The Queen of Kentucky

Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: The Queen of Kentucky
Author: Alecia Whitaker
Publisher: Poppy
Pub Date: 01/10/2012
Galley: No
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: The Queen of Kentucky is a light-hearted story about a 14 year-old farm girl who tries to be someone she's not. In this classic coming of age story Ricki Jo, a.k.a. Alecia, enters public school for the first time. Going from a class of under 20 to one of 200, Ricki Jo feels the need to create new friends, abandon the old, and create a superficial persona for herself. Her happy, quaint family supports her decisions as Ricki Jo lies to her friends and turns into one of the "it" girls. Ricki Jo demonstrates the importance of staying true to who you are and what will happen when you don't. Part of her drive to become a new person is to create a new appearance for herself, but is hindered due to a constant poor image of herself.
Memorable or Forgettable: Ricki Jo's friend, Luke is being abused by his father. Ricki-Jo's only attempt to help her friend is to try to get him to talk about it. Clearly what Luke needed was for Ricki-Jo to be there for him, but instead she goes off gallivanting with her new superficial friends. What bothered me was Ricki Jo's lack of support. Albeit, she is only 14, but as a character, she lacks the empathy expected of her and becomes obsessed with the popular crowd.
Cover: Good cover, but the yellow is a bit overwhelming. instead of white dots surrounding the title, make it a rope?
Age Range: 12-15
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
Additional Comments: As a Minnesotan, the lack of knowledge about Minnesota was quite infuriating. Mackenzie, one of the "it-girls," just moved from Minnesota. In the story, Mackenzie keeps referring to Minnesota as having no open spaces, fact check!!!! Minnesota has plenty of open spaces, and yes, there is a roller rink in Minneapolis.

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