Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell
By Cricket Rumley
Egmont, 2011. 298 pgs. Teen fiction
Troublemaker Jane isn't exactly the typical participant in Bienville, Alabama's Magnolia Maid Pageant, but since her beloved grandmother asks her to try it and Jane is trying to connect to her deceased mother (the Magnolia Maid queen in her day), Jane gives it a go, and surprisingly, is one of the finalists. That means she has to join four other girls in being a true Southern belle, complete with a hoopskirt and sweet Southern manners. However, bickering between the girls, plus the barriers Jane has put up around herself due to a painful past, make it even more difficult than Jane anticipated.
This a fun, fluffy read, good for a lazy afternoon. At the same time, it has some deeper and more serious aspects, such as lessons about friendship and dealing with family disappointments.
3 stars. Pretty frequent examples of underage drinking, but no sexuality and only minor language.