7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker
Review by: Lauren
Copy from publisher- all opinions are our own and we do not own any pictures in this post
Official Summary: 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.
Review: I've already read and reviewed Kristin Walker's debut, A Match Made in High School, so I was excited when I was able to review 7 Clues to Winning You. To be honest, I'm not sure the summary would have really struck me if I wasn't already a fan of Walker's, but I was, and I definitely enjoyed this one as well!
Blythe might have been pretty and popular at her old school but she isn't really as snobby as you think she would be. She certainly has selfish moments, but who doesn't?! I liked that she learned a lot about herself and grew as a person but there were no "preachy lessons" that would annoy, so that was great. I also enjoyed that Luke wasn't the perfect leading man. It seems that YA wants to make guys seem a bit too fairy-tale esque and not as realistic. That's not really Luke though. Him and Blythe play off each other, in good and bad ways, and they both definitely make mistakes and must learn to make things work.
Some of my favorite characters were Cy and Jenna, two outcasts at Blythe's new school that she finds herself eating lunch with and getting to know. The old Blythe would have assumed they were burn-outs, not really giving them a second thought, but with Blythe herself being a bit of an outcast, she gets to see behind the layers of these two.
Blythe also volunteers once a week at a nursing home and Ms. Franny and Ms. Eulalie are HILARIOUS. These two older women love Blythe but they spend the majority of their time in bed, bickering with each other (as they are roommates and very, very different). They band together a few times to help Blythe out though, with the scavenger hunt and personal issues. Blythe even sneaks them out one afternoon for one of the funniest moments in the book. You have to read it!
I've also come to really enjoy Shakespeare while being in college so it was nice that quoting the Bard was something that Blythe and Luke did throughout the book, especially when they wanted to express a feeling or thought that just sounds so much better when quoting instead of messing it up with your own attempt.
Finally, I loved that Blythe's parents weren't absent in the book. I don't mind the parents not having a huge role in YA novels, as I know it just doesn't work sometimes, but I like having them around every now and then. In 7 Clues to Winning You, both of Blythe's parents are a huge part of the book...especially Blythe's father, who is the principal of her new school. She deals with a lot of anger toward her parents and has to figure out how to navigate her changing relationships with both mom and dad. The blog, YA Outside the Lines, recently posted an article about the lack of parents in YA which I thought was particularly relevant.
Overall, another good one from Kristin Walker. I would recommend!
Cover: Normally I don't comment on the covers. That's Alicia's thing! However, I had to mention that I'm not really a fan of this one. It's not bad, but I just feel like the people on it look too young. Blythe is a junior and Luke is a senior. Am I the only one that doesn't see it? I would have guessed freshmen if I was judging the character's based on the cover...even though we all know covers aren't always accurate.