Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review: A Match Made in High School

A Match Made in High School
By Kristin Walker
Publication date: February 4, 2010
My rating: ****1/2

My review:

Thanks to the divorce of the high school principal, Fiona Sheehan and her other senior classmates must pass a class on marriage in order to graduate. The unhappy teens are paired up randomly as "couples" in a marriage experiment where they have to earn real world money, deal with budgets, and other scenarios.  Fiona wouldn't mind being paired with Gabe, the guy she has a crush on but Gabe is matched with Amanda, Fiona's nemesis. Fiona's best friend Marcie is paired with Johnny Mercer, a guy known for his big size while poor Fiona is matched with Todd, Amanda's popular boyfriend who humiliates Fiona in front of the whole school at their "wedding". How will everyone survive senior year? As Fiona and her classmates participate in the horrible marriage class though they learn some rather surprising things about themselves and each other.

I have to admit that I thought of  the TV show Saved By the Bell when I heard of this book. Saved By The Bell had episodes (I believe there were more than one) where the students were paired up as couples to discuss how they would handle communication and other challenges in marriage. Usually the episodes were pretty silly and predictable. However A Match Made in High School was an unexpectedly thought provoking novel and it took me by surprise. There were humorous moments-Fiona does a great job playing pranks and her journal entries are a hoot, but there were also plenty of serious moments like when Fiona is able to help the girl she babysits for deal with some family issues or when Fiona herself has to mend damaged relationships. At times I thought that Fiona behaved like a brat and she annoyed me but at other times I felt sorry for her, especially at the beginning when her nemesis makes fun of her. I truly enjoyed seeing Fiona grow and learn to look past her stereotypes. I also liked that all of the main characters had flaws and depth, even someone like Amanda. Something else I enjoyed was seeing Fiona's romance develop. I thought that it was really sweet.

I did find it a little unbelievable that the principal would be allowed to use her own personal problems and pain to implement this program but it is dealt with in the book (Fiona's mother herself spearheads the campaign to try to end the program) so you can see that even the parents realistically do not approve. I think it made for an interesting premise and Kristin Walker took it way past the level of a Saved By The Bell episode to a story with an important message about how we treat other people.

One of my favorite quotes: "You think you know everything about people, but you don't. If you stopped for one second-just for one second-and considered how things might be for someone other than yourself, you might not be such a snob."

A Match Made in High School was a fun reading experience and I look forward to great things from Kristin Walker. I would recommend this to fans of Carolyn Mackler, Elizabeth Scott, and E. Lockhart or really to anyone who enjoys a humorous story with depth.


  1. I never would have thought that this book would have depth or substance! I'm glad to hear that, and glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Awesome review. I definitely want to read this book now :)

  3. Great review, Christina! I have had my eye on this book for awhile and I'm glad it was a fun read. It sounds like the perfect summer read. You are right about the SBTB episodes--I totally forgot about that! Too funny! :)

  4. Nice review! I look forward to reading this one :)

  5. Christina, you wrote a very nice review of this book. I thought it was quite good and the concept was unique, if a little over the top. As a parent, I would have questioned it, just like Fiona's mother. I think it puts each person who reads it in mind of some TV or movie high school drama. :-)

  6. Lol, I agree it was a little unbelievable, but so hilarious! Even if A Match Made in High School is not my favorite book ever character-wise, it definitely ranks way up there on my humor scale. Great review. :)

  7. Wonderful review! This sounds like just my type of book. I love that quote too :D

  8. Great review! I found this to be one of the funniest books. I also thought I was the only one to compare this to Saved by the Bell lol. I'm glad you liked it :)

  9. Enjoyed the review! Love the throw back to Saved by the Bell (it was a favorite show of mine...even the college years), and you are absolutely right! There was an episode that had a project just like this one, only they couldn't explore it quite as well in a 1/2 hour plus commercial TV time slot. I've seen this book around the web off and on, but after reading your review I must say I have a better look behind the pages (without spoilers...yay!). Thanks for sharing...and happy reading! ^_^

  10. Sounds great! I love the sound of it, and that's so fun that you thought of Saved by The Bell, gosh that's really a long time ago. I used to watch it with my older sister! :)


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