A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker YA Fiction Review

Title: A Match Made in High School

Author: Kristin Walker

Publisher: Razorbill

ISBN:  9781595142573

Yup, it’s another 2010 Debut Author!  This is also the first Razorbill title that I’ve read.  The book is a fast read, and I did enjoy it, but it took me a while to warm up the heroine.

From Amazon:

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. That’s until 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 dorky, very big Johnny Mercer.

Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.

Fiona spits fire with almost every sentence, and her defense mechanism is in hyper drive.  I did not bond with her until half way through the book.  She considers herself very unlucky, but that’s not really her problem.  She has built this wall around herself that even a rampaging band of orcs would fail to penetrate.  Each run-in she has is due to her inability to just let things go.  She has to one up everyone, and though her pranks turn out to be pretty amusing, they certainly don’t help her win any friends. It takes the wisdom of an eleven year old to make her realize that maybe she needs to change.  After that life altering event, the book became much more accessible for me.

I loved the character development in A Match Made in High School.  Once Fiona realizes that maybe, just maybe, she might be part of the reason she doesn’t have very many friends, I was able to get behind her and cheer her on.  Learning to forgive, and learning when to forget, are difficult but valuable life lessons, and as soon as Fiona starts to try being a good friend and peer, it makes a dramatic change for her.  Things still aren’t perfect, but when are they ever?  Even her most challenging relationships improve, which allows her to be happier.

A Match Made in High School is a fun look at the importance of communication and learning to accept the flaws in yourself.  Once prickly Fiona learns that it’s better to use honey to attract bees, she sees that even the ugliest of weeds can be hiding a beautiful blossom.

Grade: B+