Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Review: The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker

The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication date: January 2012
Pages: 384
Source: ARC provided by publisher
For: Review

Ricki Jo is determined to start fresh when she begins high school, beginning with being called Ericka. She hangs out with the right people, buys the right clothes, and even flirts with the right boy. But when her best friend Luke says he misses the old Ricki Jo, she begins to wonder if she wants to change who she is. If she wants to be the kind of friend that doesn't really care, or the kind of girl who would let a boy walk all over her.

Things I Liked:
I really enjoyed the fresh voice and characters of this book!  Ricki Jo (I mean, Ericka) was interesting and she really felt like a teenager to me.  She made mistakes and had misconceptions and made choices based on feelings.  Her life was like a rollar coaster, which totally reminded me of the ups and downs of teenagehood.  The romance was pretty true too - the feeling of liking someone, even if you know they aren't good for you.  I liked the characters and the plot and the down to earth real-ness of the whole thing.  I really liked how it didn't progress as I expected.  From the beginning, you think it is going to go one, predictably cliche way, but it actually doesn't.  The plot goes its own way.  One other thing was a character who is religious and her family is religious, but they are portrayed well.  Religion was not the point, they were not ridiculous or crazy or downright scary.  Just people who happen to have religion in their lives.  Here's a quote that sums it up pretty well:
A lot of the time, I feel totally backward.  Like everything I do is inside out.  I dress wrong and have to back up to square one to catch up with the style.  I've never been kissed, so I read articles about other girls' stories.  Everybody I know is growing, while I seem to be stuck in the body of a ten-year-old boy.  And my new friends all have crushes on the boy I'm in love with. p 160 of ARC
Things I Didn't Like:
There were a few times where I think the book didn't know what it was doing or where it was going.  It had a lot of things going on and it almost seemed like we had no true destination.  Mind you, I had no problems while I was reading, but usually after I put it down for a while, I would start to wonder.  The ending seemed a little neat, Ricki Jo suddenly changing, despite being stubborn throughout the entire book.  I wish there had been a touch more development before that.  But overall, I really enjoyed the book.

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Populazzi by Elise Allen

s-factor: ! 

not too many, actually

mrg-factor: X 
a little bit of implied stuff, nothing on page

v-factor: none 
unrelated, but there was some underage drinking

Overall rating: **** 

It has such a cute book trailer too, made by teens! Check it out.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. This one sounds cute. I love the cover, too - it's so bright and fun!

    1. It is a lot of fun with a pretty accurate cover.

  2. This one does sound like such a cute contemporary read. I've been reading a lot of darker UF books lately so this book might just brighten up my reading.

    Thanks for the great review.

    1. It would definitely lighten the mood from a UF book, though it does have some sad stuff too.

  3. I don't think I'd heard about this one. Since I'm finding I like YA contemporary more than YA paranormal, I would probably like this one.

    1. Definitely give it a shot! No vampires or other strange beasties to be found here.


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