Thursday, 28 February 2013

Review: Revenge of the Homecoming Queen by Stephanie Hale

 Revenge of the Homecoming Queen by Stephanie Hale
Author: Stephanie Hale. Website|Twitter
Published: 8 May 2012
Format: Kindle
Pages: 276
Amazon: Paperback|Kindle
Book Depository: Paperback

Source: Free Kindle download

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
The flawless Aspen Brooks was born to be Homecoming Queen. Naturally she's dating the most popular guy in school, and she's blessed with stunning good looks, excellent style, and mega brains. She's got the crown in the bag. So why is the tiara being placed on the skanky head of cheerleader Angel Ives? The confusion only grows after ultra-dork Rand Bachrach is crowned king. To Aspen's shock and horror, Angel actually accuses her of being behind this. Whatevs! But then something goes terribly, terribly wrong. Strange things start happening--even stranger than Angel beating Aspen. Now someone's leaving her threatening messages and slashing her tires. She's sure it's that beyotch Angel doing these things. And if Angel wants war, by Dooney & Bourke she'll get one.

My Review:
I got this book as free download from the Kindle store, and there were a few things that drew me to it. Firstly the title sounded like exactly what I was looking for (contemporary - woo!) and I really liked the cover. Revenge of the Homecoming Queen tells the story of Aspen Brooks who gets beaten to the post of queen by her nemesis Angel. Only the contest didn't go as planned with geeky Rand getting the role of king. Soon the school is in chaos and Aspen seems to be the victim of a series of pranks aimed at embarrassing her.

So within a few pages I was hooked. Aspen narrates the story and she has this really witty voice throughout that kept me engaged and made me giggle. Now, I have to point out that Aspen isn't a nice character. I know not everyone can put up with horrible characters when they story is not only about them but narrated by them too, but I adored it.I knew Aspen was horrible - she's materialistic and snobby and vain, but I could see quite early on that she had potential for so much more. Her best friend Tobi isn't the typical popular girl and even though Aspen points this out a lot, I thought the fact they were friends said a lot about Aspen's true character. She also seems to be aware of her flaws which made me think there was a chance she would develop throughout the story.

A lot of the plot revolves around Rand being elected homecoming king, and I adored Rand as a character. He's totally infatuated with Aspen and she clearly does not deserve him. He's kind and considerate but all Aspen can see is this geeky boy who beat her football player boyfriend to the title of king. Throughout the story the two characters find themselves having to spend more time with each other and I love how Aspen starts to look at Rand differently. It was quite predictable what would happen but I really enjoyed watching events unfold.

The book takes on a bit of a mystery element as the story moves on, as people start disappearing from the small town of Comfort. I really liked how that played out, although I'll admit I knew who was responsible from pretty early on. But seeing Aspen take charge and try and get to the bottom of things made for some really exciting action and as the story reached its climax I couldn't stop reading.

I had a few issues with the pacing where things seemed to happen a little to fast, but otherwise I really enjoyed the writing style. I'm really looking forward to reading more from this author.

I really do love a bit of high school drama so this book was right up my street. It feels like something that should be a bit of a guilty pleasure because Aspen is so anti- what I usually look for in female character, but I think every so often you need a bit of fun and drama! And this book had drama by the bucketful. It won't be to everyone's taste but if from the title and plot summary you're intrigued then definitely check it out. I loved the writing and the humour - definitely worth a read!

Rating: 4*
What to read next: Twisted Sisters by Stephanie Hale, book 2 in the Aspen Brooks trilogy
Books like this: Hidden Gem by India Lee, The Rock Star's Daughter by Caitlyn Duffy, The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate

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