Publish Date: April 26, 2012
When a humiliating picture of Blythe goes viral, she's instantly the target of ridicule at her new school. To salvage her reputation, Blythe teams up with Luke to win the Senior Scramble scavenger hunt. But Luke is an unlikely ally and potentially can't be trusted.
Perhaps it's his Shakespearean witticisms that reel Blythe in despite her better judgement...or maybe she just craves the thrill of the game. But as the hunt progresses, their relationship heats up. Soon their madcap mischief spirals out of control. Blythe is faced with arrest and expulsion, among other catastrophes -- until Luke shows her what the Scramble (and love) is really about.
7 Clues To Winning You was a really cute book but I found myself volleying back and forth between “awww” and “ugh” for almost the entirety of the story.
The main problem for me was probably Blythe. In the beginning (and then sporadically throughout) she was selfish and snobby and thought she was above everyone else. It drove me absolutely insane how she pretty much thought the whole world revolved around her. She does end up growing beyond that, but something about her self-hating, self(and everyone else around)-destructive mindset in the process of the growth really rubbed me the wrong way. Plus, the way she needed to be smacked over the head with a sign for everything drove me batty. I figured out half the stuff, especially scavenger hunt clues, before she’d manage to come around to the conclusion herself.
Oh, and that “humiliating” picture is of her picking her nose and she acts like it’s the end of the entire world. I mean, really?
Whew. Until I wrote it all down I didn’t realize I disliked her character that much :P But, I’ve said many times before that characters don’t really make or break a story for me.
The plot, however, does, and 7 Clues To Winning You sadly wasn’t my favorite :[ I’d really been hoping to like this one so it truly does make me all sadface. It just seemed a little like there was too much going on. Let’s go through the main and side stories:
1) The family is selling the house. This side story goes really in-depth into the process of selling a house. I found it kind of interesting since I love to just sit and watch House Hunters on HGTV for hours, but it didn’t seem to contribute a lot to the story, especially since it’s told from Blythe’s point of view (as opposed to third person or whatnot) and the house selling process doesn’t really concern her.
2) The mother dealing with some feelings. I can kind of see where this could mean something to why Blythe is the way she is, but it still doesn’t seem incredibly pertinent. This is Blythe’s story, not her mother’s.
3) The scavenger hunt. Nothing to complain about here except for the fact that I wish there’d been a little more focus on it.
4) Luke & Blythe. Nothing to complain about here either.
5) Blythe drifting from old friends. This would certainly be an important and defining moment in Blythe’s life, but the way it was added into the story felt more like an easy way to move the plot along to me.
6) Blythe’s relationship with a pair of old ladies at the nursing home. This side story I completely and utterly approve of but I’ll get to that later.
7) Blythe’s relationship with her dad. I actually found this plot point pretty interesting even if it did get a tad tedious at times (partly because it’s easier to see the adult point of view when you’re older :P)
There’s probably more that I’m forgetting but basically what I’m saying here is that the storyline felt really cluttered sometimes.
Okay, those old ladies I mentioned? They are a RIOT! I freaking loved them to pieces. For once, a side story relationship trumps all the main plot points for me. I mean, these ladies scheme pop can heists and buy porno mags with Blythe. Seriously, that scene with the nudie magazine at the gas station is one of the best things ever. I was reading in bed at about 3 in the morning laughing so much I woke Husband up :P
The Nuthsell: Whewie did that review get long! Chances are you looked at how long it was and just skipped right down here to get to the main point and I don’t blame you! To sum it up, if you just want a contemp read that’ll provide you with a few laughs then 7 Clues To Winning You is definitely for you, but be prepared for large amounts of side plots.
Rating: Near Miss