Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes

Last spring, Paige and her friends were involved in a drunk driving accident; luckily for them, it could have been a lot worse. She returns to her small town in Iowa for her senior year after having been shipped off to Paris for the summer to be an au pair. She's expecting to pick right where she left off, but things have changed. Her boyfriend is distant, her friend walks with a limp now, and Paige feels increasing pressure from her mother to look and be perfect. But when she takes a creative writing class with an inspiring teacher, Paige learns how writing can be therapeutic and uses her new found knowledge to become the person she's always wanted to be.

I really enjoyed The Princesses of Iowa, especially because it addressed a lot of concerns that teenagers have to deal with on a daily basis. This included drunk driving, friendship/boyfriend/family issues, self-image, love interests, popularity, parental/peer pressure, disabilities and gay rights/discrimination. While I was glad to see so many themes, there was almost too much going on in the book for any one point to be fully addressed and discussed.

That being said, I liked that Paige developed like a true dynamic character. She really did change for the better, and it was nice to actually be able to see that. Also, some of the supporting characters were really fun to read about, such as Shanti, Ethan, and Mr. Tremont. Since there is a lot going on, the book is a quick read, and there is never a dull moment. I liked The Princesses of Iowa a lot, but for her next book the author should use a few themes and stick with just them.
Reviewer Age: 20
Reviewer City, State and Country: Aston, Pennsylvania United States

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