Shannon’s ‘clique’ is just her and her best friend and she has a super-embarrassing nickname that won’t go away. It is no huge shock when her classmates vote her least likely to be crowned Prom Queen. What is shocking is the new hidden camera reality show she finds herself starring in, titled The Prom Queen Wannabes! Shannon and two other Wannabes must battle to be elected Prom Queen and snag the One! Million! Dollar! prize. After a summer of makeovers and training at Prom Queen Camp, the hidden cameras watch the three of them enter their senior year equipped with secret skills to help wage war on the popular set. Things at Westfield High are about to get ugly, and Shannon must decide how much she’s willing to give up for a shot at winning that tiara.
It’s kind of sad that this book isn’t even that far off from the realm of possibility today, what with shows like Toddlers in Tiaras and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding hitting up TLC (The Learning Channel? REALLY?) and MTV. You do have to suspend your disbelief to enjoy this book though, simply because every aspect of reality tv is exaggerated hugely. I get the statements about conventional perceptions of beauty, corporatism, and media, but some parts jumped the shark about the messages. TOO FAR… because at the end of the day, this book is still kinda vapid and shallow.
I have to admit that I’m a huge reality show junkie, loving the likes of Big Brother, The Amazing Race and The Bachelor franchise. I guess the product placement still exists there (who’s ready for another Twistos Twist?), but it’s not as blatantly annoying as all the “Nörealique” jazz.
This book is snarky and ridiculous. It sends some pretty screwed up messages about popularity—first, how easy it is for television editors to change public perception, then how easy it is to gain the public favour by reciting platitudes of self-assurance nowadays (as joked about by Kristan, who started talking about staying true to oneself and then crowing about her increase in votes).
Everyone ended up with a happy ending, and this story seems to match up with a lot of “real” accounts about reality tv. It makes people do a lot of crazy things for however long they’re part of it, but they appreciate the experience once the dust settles.
- Something Real – Heather Demetrios
- You Look Different In Real Life – Jennifer Castle
- Toddlers in Tiaras
- The Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot
- How to be Popular – Meg Cabot
- Once Upon a Prom series – Jennifer Le Ny