Saturday, March 20, 2010
Review - A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
Published by Razorbill on February 4, 2010
Paperback, 278 pages
Rating: 3.5 bookcases
Summary from Goodreads: When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.
Cover: I usually don’t talk about the cover, but in an interview, Kristin Walker mentioned how Razorbill included teens that she knew personally on the cover. That is great that the cover designer used actual teens, instead of all models. The cover is definitely eye-catching and the pink and white stand out
My Thoughts: Overall, A Match Made in High School is a cute, fun story. Parts of the plot were predictable; Fiona, the outcast girl with few friends gets paired with Todd, the cute, popular but not very nice jock for a school assignment. What’s not predicable is how Fiona and Todd’s animosity towards each other changes into something else. You didn’t think I was going to tell you exactly how it changes, did you? A Match Made in High School is also very funny, I laughed out loud several times while reading and had to put the book down during one part. Ms Walker does a great job of mixing the drama of the “marriage” class (especially the interactions with the school counselor) with typical teenage behavior and rites of passage. There were definitely crushes, best friend fights, school dances, pranks and reexamining priorities and actions.
Fiona, the main character and narrator, is comfortable in her skin to a point. She is very blunt and says what is on her mind, so it is easy to see why her classmates might not like her. When she finally understands how her behavior affects other people, she becomes a much more agreeable character. My favorite character in the book is actually not even in high school. Sam, the 11 year old Fiona babysits for gets to the heart of the matter within a few sentences. When her life in sixth grade begins to resemble Fiona’s life, Sam is the one to dispense the sage advice. She helps Fiona realize what she needs to do to mend friendships. The scenes between her and Fiona were wonderful to read. I could feel just how much Sam and Fiona needed each other and how much they really cared about each other as well.
A Match Made in High School is a definite recommendation for readers who enjoy realistic fiction as well as humorous stories.