I hope y'all are having a good start to your week, or just a good week whenever you might be reading this. I'm excited to share an ARC review today for Blaine for the Win by Robbie Couch. The synopsis alone had me excited to read this book since it sounded a lot like a retelling of a musical I'm all too familiar with and love dearly.
This was 100% a modern day high school retelling of Legally Blonde and I absolutely loved that. I just love the general concept of the plot (both Legally Blonde and Blaine for the Win) where the mc decides to throw themself into something new to prove that they're more than capable of doing something their exes don't believe they can do. Even if they have help from friends along the way, which I think helps cement some really wonderful friendships, while learning and making sure they're doing what they're doing for the right reasons.
Blaine decides to run for senior student council president after getting dumped by his boyfriend on their 1 year anniversary. Except Blaine knows nothing about running a campaign so he enlists the help of his friends. I think that’s what I loved most about the story, that it focused on Blaine becoming his most authentic self as well as the friendships he has and creates. I also liked that not only Blaine’s friends but also his family often made him think about why he was really running for president and if he was doing it for selfish purposes or not. All of the people in his life wanted to make sure Blaine truly understood why he was running for student council, and that trying to win his ex back was NOT a good reason.
Honestly I think I loved the side characters as much as I loved Blaine. His Aunt Star was a personal favourite of mine, being the cool aunt who also had a lot of great knowledge to share. Blaine’s friends also helped come up with a campaign that thought outside the box and focused on mental health which I though was important to see talked about. I thought it was good that Blaine’s friends always tried to remind Blaine of just how important their mental health based campaigns could be. Between that and Blaine’s personal journey finding his true self the book was definitely contemporary, but there was still a bit of romance tied in.
Danny, who ended up helping with Blaine’s campaign, was someone Blaine was merely acquaintances -at best- with at the beginning but became a more important part of the story throughout. It was certainly a slow-burn from classmates to friends to potentially something more and I thought it fit into the story really nicely. I never really thought of Legally Blonde as a romance at its heart so I was glad to see that Blaine for the Win was the same. I love that the story focused on Blaine finding his true self. The romance was just the cherry on top.
As much as the story had its fair share of drama I thought it came together nicely and had a really solid ending that I was very happy with. A solid 4/5 ⭐️ overall! Thank you to Simon & Schuster, and Netgalley for the ARC.