Friday, November 26, 2010

Don't Count on Homecoming Queen by Nancy Rue

book cover

Don't Count on Homecoming Queen
by Nancy Rue

ISBN: 1-57856-032-2
Trade Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Released: 1998

Source: Bought through

Book Description from Back Cover (slightly modified):
At King High, six girls who met at See You at the Pole meet again to pray for each other and for their school. And it's a good thing they do, because they're all going to need prayer this year. Even popular Tobey, who's in for more trouble than she could have dreamed up in a lifetime.

As junior class president, member of the Judicial Board, cross-country team member, and star of the speech club, Tobey has gained a lot of friends on campus. But when she realizes the school's most popular coach is intimidating a freshman Hispanic girl into having sex with him, Tobey is faced with questions unlike any she has asked before. How could her favorite coach be doing this? She trusted him! And what should she do?

She wouldn't have chosen the backlash of standing up for what's right, but in the process she discovers a whole new meaning for the word "friend."

My Review:
Don't Count on Homecoming Queen is a young adult novel aimed at Christian, high-school-aged girls. I'd also recommend it to the parents of these girls so that they can see how much their teens need their support when standing up for what's right.

It's very well written, and I found myself deeply empathizing with what Tobey was going through. She dealt with realistic struggles (harassment for making an unpopular choice, deciding to stand up against a popular adult to help an outcast Hispanic girl, etc.) and hard issues (what to do when an adult sexually abuses a kid). And the author made the results of Tobey's decision about as hard as they realistically could be.

The novel was fast-paced and a quick read. The suspense was created mainly by relationship tensions (whose side everyone would take, verbal abuse, etc.) though some students threatened to beat Tobey up, too.

Tobey, her new Flag Pole friends, and her family were Christians, and the Christian elements felt like a natural part of the story. They prayed their way through this hard time, they credited God for helping them, and one time they each quoted a Scripture that spoke to them about struggles.

The sex wasn't graphically described. There was a very minimal amount of "he cussed" style bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this well-written and relevant novel to mature Christian teen girls and their parents.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
I was an aide in PE first period. Coach Gatney told me it was a waste for me to be in study hall when she could use somebody like me to keep "those little chickies" in line.

More like "those little vultures." They were already going after some poor little Hispanic freshman in the locker room when I walked in.

"I don't mean to be rude," Emily Yates was saying to her, "but why do you all wear your hair like that?"

Emily shot her hand straight up from her own forehead to imitate the sort of stiff wall Angelica Benitez had made with her bangs and a can of hair spray.

Okay, so it wasn't a good look for her, maybe for anybody. But it wasn't worth crushing the poor kid's feelings over it. I glared at Emily around my locker door. She ignored me. I went on to Step Two. "By 'you all,' you mean Angelica's whole culture?" I said.

Behind us, I heard Hayley Hatcher whisper, "Yeah, all the Beaners."

Emily caught it, too, and grinned.

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