College soccer defines 20-year-old Megan’s life, until her mom forces her to participate in an exclusive debutante season.
Megan immediately makes the debutantes’ pedigrees clear, noting that, “even in 2016 a Bluebonnet debut in Dallas still meant white girls of privilege and wealth.” And while her family’s cattle ranch is bleeding money, Megan’s trust fund ensures that she’s largely able to keep up with the ridiculous expenditures on stylists, custom designer attire, and lavish parties. Megan’s rough edges (such as her inability to flirt) are eventually smoothed as she learns the importance of becoming socially acceptable through the use of plastic “chicken cutlet things” to increase her bust size and shapewear to alter her silhouette and by learning to properly serve tea. As in any good ugly-duckling metamorphosis story, brash Megan manages to catch the eye of just the right man. Unfortunately, as the romance plotline plays out, any notions of female empowerment that Megan’s transformation supposedly represents are thoroughly undermined. The novel does introduce real issues of domestic violence and sexual abuse but then largely marginalizes them in favor of focusing on the challenges of being a rich debutante.
Ultimately, though a season undoubtedly presents conflicts for its participants, Megan’s are unlikely to resonate with most modern readers. (Fiction. 14-18)