Fourteen year-old Ricky Jo Winstead begins her high school career wanting to change her life and friends to become popular at her new school. Ricky Jo, who hails from a small town in Kentucky, used to belong to the 4-H club and went to church when she was in middle school. Now she desires to be popular and will do anything to accomplish that goal. She changes her name to Erica, begins to hang out with the more popular girls as well as longing to go out with a very popular boy. The biggest problem is whether she will be able to continue her lifelong friendship with Luke, the boy next door.
Tweens and Teens from the country and ex-suburbs will quickly identify with life in the small town. Hanging out with friends and talking about raising a cow, pig or sheep and of course the competitions that go along with 4-H clubs. Those from the city or suburbs may not immediately identify with Ricky Jo especially with what she does away from school. Many, however, will identify with the desire to be someone different in a new school and surrounding.
The author, Alecia Whitaker, creates characters that one can identify. The sub-plots of true friendship and alcohol abuse are easily identifiable to many readers. This coming of age novel moves quickly and is a very enjoyable read. Highly Recommended.
Disclaimer: I received an Advance Readers Copy from the publisher Hatchett Book Group.