The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker

The Queen of Kentucky, by Alecia Whitaker, is about a fourteen year old girl named Ricki Jo Winstead who really just wants to be popular.

When Ricki Jo starts high school with kids she doesn’t know, she does everything she can to make herself seem like one of the cool kids—she asks people to call her Ericka, she trades her Bible for Seventeen magazine, and she buys new, sophisticated clothing. And when Ericka’s boy-next-door best friend Luke pleads for her to just be “plain old Ricki Jo” again, she ignores him.

It isn’t until Luke’s family experiences a serious incident that Ricki Jo realizes what should have been important to her all along—being a true friend instead of a popular kid.

I really love this book. Maybe it’s partially the fact that I’m a farm girl at heart, but I think the book is wonderfully written. It’s a combination of cotton candy fluff and teen anxiety, but Alecia Whitaker manages to balance them out perfectly.

One of the main things I love about the book is that Ricki Jo is so easy to relate to. Everything that happens to her in the book is something I could connect to my own life. I was even able to see the characters in people I know.

I’d say there is only one thing I wasn’t thrilled by, and that’s the plot. It’s a bit flimsy—The Queen of Kentucky is definitely not what you’d call an action-packed novel. The book is interesting and cute enough to keep readers engaged, but if you’re a fantasy addict, looking for another Hunger Games or Harry Potter, you’re definitely not going to find that here.

A few issues remain unresolved at the book’s close, but enough to hope for—dare I say it—a sequel.

The Queen of Kentucky is a sugar sweet book that you should definitely pick up and try if you ever get the chance.


Milan L. is an aspiring writer who loves horses, books, and anything else involving animals. She’s known on figment as “Pippa Sky Destry”, to her parents and sister as “Milan”, and to her beloved cat as a chew toy. She lives in a university town and enjoys spending time with friends and horses, reading, and making jewelry out of paperclips.

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