I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Prom Queen by Laura Wolfe
Published by Bookouture on 9 October 2023
Genres: Coming of Age, Psychological Thriller, True Crime
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Bailey stood on the stage, her crown glittering under the high school lights as she blew kisses to those glaring beneath her. Despite the celebrations, something didn’t feel right. She wasn’t supposed to be prom queen, and someone would make her pay for it…
Twenty years ago, my best friend, Bailey , was found dead by the train tracks, half of our friendship locket missing from her pale neck. She never took that off. Officially, it was ruled a tragic accident – but I knew better. She’d been crowned prom queen only hours earlier, and someone’s jealousy had finally gotten to them.
Now I have been forced to return to my childhood home, to the small lakeside town, and the group of friends I grew up with. Back to the scene of the crime that ruined my life, and stole my best friend away from me forever. I need a fresh slate, but I am seeing Bailey everywhere. A quick flash of her locket on a woman in a café surely can’t be a coincidence?
As I walk along the street, I avoid the suspicious stares of my former classmates. Everyone here thinks I had something to do with Bailey’s death. Sure, we did things we shouldn’t have as teenagers, but who didn’t? But when I start to hear noises in my house and receive threatening notes, I realize someone here never wanted me to come back, and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep me away…
Someone in this small town murdered my best friend the night she was crowned prom queen, and now they’re after me. We all have our secrets, but who would kill for them?
Prom Queen is a fun coming of age thriller that had strong true crime vibes with characters that all wear the trauma of the past on their sleeves. The teenage years impact us in ways that we fail to see at the time. Parental marriage breakdowns, friendships drifting apart and life experiences being just a few that alter our personalities from our formative years and beyond. Prom Queen does a good job of breaking that down and examining how lives can take a drastic turn no matter is you want them to or not.
Brooke was never going to be part of the popular crowd, but she didn’t care, she had her best friend, Bailey, and their group of misfits. That was until Bailey got into the cheerleading squad and literally dumped Brooke like a hot potato. She still wore her friendship necklace, but she was pretty much checked out from the relationship despite wearing the matching piece of jewellery.
I know that teenagers are extremely fickle beings. They fall out more times than I have hot dinners. It only takes an unkind word or a perceived slight to set them off. Believe me I own one of them! But I found the actions of Brooke sickening. I got quite angry reading the scenes were she would basically use her friend for nothing more than amusement got me wild. If I’m being honest there weren’t really any of the characters that were particularly likeable.
This wasn’t my favourite read if I’m honest. I’m such a character orientated reader and I like them to have strong backstories and I just felt as though that it was all plot and not much character. They lacked substance and grit. We knew really from the outset of how the night of Bailey’s death panned out and there weren’t many secrets to be unveiled. It took the mystery out of the mystery novel.
The podcaster element has been done before and I didn’t feel that it really brought anything new to the table The story was okay, but it didn’t stand out as anything special in a genre that has almost seen it all. I need to be shocked, and Prom Queen just wasn’t able to do that for me.
Hello, and thanks for stopping by! I live in Ann Arbor, MI, with my husband, son, and daughter. When I’m not writing or reading, you can find me hanging out with my kids, growing vegetables in my garden, working on my tennis game, hiking through local nature areas, or doting on my rescue dog.
I hold a BA in English from the University of Michigan and a JD from DePaul University College of Law. After several years of following a winding career path in the legal and real estate fields, I found myself drawn back to one of my earliest passions–writing! My fascination with “things that go bump in the night” probably stems from watching too many scary movies when I was younger. Today, I have six novels published by Bookouture, and I am grateful to be writing twisty psychological thrillers for a living!