Friday, April 27, 2012

7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker

[description from goodreads]

When a humiliating picture of Blythe goes viral, she's instantly the target of ridicule at her new school. To salvage her reputation, Blythe teams up with Luke to win the Senior Scramble scavenger hunt. But Luke is an unlikely ally and potentially can't be trusted.

Perhaps it's his Shakespearean witticisms that reel Blythe in despite her better judgment . . . or maybe she just craves the thrill of the game. But as the hunt progresses, their relationship heats up. Soon their madcap mischief spirals out of control. Blythe is faced with arrest and expulsion, among other catastrophes - until Luke shows her what the Scramble (and love) is really about.


Kristin Walker's first book, A Match Made in High School, impressed me with its consistent, movie-esque humor, and although I do prefer it over this one, 7 Clues to Winning You has much of the same fun "teen movie" spirit.

Much of the movie spirit comes from the rather out-of-the-ordinary events that occur with such frequency. Happily, none of them are far-fetched, but they're so uncommon that they're inherently a delight to read about. Combined with the humor present in many of them, especially the scavenger hunt clues, 7 Clues to Winning You is always a fun read. It does take a while for some of the more adventurous humor to reveal itself, though; for a while, Blythe is so set on fighting her school transition that she's more melodramatic than anything. However, Blythe herself is funny, especially as she comments upon her new non-preppy classmates, so the eventual transition into the crazy scavenger hunt is a clean one. The transition is also pretty easy because Blythe's assimilation problems continue as the hunt goes on-- the game causes so many mix-ups and mayhem that it's impossible for anyone to keep all the facts straight, which just adds to the fun.

However, the "teen movie" feel of this book also means that there are plenty of cheesy moments. Sometimes the corniness can be a good thing, like in the case of the ending or the development of Blythe and Luke's relationship. They're both so nerdy and staunch in their opinions that they have both great chemistry and a penchant for causing the other trouble. However, other overdramatic parts of the book are not quite as adorable. For example, Blythe spends a lot of time discussing her previous school and her old friends, but she never really spends a lot of time with them, which makes their eventual drama seem unnecessary and included for just extra emotional angst. Similarly underdeveloped characters make appearances throughout, too, like with Blythe's mom and brother, who do their job "the funny family" quite well but don't do much beyond that.

There are slow, underdeveloped bit of 7 Clues to Winning You that detracted from my enjoyment, but it's still a hilarious, adventurous, and sweetly romantic book.

Book details: Razorbill/Paperback/$9.99

Source: sent by publisher for review

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