Blaine for the Win (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Robbie Couch is a breakthrough author in the young adult genre, publishing his debut novel in 2021. In 2022, Couch published the novel Blaine for the Win. I am always skeptical about contemporary novels, especially when the story takes place in a high school. However, I was utterly blown away by this story. The writing is humorous, playful, and charming, while still capturing the obnoxiousness that is the high school experience. 

This story follows Blaine, a junior in high school who does not get the best grades but makes up for it with his big heart and passion for art. His (now ex) boyfriend is especially popular, the senior class president, and rich, which Joey explains is why they are incompatible. Blaine is crushed and spends his spring break laying in bed, despairing at the loss of his dream boyfriend who dumped him on their one-year anniversary at the fanciest restaurant in town. 

Blaine’s friends help dig him out of the depths of his depression by getting him an artistic project at the local coffee shop they all love to go to. However, he declines, explaining he needs time to think and maybe take the season off from his art, admitting that this is indeed related to the breakup. After thinking for a minute about what he wants to do moving forward with his life, he decides to win Joey back by running for student council president. 

The reason that Blaine thinks that this will win his ex back is that Joey, himself, is the current student council president for the senior class. With the memory of Joey calling Blaine too “unserious” for him to date, Blaine wants to prove that he can be an austere person as well. Thus, if he can win this coveted position, Joey could, hypothetically, take Blaine back. 

Blaine realizes that running for student council president is going to be an uphill battle for someone who has had no presence with their peers. His friend group is reluctant to assist him in this endeavor, but knows how important it is to him. Their support helps him through some of the most trying times thus far in his life and even gives him space to feel his pain and grow from it. 

The quote that will best show what I mean is “Never give someone else the authority to dictate your self-worth.”

This story in essence is about healthy growth, while also accepting that you shouldn’t have to change for someone else. This story is heartwarming, hysterical, and full of little nuggets of wisdom. This novel is a fast-paced read that keeps you on your toes and laughing with every turn of the page. 

— Samwise McGinn


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 “clever, fun, original” (BCCB) 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?

About the Author

Robbie Couch writes young adult fiction. If I See You Again Tomorrow, his New York Times bestselling third novel, has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. Robbie’s debut, The Sky Blues, was a Barnes & Noble Young Adult Book of the Year finalist and Junior Library Guild selection. Robbie is originally from small-town Michigan and lives in Los Angeles. 

Praise For…

"Packed with empowering and relatable moments, with the perfect balance of humor and heart, Blaine for the Win has my vote."
— Rachael Lippincott, New York Times bestselling author of Five Feet Apart

"Blaine for the Win celebrates flighty, unserious gay boys everywhere! As one myself, I've never felt more seen. Robbie Couch has gifted us with an irresistible, lion-hearted rom-com about love, inspiration, and toxic queer optics. Don't miss this confection!"
— Adam Sass, award-winning author of Surrender Your Sons

"A wonderful novel about the importance of being yourself and having friends who will follow you no matter where you go. Blaine and his fun-loving, absolute powerhouse circle of friends had me cheering for them the whole time. I'd vote for Blaine!"
— Loan Le, author of A Pho Love Story

"Blaine’s conflict between remaining true to himself versus becoming a seemingly more mature, serious person forms a relatable backdrop to the plot....A good read with a clear message about authenticity."
— Kirkus Reviews

"Couch (The Sky Blues, 2021) has written an engaging novel with likable characters and a clever altogether winning read."
— Booklist

"With panache and an upbeat tone, Couch (The Sky Blues) delivers a lighthearted rom-com pastiche that updates its source material, tackling issues of mental health and self-care, socioeconomic divides, and staying true to oneself."
— Publisher's Weekly

"Inspired by Legally Blonde, this novel ultimately shrugs off the restrictions of being a mere adaptation to offer a clever, fun, original story full of heart, awkwardness, and laughs...this is a clear win for readers who like their heroes loveable and imperfect."

Product Details
ISBN: 9781534497467
ISBN-10: 1534497463
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 12th, 2022
Pages: 336
Language: English