Book Review: The Queen Bee of Bridgeton by Leslie DuBois

Title: The Queen Bee of Bridgetown
Author: Leslie DuBois
Publisher: Little Prince Publishing
ISBN: 9780615460536
Publication Date: May 17th 2011
Paperback: 244 pages
Source: I purchased this title
When fifteen-year-old Sonya Garrison is accepted into the prestigious Bridgeton Academy, she soon discovers that rich girls are just as dangerous as the thugs in her home of Venton Heights...maybe more so. After catching the eye of the star white basketball player and unwittingly becoming the most popular girl in school, she earns the hatred of the three most ruthless and vindictive girls at Bridgeton. Can she defeat the reigning high school royalty? Or will they succeed in ruining her lifelong dream of becoming a world class dancer?

I was a keen dancer when I was younger, and read many a dancing tale. I often preferred the non-fiction, but like any little ballerina there were girly novels too. I had seen this story around before, I'm sure I had because I recognised the cover immediately, but I wasn't sure this would be for me. It's been a long time since I've danced... I've moved on from pointe shoes to hockey skates... I'm also a lot older, but I was feeling nostalgic and it seemed to call to me.

Anyway, I downloaded it and I read it. I was rather pleasantly surprised. Although the main character is a dancer, and there's a side-story regarding an important audition, ballet isn't the main focus. In fact, Ms. DuBois writes in a style very reminiscent of Francine Pascal.

The book itself is a young adult title, but is felt to me like MG, were it not for the minor sexual content and the use of alcohol. That's probably due to the fact it read like similar titles I'd enjoyed during my MG years more than the actual contents of the book. It's not explicit by any means, but probably better for the YA audience due to these situations.

I have to say I enjoyed the subject of race from Sonya's perspective. It's a topic I've not often encountered in young adult books and one I'd never really considered. I like how Ms. DuBois dealt with it.

As for characters, I admit Sasha confused me from the beginning. She never really felt quite right. One minute she was the perfect student, the next she was chasing down the local bully and teaching Sonya how to break down the other girls. I liked Will, and Tyrell too, even in his short appearance. As much as I admired Sonya, after a while I couldn't help wishing she'd stop doing everything Sasha told her to. I also couldn't understand why the attack early in the book was forgotten so quickly. Where were the physical reminders? Why did no one ask about the bruising that would have been present?

Overall The Queen Bee of Bridgeton was a relatively enjoyable read. I did get a little tired of the constant cattiness but overall, not bad. I will probably read the sequel one day, the next time I'm feeling nostalgic, but I feel like this story has ended well enough for me.

Rating: 3 stars
Who I would recommend this for: Dancers and fans of Francine Pascall.
Other reviews: All-Consuming Media, The Book Pixie
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Goodreads review: Here

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