The Queen Stings

Confessions of a Queen B* by Crista McHugh is categorized by Amazon as Teen, Young Adult, and Humor. It also falls into the Contemporary and Romance genres. While I agree with all of these and find the novel highly entertaining, there will be parents who will prefer their teens not discover the “Queen B*,” The language used contains a lot of slang and jargon. Modern jargon accepts casual use of the “f-bomb” with all its variations, not something easily accepted by an older generation. I do not find words or vocabulary itself objectionable, the acceptance of such casual use bothers me because words lose impact and definition. This is a type of warning for sensitive readers. Someone might even want to appeal to overly sensitive readers to become more in tune with language as it is used contemporaneously. The transition is easy. Watching even political news on television will create awareness of entirely new ways of expression. I digress. Another good way to become aware of interesting language use is to read this humorous, very contemporary novel

Alexis had written a blog throughout her high school years exposing skeletons and secrets of Eastline High School. Named the Eastline Spy, if it were a newspaper, it would be a tabloid. Alexis had made it an instrument of revenge for something that had happened to her in sixth grade. She had been humiliated by her best friend Summer. In high school, she vowed to take charge of her life and build a hard shell around herself that would keep everyone at bay. She did this by using fear. If someone offended her, she would expose their secrets. She knew lots of secrets about students, teachers, and administrators. The downside was that she had very few friends. Only Morgan, a Goth sometime nymphomaniac, and Richard, an openly gay and proud wannabe cheerleader, were unafraid of Alexis. No one wanted to help her on group projects as she worked her way through her senior year at Eastline. When Brett was chosen by lottery to work with her on an assigned social experiment Alexis was very sensitive to possible problems.

Brett is the romantic interest character for Alexis. Does he want to work with her or has he been forced to do so? Brett is dating the former BFF of Alexis, the one who humiliated her in the sixth grade. Summer has become a central focus of the entire high school experience for Alexis. She is out for revenge and doesn’t know how to deal with having a lab partner who is handsome, hot, and dating former BFF Summer. While normally Alexis would never work with Summer in any way, there is an incident of covert videotapes from the girls’ locker room that included pictures of Taylor, the younger sister of Alexis and a close friend of Summer. By helping her sister find the origin of the videotapes, she would be indirectly helping Summer. Tough call.

Two central themes, the videotape, and the possible relationship between Alexis and Brett dominate the book. There are other fun asides that mostly relate to language. Read the Table of Contents first, it is hilarious by itself and will prime the reader for the great content to follow. Typically, each chapter title fills three to five lines. I gave this four plus Amazon stars. Although the novel is 218 pages and is a standalone novel, the Amazon price of USD 0.00 means that it is a teaser for the other two novels in the series which sell for USD 2.99 (The Queen B* and the Homecoming King) and USD 3.99 (The Queen B* Strikes Back). There is not a Kindle Unlimited option for the follow-on books.

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