Review: Bookended by Beauty Queens, by Victoria Marshal

Bookended by Beauty Queens
Victoria Marshall

Product Description (from
Angie Palmer likes her life just the way it is-private. She has no desire to entangle herself in complex friendships, and her relationship with her two beauty queen sisters is safely distant. When disaster strikes Angie takes her Grandmother into her home. Life with Grandma comes with a world of changes, and new friends, including Val, a drag queen with hopes of being the next US-Gay Beauty Queen. Angie is determined to keep Val at a distance but Val has an instinct for knowing Angie’s heart. Just as Angie gets comfortable with Grandma living with her, a budding friendship with Val, and a new romantic interest, everything takes an unexpected turn. Val is the victim of a violent crime and ends up in a coma. Angie begins a struggle against Val’s family who wants to remove their son from life support. Suddenly Angie’s private life becomes very public, and her world becomes a media circus. She is caught in a clash between religious beliefs and gay rights. Through many twists and turns, Angie discovers a new appreciation for family, friends, and love. In the end, Angie learns that a life filled with people to care about is never too crowded.

My Thoughts:
I have to confess, I began this book thinking it was going to be a fluffy romance novel with a drag queen best friend as the only twist. In fact I read the first chapter while I was on vacation in Mexico last month, put it aside, and didn’t pick it up again until the end of June. I’m glad I returned to it, though, because while there are elements of fluff in the novel, the reality is that it addresses some ripped-from-the-headlines issues, like when to pull the plug on a comatose patient (how odd to find my liberal self siding with Angie, who wants to keep Val alive).

It’s refreshing to read books that end well. Not perfect happy endings, because Val and his/her family (I’m not sure which pronoun is correct) don’t really reconcile, but definitely on an up-note.

While I liked the characters and the plot of Bookended by Beauty Queens my Kindle file was rife with typos. I blame bad editing, not bad writing, but it was frustrating to be reading along and suddenly be jarred out of the story.

Overall, however, Bookended by Beauty Queens was a satisfying summer read, and I hope to read more from this author.

Goes well with: your favorite cocktail. Or any drink with an umbrella in it.