What does it mean to do wrong, when no one punishes you? A smart and unflinching look at friendship, the nature of entitlement, and growing up in the heartland. Paige Sheridan has the perfect life. She's pretty, rich, and popular, and her spot on the homecoming court is practically guaranteed. But when a night of partying ends in an it-could-have-been-so-much worse crash, everything changes. Her best friends start ignoring her, her boyfriend grows cold and distant, and her once-adoring younger sister now views her with contempt. The only bright spot is her creative writing class, led by a charismatic new teacher who encourages students to be true to themselves. But who is Paige, if not the homecoming princess everyone expects her to be? In this arresting and witty debut, a girl who was once high-school royalty must face a truth that money and status can't fix, and choose between living the privileged life of a princess, or owning up to her mistakes and giving up everything she once held dear.
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Pages: 464 (Hardcover)
LONG STORY SHORT:
If you didn't like contemporary until now, The Princesses of Iowa will most certainly change that. It's not even like there was a ton of stuff happening, but the way you can connect to the characters and how the story is so close to life really make the novel something unique and special. Perfect for Back to School, by the way!
The one struggle most contemporary books face - in my opinion - is to stand out. If you can remember the characters and their stories for longer than three hours after you finish the book, that's good. Or if you have to keep reading and you don't really know why, because there's actually not that much happening in the story. That's also a very good sign.
The Princesses of Iowa was that and even more. Although the plot line sounds so ... generic and usual and like ALL the others, what's inside the book will most likely stick with you. I think the write word for what I was feeling while I read the book would be: joy. I simply enjoyed this story.
The characters had their part in entertaining me, too. The main character, Paige, was very sympathetic. She was a normal teenage girl, falling and standing up again and learning lessons in life and someone whom I got to like more and more as the book continued. Her development from beginning to end was amazing!
The rest of the characters somehow could have deserved a bit more attention, though. There's so much I still want to know about Paige's friends and her family. I did really care for them, as well!
And then the plot did something I absolutely didn't expect: It surprised me. Okay, so it wasn't a big time turn out BUT it gave the novel something special and me a topic to think about.
All in all, I would recommend The Princesses of Iowa to pretty much everyone - well, except if you really hate contemporary with a passion...
RATING: 3 out of 3 Smarties