Friday, 6 May 2011
Review: A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
Title: A Match Made in High School
Author: Kristin Walker
Publication Date: 4 Feb 2010
Synopsis: 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.
Written in first person narrative from Fion'a perspective. I adored Fiona's narrative voice, it just seemed so 'real' in my imagination, I identified with her from the beginning, especially the wonderfully sarcastic comments she makes. The only thing that did irritate me a little about Fiona was that she had no concept of anyone elses feeling but her own. Although I do see this a lot in 'real' life I still do not understand it. It must just be me, I have always been taught to respect other peoples feelings/opinions and find it difficult to accept that other people don't do this. I did, however, admire Fiona for 'being her own person' not giving into peer pressure; I sympathised with her struggle against the acceptable cliques and social conventions found throughout life not just in High School.
I admit to picking up this book to use in my MG Monday feature, how wrong could I have been, this is a case of judging a book by it's cover, as some of the content is a bit 'near the knuckle' and certainly not suitable for Middle Grade. Teenagers on the other hand will love this one, yes it is more for girls than boys but I think there are aspects that will certainly appeal to boys - the practical jokes for example.
A wonderful mixture of self-discovery, humour, friendship and romance is woven into the story. A lot of judging people by the way they look takes place, which is definitely something that occurs frequently in schools. I loved the way in which English education is interspersed in the narrative; how fabulous is it to be able to insult someone in an eloquent fashion so they don't even realise that they had been insulted. There are wonderful analogues and snarky one liners. Plus the music references are AWESOME.
This book is like a breath of fresh air - although the storyline focuses on self-discovery it is delivered in a 'tongue in cheek' manner. Highly entertaining.