Thursday, February 6, 2014

Book Review: The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Pages: 320
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: February 4, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Shannon’s ‘clique’ is just her and her best friend and she has a super-embarrassing nickname that won’t go away. It is no huge shock when her classmates vote her least likely to be crowned Prom Queen. What is shocking is the new hidden camera reality show she finds herself starring in, titled The Prom Queen Wannabes! Shannon and two other Wannabes must battle to be elected Prom Queen and snag the One! Million! Dollar! prize. After a summer of makeovers and training at Prom Queen Camp, the hidden cameras watch the three of them enter their senior year equipped with secret skills to help wage war on the popular set. Things at Westfield High are about to get ugly, and Shannon must decide how much she's willing to give up for a shot at winning that tiara."

Shannon is teased at school, well, by most people all due to an incident in gym class where she dropped her finger cot on the floor exposing herself to school-wide ridicule as they thought it was a mini-condom.  However, the finger cot is a tool used in quilting, but she is unable to explain herself and flees the scene.  The bullying goes on for years, thanks to the school's resident mean girl, Grace, who nicknames her the Elf Ucker.  Things start to change for Shannon though.  A reality TV show called From Wannabes to Prom Queens asks her to participate for the chance to not only improve her social standing for her senior year, but also compete for one million dollars.  The only thing is she can't reveal this show or the details to her best friend, Marnie, which adds major conflict in her life as her real friends wonder what exactly is going on with her.  Laurie Boyle Crompton's The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High is a fun and entertaining glimpse into reality television and the unhealthy risks we take just to fit in.

I immediately felt for Shannon in The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High as she is relentlessly bullied and it really broke my heart.  She doesn't stand up for herself, bur rather chooses to just blend into the background of her high school hoping people would forget the gym class incident.  Once she is offered a role on the reality TV show, they give her a makeover, share some skills with her that improve her social standing in high school, and encourage her to date the quarterback of the football team, all with the hopes that she will win the one million dollars at the end of the show.  I was rooting her on from the beginning, but it was tough to witness her shunning her former friends and becoming someone she isn't just to be popular.

What I like most about The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High is the lesson that all the girls (including the popular ones!) learn, which is that popularity isn't the end all be all. Being true to yourself is most important and predictably Shannon learns that by the novel's end.

If you are looking for a laugh-out-loud and over the top read, check out The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High. It was a fun and quick read that I enjoyed getting lost in.

4 comments:

  1. This one sounds like a cute, fun read, which I sometimes need!

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    1. Definitely! It's a light read, so it would be great for spring break. Thanks for visiting, Megan!

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  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one more than I did. I did like the lesson that all the girls learned, of course, but I just wish it would have been toned down a little bit. I imagine that younger teens will like the over-the-top nature of this book. Great review!

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    1. Yes, it was very over the top, but I think reality shows are like that. You are right….younger teens would really enjoy that aspect of the book. Thanks for visiting, Natalie!

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