photo home_zpspjo8kmb0.png photo about us_zpsarf3yetn.png photo reviews_zpshqab7na7.png photo book recs_zpsdmrlfetg.png


May 11, 2012

Review: The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes - Juhina

The Princesses of Iowa
Title: The Princesses of Iowa
Author: M. Molly Backes
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: May 8th, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Debut, A-Z title, Contemporary, SARC
Source: NetGalley
Digital Arc
Pages: 464
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 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 
3.5 musical notes!


  1. Sounds pretty good, thanks for sharing :)

  2. I'm going to be reading this soon. :D I've heard many good things about it and it looks like an interesting read! Great review, Juhina :)

  3. I think the book needed to play out the way it did because character growth is sort of the lesson here from what I can grasp of the story. I haven't read this one yet but based on the summary and the growth that the characters have I think I will really like this one. Luckily I just received a copy of this from Candlewick so I'm all set!

    Thanks for the great review, sorry this one bothered you a little bit in the beginning

  4. The Princesses of Iowa book wasn't what I expected at all. It made me feel so much, I don't even really know where to begin. I can tell you that at the time of writing this review, it's been several weeks since I finished reading the book, and it's still on my mind.