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?
Blaine is a total sweetheart who wants nothing more than to win back the love of his terrible ex-boyfriend who doesn’t deserve him at all. I do acknowledge that I’m reading this book as adult, but I’d like to think Joey’s unsuitability is readily apparent to the target audience, but Blaine is too full of angst and longing to see the truth.
Running for senior class president against kids who have been involved with student government since elementary school is 100% a foolhardy scheme, but Blaine is determined to succeed. At the risk of sounding like a cliché, Blaine learns some important lessons about what his peers are going through and what they really need from their student leaders. And, even more importantly, Blaine figures out what he wants for himself and where his priorities lie.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting one of the twists, but it added an extra layer of delicious drama to the proceedings.
Blaine is an ideal protagonist because he isn’t perfect. He might see that as a flaw and one of the reasons he’s not a Serious Guy, but his imperfection is what makes him more realistic. He’s just out there trying to do his best, and even though he starts out with less than stellar motivation, his heart is in the right place.
I would absolutely recommend Blaine for the Win. This is a delightful contemporary YA with a queer take on the high school election trope. I enjoyed Couch’s book last year, but I think I liked this one even more.
I received a digital ARC of this book from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing/NetGalley.