The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker
Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Hachette, 375 Pages
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Age Group: Young Adult
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 wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she truly 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 out on Luke’s farm for Ricki Jo to realize that being a true friend is more important than being popular.
Ricki Jo aka Ericka is starting high school. A fresh start! She’ll make cool new friends and wear cute clothes! Yay! And..she’s finally going to be able to change what people see when they look at her. Wait..is this really a good idea??
High school is a very important transitional period for everyone – boys and girls. And when you’re starting at a high school where you didn’t go the same middle school as most everyone else, things can seem rough. Ricki Jo quickly tries to become friends with the girls in her homeroom but are they the type of friends that she should really be making? And of course, she crushes on the most popular guy in 9th grade – you know, the one EVERYONE has a crush on, regardless of how big of a jerk he is!
This book really brought me back to the times of what it was like to be a freshman (Earth Science!) and trying to find your own group of friends. It reminded me of just how influential that time is on how kids turn out. It also tugged on my southern-heartstrings. Being from the south, it just brought home that hometown country girl feeling of Ricki Jo. Minus the alcohol references, I would have though this could be a older middle-grade book.
This book is as cute as the cover (which is very cute, indeed). It’s contemporary fluff but I enjoyed it.