The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes is realistic young adult fiction set in a high school in the Midwest.
Sheridan and her two best friends Lacey and Nikki have always dreamed
of being Homecoming royalty -- but now that their senior year has
finally arrived, it seems that too many things may have changed. At the
end of their junior year, there was a party -- and then the was a car
accident. While it could have been much worse, it left Lacey injured,
Nikki riddled with guilt, and Paige isolated -- first, by distance (her
mother hustled her off to Paris to be an unpaid au pair for the summer)
and then by a complex web of secrets, resentments, and
misunderstandings. As the school year begins, Paige finds that she is
not as close to Lacey and Nikki as she had been in the past, but as she
explores new relationships and starts to reinvent herself, she may
unwittingly cause a great deal of pain to friends both old and new.
book had more depth than I was expecting: Paige is surprisingly easy to
relate to, and her character development is well-written and
believable. Even Lacey and Nikki are more than superficial Mean Girls,
and the supporting characters are all fully realized and interesting in
their own rights. The plot is sprawling and would not have been hurt by a
little judicious pruning here and there, but all in all this is an
enjoyable and well-written book.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)