Title: The Queen of Kentucky
Author: Alecia Whitaker
Released: January 2, 2012
Page #: 376
Source: ARC from the publisher
"Fourteen-year-old Kentucky girl Ricki Jo Winstead, who would prefer to be called Ericka, thank you very much, is eager to shed her farmer's daughter roots and become part of the popular crowd at her small-town high school. She trades her Bible for Seventeen magazine, buys new 'sophisticated' clothes, and somehow manages to secure a tenuous spot at the cool kids' table. She's on top of the world, even though her best friend and the boy next door, Luke, says he misses 'plain old Ricki Jo."
Caught between being a country girl and a wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she really is: someone who doesn't care what people think and who wouldn't let a good-looking guy walk all over her. It takes a serious incident on Luke's farm for Ricki Jo to realize that being a true friend is more important than being popular."
First Lines: (subject to change in the final version)
"'When we get to high school, I want you to call me Ericka,' I say, taking off my tan leather work glove to wipe the sweat from my brow. I've been blabbing to my best friend, Luke, all day because A) talking makes the time go by faster, and B) I'm a jabber-jaw; but I might as well be talking to one of our cows."
This is absolutely one of the cutest books I've read in a little while. OF course, I may not have been reading the right genre for cute stuff, but this one definitely wins. :) I'm also partial to a story about a Kentucky girl... as my mom's from there. Ahem... on to the book!
The story is about a girl named Ricki Jo (or Ericka for any new friends) who has decided she wants to reinvent herself at the beginning of high school. This is a little harder because she has a few old friends that don't love her new changes. She tries out for cheerleading, she's invited to the cool parties, and she begins to realize she's become part of the cool crowd. When tragedy strikes, she realizes who her real friends are and who she can count on.
I'll say it again, this book was adorable. I think I fell for Ricki Jo in the first few pages. She's such a fun and real character. She's spent her life working hard in the fields with her family and has decided to give herself a whole new image. She learns everything from teen magazines and spends her time obsessing about the boy everyone loves. Doesn't that sound like every other freshman you've ever known? I sure think so.
I loved Luke. Once you learn about his home life and his relationship with Ricki Jo, you realize just how awesome he is. There's something to be said for a friend who will stand by you no matter what is happening. He's that kinda friend. No matter what is going on with him, he'll always be there. Honestly, I was hoping Ricki Jo would get together with him instead of the jerky popular guy. Though... that's about right with real life, isn't it?
This is a little silly, but it was really nice to read a book that wasn't set in New York or some other really well known place. I haven't read anything lately that has been this unique in locale. There's something very quiet and easy about life in farm-town Kentucky. Of course, I also know this area of the country... but I think it comes across really well. It's also nice to see what constitutes a night out in backwoods places :). Yay roller skating!
I fully loved this book. It took me less than 24 hours to finish and I cannot wait to recommend it to people. I know that readers who love chick lit and realistic fic will get into this one. This is also the first book by this author - I really look forward to seeing what she has in store for the future. I'm sure it will all be wonderful. Definitely give this book a shot when it comes out in January!
Other Blog Reviews:
Okay, I don't see any reviews for this one. I'm not fully surprised as it comes out in January. But if you review this one, let me know so I can add you to the list. :)