What does it take to be the queen?
Margarita "Madge" Diaz is fat, foxy, and fabulous. She loves herself, and is adored by almost everyone else...except queen bee/student-body president Bridget Benson. These two girls have a history that's uglier than a drag queen after last call. During a heated argument, they decide there's only one way to end their rivalry: be named prom queen and the other backs off -- for good.
Of course, everything looks different in the sober light of morning, but pride is at stake and the race is on. Madge is committed to doing whatever it takes to secure the title, but so is Bridget. And everyone's got something to hide.
Welcome to Winter Park High School, where the dirt's not just gonna fly...it's gonna go into freakin' orbit.
Large, loud Margarita truly hates student body president Bridget Benson, a stuck-up television star whom Madge was friends with when both were child actresses; so when Bridget challenges her to a contest to win prom queen, Madge tells her to "get ready to lose by a landslide." There's plenty of drinking and swearing, but some memorable moments, too, as the competition heats up: Bridget and Margarita face off in a strange event at a party thrown by a character called Redneck Randy they water-ski behind a truck, trying to jump gracefully into a lake at the ramp's end. Medina sets the story at the same high school as his first novel, The Straight Road to Kylie, and Margarita even visits that book's protagonist at college, a trip which ends with her passed out drunk on a football field, next to a box of Krispy Kremes ("The first thing I tasted when I came to was glaze on my lips"). The last-minute revelations about Bridget, and the inevitable reconciliation, might be hard to swallow, but readers will get a kick out of Margarita and appreciate her growing honesty with herself. Ages 14 up.