel, Blaine for the Win, I knew I had to read it. As a high school student council member back in the day, there was no way I was going to be able to resist a book about a guy who jumps into the race for senior class president for all the wrong reasons but ends up on the ballot for many of the right ones. The story is masterfully told, and the unexpected twists toward the end of the book were really well-done -- and really enjoyable. Aside When I heard about the premise of Robbie Couch's second novel, Blaine for the Win, I knew I had to read it. As a high school student council member back in the day, there was no way I was going to be able to resist a book about a guy who jumps into the race for senior class president for all the wrong reasons but ends up on the ballot for many of the right ones. The story is masterfully told, and the unexpected twists toward the end of the book were really well-done -- and really enjoyable. Aside from the story itself, one of the things I greatly enjoyed about Blaine was the fact that it was truly different from Robbie's debut novel, The Sky Blues. Make no mistake: Robbie's voice shines through loud and clear in this book, but the characters, the situations, and the settings are distinct from what he gifted us with in his first book. That's how you keep readers engaged and wanting more, and Robbie has deftly succeeded in doing that with Blaine. Now to look forward to If I See You Again Tomorrow...

  14. 5 out of 5

    atlas ♡

    Blaine for the Win is a super cute queer teen retelling of Legally Blonde. there was a few references in there that I enjoyed as well. the cast is wonderful and they were enjoyable to read about. i enjoyed reading about all these characters, Blaine was particularly interesting to read about. The side characters were also engaging and well developed. the relationship was very slowburn and not my favorite but overall pretty cute! the plot was kind of basic but still made for a nice read for a day. Blaine for the Win is a super cute queer teen retelling of Legally Blonde. there was a few references in there that I enjoyed as well. the cast is wonderful and they were enjoyable to read about. i enjoyed reading about all these characters, Blaine was particularly interesting to read about. The side characters were also engaging and well developed. the relationship was very slowburn and not my favorite but overall pretty cute! the plot was kind of basic but still made for a nice read for a day. probably not something that will leave a huge impact on me but something I read in one sitting that i enjoyed. also it's perfect for spring! thank you to Simon and Schuster and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Navya

    helllooooo this book was so good omgggg felt like a warm blanket, the vibes were immaculate and i love how everything was handled

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andreas

    This was a light and uplifting read. The Sky Blues is one of my favorite books and I’m really happy that this book lives up to its predecessor. Can’t wait to read the next books from Robbie Couch. This was a light and uplifting read. The Sky Blues is one of my favorite books and I’m really happy that this book lives up to its predecessor. Can’t wait to read the next books from Robbie Couch.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy (reviewsshewrote)

    That. Was so. CUTE!!! ADD THIS TO YOUR TBR!!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    maddie (taylor's version)

    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 h 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! :)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I loved the Sky Blues so I was very much looking forward to the author's next book. And this absolutely did not disappoint. There was enough angst and drama to keep it interesting, while also being filled with heart and love. I loved that everyone was queer and it wasn't even a thing. It was an extremely satisfying ending and just a general happy hug. I can't wait to read whatever Robbie writes next! I loved the Sky Blues so I was very much looking forward to the author's next book. And this absolutely did not disappoint. There was enough angst and drama to keep it interesting, while also being filled with heart and love. I loved that everyone was queer and it wasn't even a thing. It was an extremely satisfying ending and just a general happy hug. I can't wait to read whatever Robbie writes next!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an ARC from Edelweiss 2.6 Blaine's got a great life- a life he's sure is about to get even better once his boyfriend, Joey, invites him on his family vacation. Except, that's not what happens. Instead, Joey breaks up with him during their anniversary dinner. It turns out Blaine's not the right kind of guy for Joey and his family- he needs someone more serious than an artist with no interest in politics. So Joey makes a plan to show him how serious he can be- he runs for class president. I received an ARC from Edelweiss 2.6 Blaine's got a great life- a life he's sure is about to get even better once his boyfriend, Joey, invites him on his family vacation. Except, that's not what happens. Instead, Joey breaks up with him during their anniversary dinner. It turns out Blaine's not the right kind of guy for Joey and his family- he needs someone more serious than an artist with no interest in politics. So Joey makes a plan to show him how serious he can be- he runs for class president. Against Joey. When I read the synopsis for this book I jokingly said something like "oh wow this is going to be a gay, teen Legally Blonde", but I should not have been joking, because this book is nothing except "gay, teen Legally Blonde". There are so many blatant references, the plot is so similar- I could not, past the first few pages, take this book seriously. I didn't enjoy the reading experience, and I can't imagine anyone having much of a good time with the story unless they're huge Legally Blonde fans. However, if you're someone who enjoys light hearted queer books, and feel good stories, then you might find something you like in this. There are moments where the main character is easy to root for- though, I admit, I found him unlikable the majority of the time-, and I think those who enjoy quick reads wouldn't dislike it. Though I was also let down by the romance- there isn't much chemistry and the characters are flat enough that it just felt like the inevitable getting pushed around from point A to point B. This book didn't leave much of an impact on me, but what it did I wasn't much of a fan of.

  21. 4 out of 5

    ✨Tatiana✨ { She Who Reads Ya Books }

    Get dumped and run for senior student council president, right? 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. Get dumped and run for senior student council president, right? 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. 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? First of all, thank you to the publisher for the ARC! This ARC in no way effects my review. This book was the perfect little contemporary romcom! It was so sweet and cute. Its a perfect happy read for when your feeling a little down. The whole premise of this book makes me laugh so hard. Get dumped and run for senior student council? OF COURSE! Its just the perfect way to start a book. Also, I would love to get revenge on his ex haha. The side characters were perfection! I loved them so much. They made the book. Camilla, our dinosaur queen? She was perfection. For someone who always LOVES dinosaurs, her whole character was perfect. I may have a small obsession with dinosaurs haha. Also I love how supportive she is, like she’s the perfect girlfriend. Trish, the best friend anyone could have. She was so supportive and loving and just the best friend anyone could have. I love how she knew when to push Blaine and when not too. She was so bada**. Danny, our plant boy. He’s so sweet, literally the definition of looks like they could ki** you but is a cinnamon roll. Ahhhhhhhh he was so perfect. Also the LGBTQ+ rep? AMAZING!!!! Blaine, who may not have been my favourite character, was an amazing lead, and it was so much following him on his journey. Also Joey, you suck, and you don’t deserve Blaine.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    4.5 Queer twist on Naturally Blonde, anyone? 😁 This was excellent! So amazing to see an author grow so much from their debut novel! While the secondary characters could still do with a bit more fleshing-out, the pacing and overall story arc was unputdownable!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    ** I read an advance reader copy of this book. ** This is the perfect feel-good, fuzzy warm hot cocoa with marshmallows book!! The cute little references to Legally Blond are hilarious and the story itself is important and handles some tough topics without taking itself too seriously. Loved the characters, loved the story and this is a definite recommendation to anyone from me!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    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 decision 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*

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    From PW: "After Blaine's boyfriend, Joey, breaks up with him on their one-year anniversary to pursue more 'serious guys,' Blaine decides to run for senior class president as Joey's successor to prove his worth. But is he willing to sacrifice everything he loves about himself to do it?" From PW: "After Blaine's boyfriend, Joey, breaks up with him on their one-year anniversary to pursue more 'serious guys,' Blaine decides to run for senior class president as Joey's successor to prove his worth. But is he willing to sacrifice everything he loves about himself to do it?"

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie (Teacups & Tropes)

    Thank you to Simon Schuster and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Blaine for the Win was so cute. From the first chapter, Robbie Couch had me absolutely hooked. Blaine Bowers, a junior in high school, paints murals on some of the businesses surrounding his little slice of Chicago. When his boyfriend breaks up with him on his anniversary, he decides to run for senior class president to get him back and show him - and everyone else - that he can be a "Serious Guy" and Thank you to Simon Schuster and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Blaine for the Win was so cute. From the first chapter, Robbie Couch had me absolutely hooked. Blaine Bowers, a junior in high school, paints murals on some of the businesses surrounding his little slice of Chicago. When his boyfriend breaks up with him on his anniversary, he decides to run for senior class president to get him back and show him - and everyone else - that he can be a "Serious Guy" and that he's not just the mural kid. While I was expecting this book to be light and feel-good, I didn't expect the feelings I got while reading it. They really came out of nowhere and it was a great surprise. Blaine feels like the kind of guy I would've been friends with in high school. He's personable, a little awkward, kind of dramatic; but he's also got great friends and a good head on his shoulders. There are a few instances where Blaine isn't such a great friend - or nephew - but he's quick to realize his mistakes and want to make things right for everyone involved. The cast of characters were standouts: from Trish, to Aunt Starr, to Camilla, Zach, and Danny. Blaine for the Win wouldn't have been what it was without the amazing cast of characters surrounding the leading man. While the romance is more subdued than I'm used to, the progression of Danny and Blaine's relationship was perfection. They moved from almost strangers, into acquaintances, into friends, and then into boyfriend's. The representation in this novel was also very welcome. With an African-American character, a Vietnamese character, and almost all of the characters identifying as LGBTQIA+, it was great to see a lot of diversity. One other thing Blaine for the Win dealt with that came as a surprise for me was mental health. Blaine's platform revolves around mental health for seniors and I almost wish I was voting for him as my senior class president. Nobody talked about mental health when I was in high school, but I'm noticing that authors are helping to break the stigma surrounding mental health, therapy, and asking for help (especially as it relates to high school aged kids). This is a great book for teens and I will continue to celebrate authors that are breaking down the stigma surrounding this topic.

  27. 5 out of 5

    ally

    loving the acknowledgments: ”Although Blaine for the Win began as my excuse to write a gay, young adult version of the 2001 cinematic masterpiece Legally Blonde, it quickly blossomed into its own beautiful tale, thanks in large part to many brilliant people who are not named Robbie Couch” okay but why is Robbie Couch actually brilliant. After the sky blues, he just had to write another brilliant book 😐 like i loved this so much, so so much. it was so fun and realistic and i absolutely loved the lega loving the acknowledgments: ”Although Blaine for the Win began as my excuse to write a gay, young adult version of the 2001 cinematic masterpiece Legally Blonde, it quickly blossomed into its own beautiful tale, thanks in large part to many brilliant people who are not named Robbie Couch” okay but why is Robbie Couch actually brilliant. After the sky blues, he just had to write another brilliant book 😐 like i loved this so much, so so much. it was so fun and realistic and i absolutely loved the legally blond vibes/“retelling” i knew from the beginning it was gonna be danny speaking of, the ending was AHH so so amazing 😭 again, loving the slight spotlight on family :)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dilly

    This book was adorable!! I have to say that it was so nice to see moments from Legally Blonde in this book and they popped up at the perfect times!! The “What? Like it’s hard?” Scene was hands down, my favorite. The characters in this book felt very true to their age and it just so nice to see kids mess up as kids do. (Also, comparing this to Sky, although they are two very different books, it is so clear that Robbie Couch has had so much growth as an author and I love seeing that from one book This book was adorable!! I have to say that it was so nice to see moments from Legally Blonde in this book and they popped up at the perfect times!! The “What? Like it’s hard?” Scene was hands down, my favorite. The characters in this book felt very true to their age and it just so nice to see kids mess up as kids do. (Also, comparing this to Sky, although they are two very different books, it is so clear that Robbie Couch has had so much growth as an author and I love seeing that from one book to another.) Blaine was a very relatable character: he messed up, he got hurt, he grieved (with Taylor Swift, as he should) and did his best. I loved all the different representation in this book and I really love the fact that everyone was already out and proud. As nice as it is to see books with coming out scenes, it’s also very nice to see books and characters that are already out and just living their lives. Another thing I really appreciated was Blaine realizing that his job does not make him less of who he is. What he does for work does not mean that he is any better or any worse than anyone else. That sentiment echoes for many people in different situations and I just really appreciated it, personally. Also the succulent that hung around from the beginning of the book to the end has my heart. All in all, Blaine for the Win was a wonderful book about discovering yourself and learning to be okay with who you are while struggling with high school! I am so grateful that there are so many queer books, including this one, for kids who need them now!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chris Monceaux

    ***Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for a copy of the book. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.*** This book was an absolute delight to read. It had tons of humor, and the characters, dialogue, and writing were all engaging and kept me wanting to turn to the next page. I read over half the book in one sitting, which is something I don't often do. Blaine just had such a fun personality that I didn't want to stop reading about him an ***Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for a copy of the book. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.*** This book was an absolute delight to read. It had tons of humor, and the characters, dialogue, and writing were all engaging and kept me wanting to turn to the next page. I read over half the book in one sitting, which is something I don't often do. Blaine just had such a fun personality that I didn't want to stop reading about him and his friends. The author did a great job of bringing the high school and student government experiences to life. It caused flashbacks to my own experiences running for class president, which were just as anxiety-ridden as Blaine's. lol. Speaking of anxiety, this book had such great mental health rep. Each character seemed to experience a different type of mental health issue, and it was great to see them all thriving (in their own ways) and learning to work together despite their issues and differences. The author was also good at weaving in these pretty serious mental health discussions without the book feeling too heavy or losing steam, which is a real testament to Couch's skill. The romance was delightfully slow-burn, and I honestly wanted more of it. The love interest was such an interesting character, and I would have loved to see more of his struggle with coming to terms with his feelings for Blaine. That is true of most of the secondary characters, though. I loved them all and wish the story could have focused a little more on them too, but I also understand that this was Blaine's story. That being said, I really loved Blaine's story and the focus on finding and developing your passion and place in life, even if it isn't what others might consider 'serious' or best. Blaine's willingness to take risks on new things and abandon them when he realized they aren't for him set a great example for how teens (and us older folks because growth is a lifelong thing) can successfully navigate the process of figuring out what best fits their personalities and goals. Overall, the only negative from this book was that it left me wanting more. So, I rate it 5 out of 5 stars! See more of my reviews and other bookish content here!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bri

    This was cute! I loved how lighthearted it was and the nostalgia it gave me from working on student government campaigns! Like those were the most dramatic things ever and they're the same in this, which I loved! Blaine was a fun character! I think it would've been nice to go a bit deeper with him about some of the anxiety he felt as that seemed like it was important to his character, but I loved what we did learn from him. The progression of the story was nice as well. It was super fast paced. I This was cute! I loved how lighthearted it was and the nostalgia it gave me from working on student government campaigns! Like those were the most dramatic things ever and they're the same in this, which I loved! Blaine was a fun character! I think it would've been nice to go a bit deeper with him about some of the anxiety he felt as that seemed like it was important to his character, but I loved what we did learn from him. The progression of the story was nice as well. It was super fast paced. I appreciated how much we saw of Trish, Blaine's best friend. I feel like best friends are often watered down for the sake of romance in YA, but I think Trish got a great story right along with Blaine. I also appreciated Blaine's relationship with his aunt. She was sort of a surrogate parent for him while his parents were busy working and it was obvious their bond was super close. I think what held me back from giving this a full 5 stars was just that we didn't go deep enough into the characters, I think? I already mentioned Blaine and his anxiety, but it would've been great to see more moments of him with Danny. Their relationship was quite cute and I wished we could've gotten a few more scenes with them! I also felt like some of the issues brought up in the book (like his parents working so much) resolved themselves pretty quickly? This was a fast paced book, which is fine, but I think it could've maybe been 20ish pages! Overall, a super cute and fast read that I'd totally reread again! Thanks so much to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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