7 CLUES TO WINNING YOU: “In this hilariousaccount of a girl’s reluctant adjustment to new circumstances—and her romancewith a Shakespeare-quoting school journalist—Walker (A Match Made in HighSchool) focuses on Blythe’s regrets and changing attitude as she alienates thestudent body, then gradually redeems herself by resurrecting a banned schooltradition. The vibrant, first-person narrative captures the humor and heartacheof Blythe’s predicaments and her humbling realization that it’s more fun to bepart of the crowd than looking down on it.” – Publishers Weekly
“A clever, well-woven plot with a loveable cast of quirkycharacters and a sprinkle of Shakespeare. Kristin Walker's latest laugh outloud book will leave you wanting more.” – Kristina Springer, author of TheEspressologist and My Fake Boyfriendis Better Than Yours
"This book is fun, zany and just what I need for a light, entertaining read. It has several laugh out loud moments...I was glad I was at home when I read it, or people would surely stare at me"– YA Insider
“I just loved this book! It's really hard to write more than that …I just cannot put into words how great Walker'swriting is. There's just so much humor, depth, and reality to what she writes.She's an author to keep an eye on, especially amidst all the paranormals. Thisis a nice, funny contemporary that's perfect for the upcoming summer!” – BookChic Club
“THE PERFECT fun and cute pick-me-up book. … The storylineis hilarious, and surprisingly moving at some points … 7 Clues to Winning You is certain to brighten your day andhave you giggling within pages.” – Hobbitsies
“All in all I loved this book! It was the perfect escapethat I needed. A wonderful blend of romance, comedy, high school hi-jinx's andso much more!” – ThePrincess of Storyland
“I loved the story. … I recommend this for every oneof you contemporary fans, and people who want an easy read after reading darkstories.” – TheSagacity Quest
"I giggled my way way through the book. ... I had to put my hand on my mouth to keep it under control. And... it was hard to."
A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL: "Debut author Walker breathes fresh life into a familiar theme, with an entertaining journey for a sassy heroine with heart." –Publishers Weekly
"While the book is laugh-out-loud funny in some places, it also gives readers time to pause and think about priorities, relationships, and making the most of trying situations." – School Library Journal
"This is an excellent balance of happily-ever-after romance, solid friendships and treatment of marriage as a serious commitment between two partners." –Kirkus Reviews
As a new requirement for graduation, the senior class of East Columbus High School must complete a yearlong “marriage education” course, in which randomly assigned couples undergo a mock wedding and are forced to spend time in shared activities outside school. Outspoken Fiona, a social outcast, is paired up with Todd, a “no-necked Neanderthal” and boyfriend to Fiona’s longtime nemesis, Amanda. Adding insult to injury, cheerleader Amanda’s new faux-husband is Fiona’s crush of nine years, Gabe. While the basic premise lacks some plausibility, the hard-won friendship between Fiona and Todd, which moves from mutual disgust to mutual respect, is the heart of the story (during their escalating prank war, Fiona pranks Todd by taping a pudding-and meat-filled diaper on him at a dance, only to see he’s impressed). As in the copy of Pride and Prejudice that Fiona reads, there are unexpected twists of romance throughout, and readers may be pleasantly surprised by how things turn out. Debut author Walker breathes fresh life into a familiar theme, with an entertaining journey for a sassy heroine with heart.
Fiona can be hard to get along with: she’s a little prickly, clueless, opinionated, and unrelenting. When a course on marriage, a requirement for graduation, forces her to “wed” Todd, a male cheerleader, she is flabbergasted. They are the worst match on the planet, and she just knows this will be torture. To make matters worse, her best friend announces that she is in love with Fiona’s lifelong crush, and that she finds Fiona too self-absorbed. Fiona is, of course, hurt, and left without a friend on whom she can rely. However, her senior year is also filled with hilarious situations. As she deals with her trials and tribulations, Fiona learns a great deal about herself and about how to interact with other people. While the book is laugh-out-loud funny in some places, it also gives readers time to pause and think about priorities, relationships, and making the most of trying situations.
“Trying the Knot” is the newest program at Fiona’s school. For a year, each boy and girl in her senior class will be “married” and given a budget and marriage counseling. To Fiona’s chagrin, she’s matched with Todd, a total jerk. Fiona’s best friend, Marcie, is paired with Johnny, whom Fiona doesn’t know but finds she’d like to know better. Todd and Fiona’s marriage begins with a series of verbal barbs and public pranks through which Todd comes to admire Fiona for her brains, and the platonic resolution follows believably. While Fiona and Marcie fight, they realize their friendship is stronger than boys or popularity. Walker keeps the focus tight on lovable, flawed Fiona, who relies on her wits and gains wisdom. The potential alienation of gay kids is acknowledged, but the author’s focus is clearly on marriage as a partnership, and she hews to simplicity (and therefore heteronormativity) in making her point. Though the language is often salty, the action is mostly PG. This is an excellent balance of happily-ever-after romance, solid friendships and treatment of marriage as a serious commitment between two partners.
Check out Kristin's tribute to her ever-patient husband who survived the road to her publication despite her lunacy:
Publication: A Love Story