The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High
byLaurie Boyle Crompton
Publication Date: February 1, 2014
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Publisher vie Netgalley
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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.
As a fan of reality TV and competition shows and a fan of Laurie's debut novel, Blaze, I knew that her new book was going to be one fun ride. I expected many laughs while reading The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High and that is exactly what I got. Laurie had me hooked from the very beginning, when Shannon unwittingly and naively agrees to participate in the hidden-camera reality TV show.
In The Real Prom Queens, Laurie takes bits and pieces of reality shows to create this outlandish reality show: The Prom Queen Wannabes! As I continued to read, it was one laughable disaster after another and build-up after build-up knowing that it wasn't going to end well. But for every moment that is meant to make the reader laugh, we also get to find out about the behind the scenes manipulations that all but destroy the participants of the reality show competition.
The wannabe characters Shannon, Amy, and Kelly were fun to read. They weren't so different from everyone that you would want to be friends with. They just weren't high on the Prom Queen social ladder. What I really liked about their interactions was that there was a level of comraderie in their status. They were competition with each-other for the title of Prom Queen and the "One! Million! Dollar!" prize, but real friendships were built out of their common experience.
I loved the "supporting" cast/characters too. Josie, Shannon's popular younger sister, Marnie, the corporation and label-hating BFF, and the nerdy and cute, love interest, Rick, kept it interesting. Even the mean-girl competition, Grace, was run to read. She kept me guessing in how she was going to ruin Shannon next.
The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High was very entertaining and fun. It was easy to see that there isn't any reality in reality-tv. Even though this story isn't about a real person's experience with reality-tv competition, it still shows how easy it is to get swept up in the supposed glamour of being on television and the lengths a show's creator will go to create a story or create chaos for ratings and something that "makes good television."
Fans of Libba Bray's Beauty Queens should check this out.
Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
My Reality TV Guilty Pleasure
Back in the day, I never missed an episode of The Real World - "when people stopped being polite . . . and start(ed) getting real." I watched Season 1 (New York) - Season 12 (Las Vegas) - and I never missed an episode. I prided myself that I could name every person who starred in all of these episodes. I am proud to say that I finally outgrew my obsession with that show (and I can hardly remember the cast members names). I stopped watching The Real World, because it became all about the hook-ups and the fighting and so beyond any reality that I could identify with, but I still love watching The Real World/Road Rules Challenges. It the competitions that keep me entertained and, I can't lie, it is the drama, and the hopes that some of the old-school cast members will show up!