Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker + Best Friends Romance Week Giveaway!

I have to admit I never really came across The Queen of Kentucky until it went on a great sale I couldn't pass up!

Past Reviews
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin no particular order I might change things up...
Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy
Winter Town by Steve Emond
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Hunting Lila & Saving Lila by Sarah Alderson
Addicted To You & Ricochet by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Frigid by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Queen of Kentucky
The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker

Release Date: January 2, 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 375
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Haunt Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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." 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 is about to start high school. She really wants to make new friends and be popular. This is a big change and she wants to start with a fresh image by changing her name, getting new clothes, and trying out to be a cheerleader. Luke has been her best friend and the boy the next farm over all their lives. He doesn't like the changes in Ricki Jo. She is throwing herself at the jerk at school, Wolf, and seems different when she is with her new friends.

First day of school and Ricki Jo meets four new girls and a guy they call Wolf. She immediately develops a massive crush on him. He did remind me of a few guys I knew in middle school. Super cute and charismatic but a bit of a selfish jerk. The kind of guy you can't help but crush on even though you know you shouldn't, except Ricki Jo usually puts up with him and forgives him too easily. But when your young it takes awhile to learn.

As for Ricki Jo's new friends...I hated them sometimes and then I liked them sometimes. One minute they would say mean things and exclude Ricki Jo and the next they would plan something nice for her. But lets be honest that is freshman girls for you. It is a selfish, snobby, and bratty time and many are just learning what it truly means to be a good friend. How to put friendships before boys. They are all learning and they do try to improve.

Ricki Jo was at times difficult and annoying but I understood her. It is nice to have lots of friends and try new things. It is difficult to be a good friend and make them all happy at the same time. When you make new friends sometimes your old friends are like what am I not good enough?! It's hard fitting in and trying to find your place. Getting made fun of and feeling out of place. She has some confidence issues since she was smaller and not has filled out as the other girls. I felt like her journey was something I could relate too and is important for young girls.

Best Friends Romance

Luke is adorable and oh so sweet! I don't think he had thought of Ricki Jo in a romantic way up until freshman year. Then he starts always defending her and realizing that she is pretty. But he noticed before all she changed. He loves the girl next door that doesn't wear makeup and isn't sure he loves what she is trying to be now which breaks Ricki Jo's heart. Ricki Jo realizes to appreciate true friendship and that he has always always been the one there for her. And why deal with a jerk when you can have such a great guy?! Once again though this book ends a bit openly. I am a big fan of declarations of love and kisses at the end so I was a little disappointed. Otherwise it was a really cute read with great lessens in friendship and growing up.

"Well, I don't know," he starts, looking down and then up again, anywhere but at me. "Like, for example, your new clothes, it's like a whole new you. You dress more like those girls now."
"I just want to look nice!" I defend myself.
"No, not that that's a bad thing, Ricki Jo!" he says, glancing down at me and then back over his shoulder. "You look great. Really pretty, actually. Just, you didn't care before and you were still" -he stammers on- "y-you know...pretty."

"That's stupid," Luke says sharply, totally out of character, and shoots Laura a look that makes her flush red. "First of all, she's not ugly-pretty, she's just normal pretty. What a dumb thing to say. And second, she's different from the average girl 'cause she doesn't even need makeup."
Silence. Luke looks down at his arm and twirls the leather strap around his wrist. I nudge him, and when he looks up at me, I mouth Thank you, not trusting my voice since an unexpected lump has found its way to my throat.

Rating: 4/5

To celebrate the week I bought some extra books for giveaways!
There will be at least 5 winners. Two US & Two INT.
To keep things open INT I am offering two of the eBooks that will be reviewed this week as well. May pick extra winners for eBooks depending on entries. 
You can comment every day for extra points! 


  1. Another great one I need to read! Great review!

  2. I love best friend romances! They're my favourite kind. :) Luke sound like a really likeable character here, and I'm glad you enjoyed the book overall. Thanks for putting this one on my radar. Lovely review! :)

  3. I also love friends romances :) Thanks for sharing! Sounds fantastic!

  4. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the first few pages of this I read on Amazon!! She's so funny and fun and you can tell she's got a great heart, but I totally get how she feels trying to make new friends.

    And I love Luke!! I love that you featured this book - I wouldn't have known how awesome it was if you hadn't reviewed it <3

    Lovely review!! :)

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I really love the cover :3 An interesting read I hope!

  7. I LOVE best friend romances! And where usually I don't read books where the main character is in MS, this one sounds fantastic! Luke sounds like an amazing, enjoyable characters, and I can't wait to meet him! And I don't enjoy open endings as well, but I guess like you said, it is dealing with young people so they would declare their love or anything like that. Glad you enjoyed this overall, Jennifer! Great review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 


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