Just Your Average Princess
By Kristina Springer
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011. 197 pgs. Teen fiction
Jamie has grown up on a pumpkin farm in Average, Illinois, and she loves it. The only things that could make life better would be if Danny, who Jamie has been crushing on for years, would finally ask her out, and if she gets selected as this year's Pumpkin Princess. But then her cousin Milan, the daughter of two Hollywood stars, comes to visit, and Jamie's life takes a turn for the worse. Milan is nothing but snotty to Jamie and soon she's taken over Jamie's beloved pumpkin patch, is running for Pumpkin Princess, and even seems to have her eye on Danny.
This light-hearted chick-lit novel is a good choice for those looking for clean reads and country settings. Jamie is the sort of character lots of readers will be able to relate to, and they'll enjoy hating Milan along with her. At the same time, they might not be able to suppress their frustration with how her parents are so easily taken in by Milan and don't express any appreciation for Jamie. Even if they're trying to make Milan feel at home, shouldn't they make some effort to make sure their own daughter doesn't feel left out? That part really frustrated me--and the fact that they don't really acknowledge it, either. (There is an explanation for why they're trying so hard with Milan; there's no real reason give for why they aren't sensitive to Jamie's feelings--especially with Milan's bullying of her--and that left me somewhat unsatisfied.)
3 stars. Clean read.