What does it mean to do wrong, when no one punishes you? A smart and unflinching look at friendship, the nature of entitlement, and growing up in the heartland. Paige Sheridan has the perfect life. She's pretty, rich, and popular, and her spot on the homecoming court is practically guaranteed. But when a night of partying ends in an it-could-have-been-so-much worse crash, everything changes. Her best friends start ignoring her, her boyfriend grows cold and distant, and her once-adoring younger sister now views her with contempt. The only bright spot is her creative writing class, led by a charismatic new teacher who encourages students to be true to themselves. But who is Paige, if not the homecoming princess everyone expects her to be? In this arresting and witty debut, a girl who was once high-school royalty must face a truth that money and status can't fix, and choose between living the privileged life of a princess, or owning up to her mistakes and giving up everything she once held dear.
The Princesses of IowaFeatured
I read the prologue of The Princesses of Iowa and immediately connected to it. M. Molly Backes writing style – kind of rambly and flowy like the narrator is saying it all in one breath is so ME. That is how I think. So I loved connecting to The Princesses of Iowa on that level.
But MAN what an emotionally draining book. I was tense from the get-go – car accidents, suspected cheating boyfriend, psycho parents, and then BAM all this even more intense stuff happened and I literally could not catch my breath while reading The Princesses of Iowa. I had to keep reading and more stuff kept happening and nothing was going right and even after I put it down, I was super tense and down in the dumps.
The ending to The Princesses of Iowa was uplifting and hopeful, which I approved of, but even after finishing it, I just couldn’t shake the feelings from my mind.
But the issues discussed in The Princesses of Iowa are SO IMPORTANT. Drunk driving, cheating boyfriends, verbally and otherwise abusive parents, rampaging homophobia – it ALL goes down in this book.
What I guess I’m trying to say is – The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes does not shy away from the tough topics. It’s tough to take and you’ll be holding your breath through parts of it, so definitely have a lighter book ready to read next. But don’t skip The Princesses of Iowa. Definitely worth a read.
(Also, I would just like to point out that since writing this review, I’ve read a couple of reviews describing The Princesses of Iowa as being uplifting and etc. SO even though it was so emotionally draining to me, you could totally have the opposite reaction.)
I remember looking at the cover and thinking someone is driving away from a life they can't handle anymore.
I remember not being able to put the book down because I needed to know that Paige wasn't going to keep screwing up her life!
I remember wishing we had a creative writing teacher like Mr. Tremont so it would be easier to write the review.
So any of you that have read The Princesses of Iowa will totally get what I just wrote!! For those of you who haven't....you will!!
Paige, Nikki, and Lacey....rich, beautiful, spoiled, and totally out of control...until one night when their entire world turns upside down. Their friendship will never be the same, even if they can find a way to keep it together. But from the first day of their senior year, the year they've anticipated and have been groomed for, it's obvious that more was wrecked on that one night last spring, than their car and their bodies.
Paige isn't sure who she is anymore or what she wants, but she knows what is expected of her, and how she's supposed to play the part. Through most of The Princesses of Iowa Paige struggles with finding herself. She no longer fits into the clique, nor does she want to, but she battles this knowing that it's what's expected of her, especially since her younger sister 'Mirror' has no interest in being a princess.
Lacey's world is falling apart and she's kept Paige in the dark about it all, causing their friendship to suffer. The accident left her with a limp, and having to use a cane, while her parent's marriage is falling apart. The one person she's turned to all summer, Jake. Not just a guy, but the boyfriend of her lifelong friend, Paige.
Nikki seems to be the glue that binds the trio together. Battling with guilt from accident, she takes a stand against Drunk Driving, throwing herself into the cause.
Stepping up to save Paige are Shanti, Ethan, and Mr. Tremont and his creative writing class. But what will Paige choose? Will she choose a scripted life by continuing to forget what really happened and sweeping secrets into the closet? Will she continue in a relationship that to the outside world is perfect? Or will she listen to her heart and accept what is real in her life?
I give The Princesses of Iowa 4 out of 5 stars. It's a book I couldn't put down. I battled for Paige's heart to win out. I battled for her to do the right thing. I saw pieces of everyday teens in the pages of this book: Athletes having to live up to expectations; Popular girls playing the game; Partying and drinking leading to poor decisions. Other issues pop up in the book as well, such as divorce and gay rights. I highly recommend the reading The Princesses of Iowa for grades 9 and up. There is quite a bit of language and mature situations.
FTC required disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
Easy to relate to the characters.