{Blog Tour} Review + Guest Post: The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Friday, January 3, 2014

Truth be told, I don't really watch much reality shows but I just couldn't pass up Laurie's surely fun writing and this awesome plot. And I am more than glad I didn't pass it up because I. HAD. SO. MUCH. FUN!!! You can read all about it on my review. Plus, I asked Laurie to write about her prom dress back then and she shares it right here!

The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High
Title: The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High
Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date of Publication: February 4, 2014

Shannon’s ‘clique’ is just her and her best friend and she has a super-embarrassing nickname that won’t go away. It is no huge shock when her classmates vote her least likely to be crowned Prom Queen. What is shocking is the new hidden camera reality show she finds herself starring in, titled The Prom Queen Wannabes! Shannon and two other Wannabes must battle to be elected Prom Queen and snag the One! Million! Dollar! prize. After a summer of makeovers and training at Prom Queen Camp, the hidden cameras watch the three of them enter their senior year equipped with secret skills to help wage war on the popular set. Things at Westfield High are about to get ugly, and Shannon must decide how much she's willing to give up for a shot at winning that tiara.

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Sabrina of Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for the review copy. This in no way affected my views of the novel.

I read TPQoWH during New Year's Eve and I opened 2014 with a bang by finishing it and boy, I am so glad I did. I was so happy on the first day of the year because of this book. It had me giggling, chuckling, snorting, laughing, blushing, wincing and feeling warm all over. Here's why.

Shannon's an outcast in her school. It would have been better if people just didn't mind her but because of a truly embarrassing event, she got an even more embarrassing nickname that just won't go away. Aside from her best friend Marnie and these two nerds (Rick and James) who she considers as friends with least resistance, Shannon has no one on her side in school. So when the chance to star in the reality show The Prom Queen Wannabes! arises, she grabs it for the chance to lose her nickname, be popular and win One! Million! Dollars! Along with the chubby Amy and the prickly goth Kelly, who were also voted least to be prom queen, they go to Prom Queen Camp to train. Posture, fashion aka Per-style-ality, body language, flirting, they learn anything and everything you might possibly need to go up the high school social ladder.

However, as Shannon gets popular, she loses her best friend Marnie, her crush-but-I-think-there-is-something-going-on-between-us Rick and herself. Getting crowned prom queen becomes her only goal and she ends up being a bitch. You know how when you're reading or watching something wherein the main character is just making wrong decisions left and right and you know she's going to regret all of it and it's like a trainwreck you just have to read/watch? That was TPQoWH for me. I blush in embarrassment, cringe with Shannon's decisions but I was just so engaged and I can't stop reading. Sure enough, Shannon realizes all of her mistakes at the end and rights her wrongs. Character development for the win!

If you've read Blaze, you definitely know Laurie Boyle Crompton likes to put her main characters on the deep trench and then redeem them. (If you haven't read Blaze, you totally should!) The same is present in TPQoWH, along with discussing bulimia, consumerism, how media sets the standards for beauty, high school, popularity, bullying, body issues, family issues and a whole lot more I tell you. A whole lot more. Never did TPQoWH felt draggy because of all the mini-arcs it has. And then most important of all, The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High was never preachy, which I admit is such a plus. Awareness on issues must be provided and presented to teens but in the end, it shouldn't be pushed to them forcefully.

The romance was cute because HELLO, geeky and nerdy romance is always cute. But above all, I love Shannon's friendship with Marnie and how even though she and her younger sister Josie are so different, Josie picked her up when she's on her lowest. My sister and I are different and we usually argue and fight over stuff but when it comes to the important things, we got each other's backs. 

It's a fact: Laurie Boyle Crompton is a master of writing highly entertaining, geekily funny and makes-you-blush-embarrassing young adult novels with lots of fun and heart. Uniquely crazy and over-the-top, The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High will leave you cringing, laughing and aaaaaww-ing over Shannon's mayhem of a ride.

Guest Post

I asked Laurie to tell us about her prom dress and here's her answer!

My own prom dress experience was a little unusual. My mother was getting remarried a few weeks after my prom and she was planning a pretty big wedding that took a lot of focus. I was her maid-of-honor so instead of spending money on two different dresses, she let me pick the bridesmaids gowns out of a catalogue and mine got double duty for the prom. I picked a shiny, pink, floor-length number that was off-the-shoulder and, in retrospect, not terribly flattering.

The iridescent pink definitely worked better surrounded by other shiny bridesmaids, but since I was on the fence about prom anyway, I didn’t mind. I ended up going with a boy I barely knew who had a cool car and who wore his red hair in a mullet. It turned out the two of us had very little in common, and my pink dress clashed with his mullet.

My mother’s wedding turned out to be a fun dance party and the other bridesmaids were very gracious about the dresses. Afterward, I stuck mine in the back of my closet and a year later converted it into a Zombie Cinderella costume. Shredding the layers and smudging it with dirt felt oddly satisfying and the Halloween party I wore it to was the perfect final run for a dress that managed to remain super shiny through it all. In THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH I was happy to give my main character, Shannon, a really fabulous prom gown. But you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens to it!

About Laurie Boyle Crompton

Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) and THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH (Sourcebooks, 2013 & 2014) as well as the upcoming ADRENALINE CRUSH from Farrar Straus Giroux. Laurie graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a major in English and minor in Journalism. She’s written for national magazines like ALLURE as well as numerous trade publications and has appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. Yes, that is an actual thing that people sometimes get to be.

When she’s not writing Laurie enjoys hiking, cycling, reading, cross-country skiing, running, going to the movies and drinking tea by the gallon. She lives near NYC, but loves to escape to the mountains in New Paltz, NY where she and her family can often be found climbing over rocks or tromping through the forest.  She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Agency.

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