FICTION

The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High

320p. Sourcebooks/Fire. 2014. pap. $8.99. ISBN 9781402273469.
COPY ISBN
Gr 9 Up—Shannon Depola knows she is at the bottom of her high school's social hierarchy-a fact that is confirmed with a class survey that places her as one of the top three girls voted least likely to be prom queen. So starts the reality-show train wreck that is The Prom Queen Wannabees. Shannon and two other outcasts are selected to star in a hidden-camera reality show sponsored by a popular fashion and cosmetics company that promises social royalty and "One! Million! Dollars!" to the girl who climbs the social ladder to become Westfield High's prom queen. Shannon and her costars quickly learn that even that hefty prize is not worth selling the ugliness promoted by the beauty business and losing best friends and a chance at true love. Is it too late for the made-over Shannon to set aside everything she learned at Prom Queen Camp and recover her true identity and friendships? Like any successful reality show, The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High is a guilty pleasure. Such is Crompton's take on high school, commercialism, and America's obsession with reality television. The novel's themes are reminiscent of Libba Bray's Beauty Queens (Scholastic, 2011), and though the plot seems a little forced at times, and an all-out brawl at the end is over-the-top, the book makes for an entertaining read. Strong language makes this title appropriate for older teens. Although not an essential purchase, the book will circulate and be popular with chick-lit fans.—Betsy Davison, Cortland Free Library, NY

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