Revenge of the Homecoming Queen by Stephanie Hale

Reviewed by Misty Guffey

"I'm going to destroy you." The words of a vengeful...winner? Aspen Brooks is completely floored. She just knew she was a shoo-in for homecoming queen. Only she just lost to her arch rival, Angel Ives. Not only that but the dorkiest guy in the whole school has just been crowned king. Now Angel seems to think that Aspen is somehow behind the whole thing. Aspen knows she's innocent just as she knows that someone has to be pulling some kind of twisted prank. It's either that or she's entered into some sort of parallel universe. But when even more bizarre events occur, such as; unusual kidnappings, theft, threatening notes, and Aspen discovering that the people closest to her are more than they once appeared to be, she finds herself leaning more towards the parallel universe belief.

Aspen Brooks is a great protagonist and by far my favorite character in this book. In the beginning she's so wrapped up in herself that she can't see beyond high fashion and popularity. She seems to be one of those girls we all love to hate, but as the story progresses and her eyes are opened to the fact that true beauty is more than tiaras and Dooney bags, you find yourself not only falling in love with her character but also wanting to be more like her. I myself have been guilty on occasion, as I'm sure we all have, of judging someone by their outward appearance alone. We sometimes forget that true beauty comes from within and that we can sometimes find a diamond in the rough. Stephanie Hale has done a fantastic job of reminding us of that fact with this story.

Stephanie Hale is such a unique talent. I don't think I've ever read a better first novel. She hooks her readers with her clever writing skills and her funny, witty banter. "Revenge of the Homecoming Queen" is packed with laughter, a bit of romance, friendship, and the oh so familiar teenage girl rivalry. Hale has done a fantastic job at capturing the life of a teenager. Although this is a young adult book readers of all ages will love it. It brought back so many of my own high-school memories that I couldn't stop laughing and comparing the characters to people I knew in school. It is such a delightful read and so easy to relate to. I loved it and can't wait to see what Hale cooks up in her next novel.

Questions for the author:

What made you decide to write a book for young adults?
I actually started out writing for adults then decided to try my hand at young adult. For some reason it comes really easily to me. Hmmm...maybe I haven't grown up yet!

Are there any plans for your next book?
Yes, my next book comes out on April 1st. The title is Twisted Sisters and it is a sequel to Revenge of the Homecoming Queen. Aspen and her Comfort High peeps are back only this time they are going to college!

When developing your characters did you create them using people you actually know?
I suppose they are all a little bit of me, but no, I didn't create any of them with specific people in mind. Thanks so much for all the kind words about Revenge of the Homecoming Queen!