Thu, April 19, 2012

The Princesses of Iowa by Molly Backes Book Review

The Princesses of Iowa by Molly Backes book cover

The Princesses of Iowa
By M. Molly Backes
Publication date: May 8, 2012
Candlewick Press, 464 pages
Source: Publisher

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.

— Goodreads.com description

Okay, so full disclosure: I know M. Molly Backes. AND I THINK SHE IS AMAZING.

As in, I think every word that comes out of her mouth is equal parts hilarious and genius. She makes me laugh.

Molly was my teacher in a YA novel writing class I took last year, and I’m maybe joining her writers workshop very soon.

As the book description says, Paige is going through some serious dramarama, and the only bright spot is her creative writing class. It’s this outlet that helps her steer away from the hopelessness she’s feeling. I see The Princesses of Iowa as a love letter to writing, and knowing that it was written by someone who helped me rediscover my love of creative writing made it an extra special reading experience.

Paige’s character growth and struggles swept me back to my teen years — I could relate to her on so many levels. Not that I was rich/popular/Homecoming Princessy/etc., but I totally “got” her friendship and popularity dramas and, frankly, know what it’s like to have a boyfriend you should have dumped AGES ago.*

I kept pausing, a little shocked like, “This story feels like it could be about me.” I love when that happens!

The Princesses of Iowa is an entertaining and inspirational debut that I definitely recommend. And, for me, it was yet another reminder from Miss Molly that I should keep writing. Thanks, Molly! ♥

Anna Reads young adult book blog

*Do we think my ex-boyfriends read this blog? I REALLY HOPE NOT.

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: friendship, molly backes, romance
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10 Comments

  1. a. knight @ paranormal indulgence said:

    I really wasn’t too sure about this one at first, but something instinctively told me that this was going to be a good one and I requested it. I’m hoping that I love it as much as you did, Anna! Inspirational contemps are THE BEST. 😀

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    Posted on: Thu, April 19, 2012

  2. Lori said:

    Oh! I’ve had my eye on this one so I’m happy to hear it’s good. Even if you are a little bias. 😉 It does sound like a book I’ll love.

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    Posted on: Thu, April 19, 2012

  3. Sash from Sash and Em said:

    1. I really really hope that ex boyfriends do not read the blogs.
    2. This sounds very cute and definitely like something I would like (even if I’m not much of a creative writer.). xo

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    Posted on: Thu, April 19, 2012

  4. jen said:

    for the love of GOD, please don’t let exbfs read our blogs.

    this sounds like one i’d eat up right away. plus, you know the author? KICK ASS.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, April 19, 2012

  5. Erin said:

    Sounds like a good read, but as an Iowa girl, I must say, it is strange that the cover appears to show a wheat crop. Wheat is not a common crop in Iowa. It should be corn 🙂 That being said, I will give it a read!

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    Posted on: Thu, April 19, 2012

  6. Erica said:

    This one looks great – I don’t think I had heard of it before now but I TOTALLY want to check it out now 🙂

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    Posted on: Thu, April 19, 2012

  7. kit said:

    This sounds like a great read, I’ve never heard of it before but I love the synopsis, and the cover is great too!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, April 19, 2012

  8. Magan @ Rather Be Reading said:

    I really loved this book, too. Estelle did as well – she reviewed it for us. I liked the complexity of the story. There were so many layers of information and tons of drama-rama happening with those crazy friends of hers. I like books when things aren’t so … surface-level.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, April 19, 2012

  9. Anita said:

    Oh this is perfect, I’m going to start reading this right now! I’ve been going crazy lately reading so many books super fast lately. I was just hitting a lull in books I wanted to read but now this has come along! Brilliant!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, April 19, 2012

  10. WickedWillow said:

    sounds like a great read! interesting review.
    O.ops I Read That Book!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, April 19, 2012

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