Monday, December 29, 2008

Fat Hoochie Prom Queen

Nico Medina, May 2008. Madge Diaz is a fat and fabulous high school senior with a mission: to make sure her skinny, popular rival, Bridget Benson, isn’t prom queen – no matter what. Madge and Bridget have been enemies since Bridget beat out Madge for a children’s TV role, and growing up hasn’t stopped them from sniping at one another whenever they get the chance. Madge teams up with her best friend Lucas to bring Bridget down, first by running against her for prom queen, and then by organizing a huge and lavish anti-prom party. The Bridget battle is set against a backdrop of Lucas’s boy problems, Madge’s mom problems (she’ll only prepare diet meals), and the discovery that perfect Bridget has some serious problems of her own. And hallelujah! the book doesn’t end with Madge losing weight; she succeeds without ever apologizing for her plus-size pants.

The characters use alcohol, drugs, and the F-word with a frequency not unrealistic among high school students, but which might give some pause to more conservative parents. Gay culture is celebrated throughout the book, but sex scenes are not graphic, happening mainly offscreen. Although the book’s chaos is part of its charm, there are a few too many plot threads to keep track of: for example, a story involving Madge’s fashion-designer sister is dropped abruptly. However, Fat Hoochie Prom Queen is a worthwhile purchase; it’s a romp of a read that will fly off YA shelves.

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