The Princesses of Iowa is an entertaining, well-crafted, and worthwhile read with a lot more depth than is suggested by the book cover. Following an alcohol-induced car crash, Paige's mother, whose actions are often driven by what others think, ships Paige off to Paris to spend the summer as an au pair and to remove her from the public eye. Without realizing it, this time away gives Paige perspective on her life. Back at school, her creative writing class inspires some much-needed introspection and allows Paige to work through her feelings about the accident. During her journey of self-discovery, Paige realizes that she is tired of aligning herself with people who pass judgement and manipulate others by spreading rumors. Adding to the story's plausibility, Paige also makes quite a few mistakes along the way. But in the end, she takes responsibility for her actions and decides to be true to herself, even if it means giving up everything she once thought was important. The Princesses of Iowa also tackles the subject of homophobia and exposes its narrow-mindedness and cruelty. While teens do smoke and party, there is a positive and credible message about the dangers of drunk driving. Language is sometime strong but never gratuitous (sh-t, di-khead, a-shole, f--k, sl-t, wh-re, b-tch, p-ssy) and homophobic slurs are used.