Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three Viewpoint Thursday

This week (and I apologise for being late in posting this) we're talking about A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker, which had a favourable reception from all three of us. Here is a 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.

Renee: Alright. Are we ready to discuss A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL by Kristin Walker?

Aly: Yep

Vi: Absolutely. :)

Renee: OK. What was your overall impression or opinion about the book?

Aly: It was funny!

Vi: I liked it.  Only took me a few hours and it was an easy read.

Aly: Seriously, it was funny, and I needed something light.  But on the other hand, I liked that it truly was an ensemble book despite being focused on Fiona.

Renee: I agree. It was very funny and I liked that it was a light, easy read, with lots of great ensemble characters. Were there any storylines that you liked more than others or any characters you didn't like?

Vi: I liked the way it all worked together.  Even though there were subplots, it all felt attached to Fiona's, and it was seamless.  It made it very easy to get and stay invested in all of the characters, even though I didn't like Gabe.  He played his part and was important to the plot.

Aly: I think that was what was great about the book.  I really liked all the characters and ones that you were suppose to change your feelings about as the book developed -- I did change feelings about.  It wasn't overly predictable... parts...but lots that I wasn't expecting.  And I liked how quirky it was, but that there was growth for the characters, etc.  So really - overall I am very positive about it.

Renee: Reading the back of the book, I thought it was going to be a very predictable book, where the jock would fall for Fiona, all the couples would learn something new about each other, etc. However, I'm glad that the story gave some surprises (for me, at least) in the relationship department and plot-wise.

Renee: I do have to say, though, that by the end of the book, I still wasn't completely in love with Marcie, Fiona's best friend. I never really took to her in this novel…

Vi: I actually felt like Fiona was taking on a little too much responsibility for some of the bad things that happened.  Even though she wasn't in any way innocent, I didn't feel like she should've taken the blame with the Marcie situation.  And the one real issue I had (which was small) was the part where Fiona was told that Marcie didn't lie, she just didn't tell Fiona anything.  A lie of omission is still a lie and Fiona wasn't to blame for talking about Gabe when Marcie was the one who didn't admit to what was going on.

Aly: But really, an 11 year old was giving Fiona advice at that point... HaHa!  But yes, I see your point.  However, I do think Fiona needed some extremes since she seemed a little clueless of emotional clues at times.

Renee: Hahahah. Fiona was a little clueless sometimes! I had a feeling from the beginning that Marcie was hiding something, but Marcie seemed to overreact to a lot of things concerning Fiona for the first half and just seemed a bit harsh, esp. since she wasn't being completely honest. I was surprised at how much I ended up liking Todd, though. I usually find those types of characters clichéd, but not the case with him.

Vi: Todd ended up being one of my favorite characters.  He actually seemed much more dialed in to Fiona's personality than others.  He came off as a jerk at first, of course, but I think he was almost more open to changing his attitude than anyone else.  He was the confident jock but he actually rolled with the punches really well, as evidenced by his back story of losing football but going with cheerleading and making the best of it.

Renee: Yes, yes, I loved him!

Aly: I agree on the Todd part.  And I loved Fiona's parents.  They were present, but so very different than what you usually see in YA.  I loved the scenes with her parents.

Vi: I liked her parents.  They were quirky and I felt like they provided Fiona with a great foundation.  I liked that they were supportive of her, although when things were going wrong, she didn't end up getting a lot of advice from them.  So, I liked them and they were there, but I wish they'd been utilized just a little bit more.

Renee: I was so surprised that they were there at all! I'm so used to parents being absent or an obstacle to the young adult protagonist getting what he/she ultimately wants, that I liked seeing her parents’ quirky/flirtatious relationship present in the book.

Aly: I think by watching her parents you get an idea where Fiona gets some of her personality and spunk.  And even the other adults in the book were varied.  I liked that.  Granted at times we want more adults... But this is YA and it is from the perspective of a teen; and my guess is most teens shut out the adults. LOL!  I would have liked more for her parents to be there but just because they were so much fun.

Renee: That's true. In most YA, I usually look forward to when we can get back to the teen's POV, lol. But is there anything else anyone would like to add? I liked that the "Trying the Knot" school course actually sounded believable (with the managing a budget, etc.), so I could buy the different stories in the novel. Anything else worth mentioning? We haven't talked about Johnny…

Aly: See the "Tying the Knot" class seemed the most unbelievable to me at first, and I know I *eye-rolled* but she developed it okay.  And, as for Johnny... I like when a character that you don’t expect to turn out to be one way does.  I really liked him & his connection with Fiona.

Vi: He reminded me of someone I used to know, so I liked him right away.  I also pegged him as the guy who'd end up with Fiona simply because he was set up with her best friend, lol.  But that didn't make discovering his character less than it should've been.  He was great and I loved seeing his interactions with everyone.

Renee: I liked him too. He came out of nowhere for me. I wasn't really paying attention to him, because I was keeping my eyes on the Tood/Fiona dynamic. So when Johnny emerged as a bigger character, I was like, "Hey, hey! Look at you!" :)

Aly: Well you did a good job with picking this book.  It was fun...

Vi: I loved how fun it was.  I didn't have to think too hard about the underlying meanings or anything, and it was refreshing.

Renee: Same here. I was ready for something that was light and not riddled with paranormal teen angst ;) Thanks for another lovely chat!


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