Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Net Galley for giving me an electronic copy of this book to read and review.
AUTHOR: Laurie Boyle Crompton
This is actually the second YA book I have read exploring reality TV in the last few weeks and although I would like to rise above the subject matter, I have to admit that although I hate reality TV on - well, actual TV, I think it makes for compelling reading in fiction. Perhaps because I find reality TV so make believe and "pretend" anyway.
In The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High, the ridiculous meets the interesting as a reality TV show decides to pick the "3 least likely prom queen candidates from a high school" and throw them into this TV show where, in order to increase ratings, the producers will make these girls just do about anything.
What works so well for me in this book is that author Crompton manages to take the sublimely silly and turn it into a completely normal plan of action. Even the more level headed "participant" Shannon is not above "playing into the game" (although we do question her actual motives - is she or is there another motive?). She is by far the most interesting character for me because I kept thinking that everything she did (good or bad) had an ulterior motive.
The writing is funny, edgy at times and campy at times, which gives this book just the jump off point it needs to stay interesting and mark itself among all of the YA novels for 2014.
I liked it and I even liked the cover of this one, which is always high praise, since I am notoriously tough on book covers (and even, often, on the story line).