Publish Date: January 2, 2012
Genre: Young Adult
Ericka Jo Winstead
Challenge: 50 States ~ Kentucky
Buy the Book: Amazon
Fourteen-year-old Kentucky girl Ricki Jo Winstead, who would prefer to be called Ericka, thank you very much, is eager to shed her farmer's daughter roots and become part of the popular crowd at her small town high school. She trades her Bible for Seventeen magazine, buys new "sophisticated" clothes and somehow manages to secure a tenuous spot at the cool kids table. She's on top of the world, even though her best friend and the boy next door Luke says he misses "plain old Ricki Jo."Ricki Jo is starting her freshman year at a new school as a new person. No longer wanting to be referred to as Ricki Jo, but now as Erika. She meets some popular girls in her homeroom and desperately tries to fit in with them. So much so that she’s letting them copy her homework and now drinking. In the process of all these new “improvements” she’s making, she’s losing her one true friend.
Caught between being a country girl and wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she truly is: someone who doesn't care what people think and who wouldn't let a good-looking guy walk all over her. It takes a serious incident out on Luke's farm for Ricki Jo to realize that being a true friend is more important than being popular.
Ricki Jo’s struggle to fit in is very well written and very realistic. She’s crushing on the hottest freshman and her treats her like crap. So like typical teenage girls, Ricki Jo and her BFF Mackenzie fight over him. I don’t think he really cared about either one of them, but were using them to get at his rival who happened to be Mackenzie’s brother who seemed to have a thing for Ricki Jo.
Some points throughout this novel I was waiting for Ricki Jo to wise up and realize that these girls were not her friends. And to see her true best friend, Luke, as more than a friend.
I loved this debut novel! I laughed, became frustrated, and everything else right along with the characters. I truly loved Luke! I so wanted him to have a better, happier life. He is one of those characters you hope to see again in future novels.
Alecia Whitaker will be added to my automatic buy list!