Crowned got a great review from School Library Journal!! 

 It’s good versus evil in the beauty pageant game, with good being represented by Presley Ashbury and evil by her archrival, wealthy Megan Leighton. After years of standing on stage near one another with fake smiles, spray-on tans, and hair extensions, Megan finally crosses the backstabbing line in her quest to be Miss Teen State. But Presley has even more at stake. As the daughter of a below-the-poverty-line single mother, she needs the scholarship money to attend college. And since academics aren’t her forte, Presley must rely on her megawatt smile and dancing ability to win. This funny, behind-the-scenes novel will appeal to teens who enjoy reality shows such as Dancing With the Stars and American Idol, or Miss America pageants. Linker has a sure touch with teen dialogue and it’s clear that she knows her beauty pageants. This is a quick, enjoyable read for fans of Cecily von Ziegesar’s “Gossip Girl” series (Little, Brown), and it has better-developed characters.

From Kidliterate

” . . . There’s a lot of great stuff in this book. Linker’s nailed the teenage voice here, for one thing – the characters don’t sound like what adults think teens sound like. The writing is tight and Linker obviously knows her way around a pageant (or did some really good research). Presley is likable and believable, and her poor-daughter-of-a-single-mother is portrayed matter-of-factly rather than being milked for every ounce of sympathy it might evoke.

I particularly enjoyed a subplot that has Presley volunteering at a nursing home, where she encounters one of the hottest boys in school and begins a sort of Beatrice/Benedick sparring match with him. Presley’s brilliant, anal best friend Justine is awesome, and so is the deadly sincere, over the top captain of the cheerleading squad that both Presley and Justine are members of.”

From The Compulsive Reader

“Crowned is one drama-filled, sparkling, and hilarious read. Presley is a vibrant and energetic character whose realistic and dramatic narration will enrapture the audience and is sure to illicit many giggles. But the book isn’t all giggles and glitter: Crowned deals with some tough issues, like underage drinking, and the effect it can have on a person’s image, bullying, as well as the dangers of posting pictures on the internet that will hopefully make an impression on readers. At the center of the story is Presley’s struggle to deal with her enemy and how difficult it is to get along with Megan. Readers will be happy know that despite whatever thoughts Presley may have about Megan, she doesn’t stoop to her level, which leaves a lasting and positive impression. Crowned is a cute and fun read that not only debunks a few misconceived perceptions of beauty pageants, but is a book that reminds readers that life’s low points don’t last forever, and success comes in many different forms.”

 Booklist gave DP a great review! 

“Deft characterization, a bent-but-not-fractured fairytale plot, and a superabundance of wild irreverence distinguish this title . . . issues with religion and sex are treated with unusual honesty . . . Linker writes in smooth, addictive prose that captures the inherent messiness of coming of age, without being wholly predictable.” 

I’m thrilled by the Booklist review, but my mother’s review is a teenytiny bit more accurate–

Julie’s mother says: “Disenchanted Princess is the best piece of literature ever written by anyone, including Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling. My daughter is a genius. Everyone should go out right now and buy ten copies.”

After my mom gave DP such a glowing review, I thought I’d ask the rest of my family what they thought of the book.

The following are actual conversations between me and various family members–


Candice, my sister 

Me: What did you think of my book?

Candice: It was awesome! I loved it! SO cute!

Me: You haven’t even opened it, have you?

Candice: Yes I have! It was great!

Me: What’s the name of it?

Candice: You know I’m not good with names.

Me: What’s it about?

Candice: Er, you know—stuff.

Me: What kind of stuff?

Candice: Hey, I just remembered—there’s a big sale at the mall! [grabbing car keys] Let’s go!


Carolyn, my other sister

Me: Have you read my book yet?

Carolyn: I’m studying for the MCAT.

Me: What does the MCAT have to do with my book?

Carolyn: I’m about to take a test that’s going to determine the rest of my life.  I haven’t slept or eaten for a month.  Every time I close my eyes, I see chemistry equations.

Me: What are you trying to say?

Carolyn: Get out of my room before I kill you with this pencil.


Ryan, my brother

Me: Are you going to read my book?

Ryan: What book?

Me: My book.  The book I wrote.

Ryan: You wrote a book? 

Me: Yeah, you know—the one I’ve been talking about for the past year?

Ryan: Oh. [pauses] Can I have some money?

Me: No.  So are you going to read it?

Ryan: Read what?

Me: My book.

Ryan: If I read it, will you give me some money?

Me:  Um, no.  It’s against my writerly ethics to pay people to read my work.

Ryan: Well, then . . . [shrugs his shoulders] 


My Dad

Me: How do you like my book?

Dad (sounding confused): I thought you said it was about a girl.

Me: It is about a girl.

Dad: Then why is there a chicken on the cover?

Me: Actually, it’s a chick. It’s supposed to be cute. You know, because girls are called chicks?

Dad: Since when are girls called chicks?

Me: I don’t know . . . since forever, I guess.

Dad: I’ve never heard anyone call a girl a chick.

Me: Well, people do. So, how do you like the book?

Dad: Why is the chicken wearing a hat?

Me: It’s not a hat, it’s a tiara.

Dad: Why would a chicken wear a tiara?

Me: Never mind.


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