Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Princesses of Iowa

The Princesses of Iowa M. Molly Backes

As I have mentioned a few times this week, when it comes to this book, I am not an impartial reviewer. Molly and I have known each other since high school. I have read several drafts of this book and am mentioned in the acknowledgements. I believe in this book and in Molly. I'm not going to pretent to be unbiased on this one.

Paige and her friends have spent years getting to this point-- Homecoming, senior year. They have done all the right things to be the most popular girls in school, to guarantee them a spot on court, and the Homecoming Queen crown for one of them. But that was before the car accident last spring. Before Paige was shipped off so her mother could do damage control, before Paige could learn how badly Lacey had been injured, before Lacey and Jake started spending all their time together. And now it's senior year, but Paige is having problems stepping back into her picture-perfect life. Her friends don't seem to want her there and she's not sure she wants to be there. And when the town turns against the new Creative Writing teacher for being gay, Paige has to decide what's worth fighting for--the path and she's had laid out for her for years, or what's right.

Paige is a queen bee mean girl. You don't want to like her, but Molly paints her so fully that you can't help but root for her to find her own way. You don't want to like Paige, and every time you start to, she'll do something to make you want to smack her, but at the same time, she'll break your heart and make you proud. Her voice is clear and strong, and her path isn't easy or clear, but as she goes along, she grows on you something fierce. Her relationship with Lacey is so complicated-- part friendship, part competition. They say "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" and it's hard to tell with Lacey and Paige if they're close because they're friends or enemies.

More than anything though, I love Molly's writing so so so much. I've been quoting bits of it all week (all quotations are from the ARC and therefore not final) and she really has a way with language to paint a scene and a mood. But there's a way she can turn a phrase that will take your break away.

I am so very excited that Princesses of Iowa is out TODAY! Go read it!

Because I love this book and I love Molly so much, I'm giving away 2 copies that Molly's agreed to sign for the winners. You have until midnight tonight to get your entries in, by filling out the form below:

Book Provided by... the publisher, via NetGalley

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