Author: Alicia Whitaker
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Fourteen-year-old Kentucky girl Ricki Jo Winstead, who would prefer to be called Ericka, thank you very much, is eager to shed her farmer's daughter roots and become part of the popular crowd at her small town high school. She trades her Bible for Seventeen magazine, buys new "sophisticated" clothes and somehow manages to secure a tenuous spot at the cool kids table. She's on top of the world, even though her best friend and the boy next door Luke says he misses "plain old Ricki Jo."Review: I really love contemporaries that are fun and cute but have a deeper message. Queen of Kentucky by Alicia Whitaker was just that! It was fun, cute, lighthearted, full of drama but an excellent book! But it's so much more than that. Alicia Whitaker skillfully showed that there are many sides to life than meets the eye, or in this case, what you see.
Caught between being a country girl and wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she truly is: someone who doesn't care what people think and who wouldn't let a good-looking guy walk all over her. It takes a serious incident out on Luke's farm for Ricki Jo to realize that being a true friend is more important than being popular.(
Ricki Jo was a girl I knew I was going to love from the very beginning. She was quirky and weird and different and not as sophisticated as she wanted to be which was so awesome. She really and truly was herself, a quirky country girl with an accent and cowboy boots who has that sophisticated side of her too.She just wants to fit in which is totally relatable. I still remember how freaked I was when I was going to the 9th grade. I mean, it was high school for crying out loud! Not only was Ricki Jo perfectly written, she was relatable too. She grew as a character throughout the book and I loved see ing Ricki Jo to Ericka to Ricki Jo again. I loved Luke, her best friend and a totally sweetie and I even liked the "mean girls" who were, really, just high school girls. I did not like Wolf at all. What a jerk!
The plot focused a lot on Ricki Jo trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be but there was a lot more going on. It had a lot to do with how life throws you something scary and you have to figure out what you can do with it. She not only has to deal with changing herself, but with peer pressure and the drama going on in her life and her friends' lives (especially Luke). Though there were so dark times in this novel, Ricki Jo took it all with a awkward, funny way and I loved that it wasn't all sad and gloomy during those times.
Overall, Queen of Kentucky is a quirky, fresh story about a girl who is trying to figure out who she is and taking life with a smile on her face, even when things turn scary or unwelcome. Alicia Whitaker's debut if a funny take on a fourteen year old way of getting through high school and life in general.
Cover Comments: 3/5—It's nice and simple yes, but I think a lot more could have been done with it.