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Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

The Princesses of Iowa - M. Molly Backes 3.5/5 stars

The Princesses of Iowa is a book about a high society girl who gets into an ‘accident’ with a bunch of her friends during her last days of her spring semester and ends up being exiled to work as a nanny in Paris. Now you might think this is glamorous, but in fact the time she spent there was of her wearing the baby’s food on her clothes and passed out on her very uncomfortable bed. When she returns to her senior year at school, she finds out that one of her friends, Lacey, is crippled from the accident, and the other one, Nikki is on the verge of becoming anorexic. Her boyfriend, Jake has become a bit distant and has been spending too much time with Lacey because of her crippled leg and her needing all the help and moral support she can get. This is where the problems start.

Now, I really didn’t like how Paige, the female protagonist, at the beginning, stays quiet with the way Lacey was treating her, if a friend did this to me I would instantly confront her and try to understand WHY she is acting like this. Also Jake was a bit of a jerk and I couldn’t stand him. He is a jock and for some reason books always have this stereotype where jocks are all jerks who take fun in making fun of anyone who doesn’t conform to their ideas of ‘normal’, one of the victims was Ethan, a new student; they all call him a ‘fag’ and try to make fun of him any chance they get. Again, I really didn’t like how Paige just stood there and let them ridicule him while at the same time, later on she started to hang out with him and his friend Shanti ‘secretly’ and ignore them when she’s hanging out with the popular kids. Isn’t that just being a bit two-faced?

I really liked Ethan and Shanti; they were the only two likable characters in this whole book. They were funny, totally amusing, and true to themselves. While Paige does start off as unlikable, I did like her character development and they way she handled things towards the end. The plot of the story was interesting, it is a contemporary novel that might relate to thousands of girls out there who have been a victim of having to follow the popular kids and maybe unresolved problems with friends. This book teaches you to stand up for yourself no matter the situation and in the end to do the right thing, which is something that many people run and cope out from. All in all, while The Princesses of Iowa might have gotten on my nerves at the first half of the book, the last half made up for it

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