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- Genre: Young Adult
- Source: Review Copy
- Format: Kindle
- Publisher: Kingston Publishing Company
- Pages: 311
- Publication Date: 21 March 2019
- My Rating: 3.5 stars
They all thought they did a masterful job of keeping their secrets close to their chest. These stupid fools thought they were the high court of this kingdom, but they had no clue who was really pulling the strings. You might wonder to yourself, who would be that heartless to make them backstab their friends, expose other’s secrets, and lose their morals? You don’t need to know who I am, but you better remember my name, The Marked Queen.
Danielle, Andrew, Delilah, Aman, and Jasmine all are now faced with a mysterious villain whose one goal is to ruin each of their lives. They must protect their secrets at all cost, or they’ll be the next victim on Marked Day. They know what’s at stake, and they’ll stop at nothing to continue being: the rich spoiled girl, the normal teenager, the girl who isn’t banging the principal, the straight vlogger, and the girl who isn’t her dad’s punching bag. What happens when The Marked Queen changes up the game just in time for prom? Will each of our favorite puppets survive? Or are they willing to backstab each other just to keep up their personas? The only thing lost at this prom wasn’t going to be their virginity.
Sex, Lies, and High School Queens explores the major theme of self-acceptance. Can they learn to accept all their flaws or pray victim to The Marked Queen? Each chapter continues to fill your sweet tooth until the climactic moment at the prom where you get to have that final bite of the bitch cake you’ve been dying to consume.
High School Queens is set in Johnson Prep High School. It follows the stories of a group of teenagers who all have their own secrets. The Marked Queen is an anonymous student who exposes people’s secrets and the students are always afraid of being the next victim.
As expected from a high school setting, the plot is full of drama. There were rumors spreading. Some students were seeking attention while some were getting unwanted attention. Everything about this high school was overdramatic. The kids were keeping up appearances to hide their problems. This book did a great job of showing the messed-up mindsets of some teenagers. They were constant whining, gossiping, back-stabbing and trying to destroy each other’s reputations. The reader feels both sympathy and anger towards the characters.
The book addresses many issues that young adults go through including racism, body image, abuse, alcoholism, poverty and having to hide your sexuality. The characters were constricted by societal and family expectations. They craved popularity and always wanted to show a perfect image of themselves to the outside world. Ultimately, they all just wanted to live their lives freely.
The story is narrated in the third person through the perspectives of multiple characters. I was not a big fan of the unique narrative style that the author used. It consisted of making commentary on the characters’ actions right after they did them. It disrupted the flow of the story. The amount of negativity in the plot made me put down the book several times. There were a few writing errors in the book but they were not very disruptive.
This is a fast-paced book with a lot going on in the plot. I didn’t enjoy reading it all the time, but I think it was a thrilling and unique story.
The ending was predictable but still satisfactory. I liked that, to an extent, the characters came to peace with themselves. The book ends on a cliffhanger.
High School Queens by Zachary Ryan is a YA book revolving around the lives of high school students. While it is filled with teenage drama, it deals with much deeper issues.