This was free to read for a limited time on Riveted Lit. Not only is it free, but this program has me actively expanding my reading choices. Case in point…
I’d never heard of Loser/Queen before and I wasn’t planning to read it. When I first saw it, I said “meh” and was going to leave it at that. But then I forgot my book one day. Desperate, I started to read.
Cammy immediately grabbed me and I loved watching her bobble between right and wrong with the White Rabbit. I was SO happy. Then…it sank. Not enough for a screeching halt, but it was enough.
Was it me or the book? A bit of both.
+ Character progression
+ The Start
The Bad & The Ugly:
Cammy is a charming “old woman in a young body”. She knits, dresses frumpily, stays home with her grandparents and loves the Golden Girls. <- That’s an automatic win in my book. Her relationship with her grandparents are adorable and I loved them as a family. <br/>
Her best friend is a Danish exchange student, Geri who loves Cammy’s authentic self. The fixation on Geri’s accent made me uncomfortable at times. At first it seemed natural but Geri’s been here for years and what idioms she didn’t understand seemed convenient. I might be overthinking it and having a hyper-response. I don’t know really, since I don’t have experience in this area. But it definitely gets better with Cammy’s progression at the end.
While Cammy’s sympathetic, she’s too chicken shit to help the other outsiders like her. That is until she’s humiliated in front of her whole class in a changing fiasco. This was my first bump in the road, I found the setup and Cammy’s decisions that lead there hard to believe. That’s the only reason it wasn’t so vicariously embarrassing that I didn’t have to skip it or run away. (The fremdschämen is strong in me.)
This is what prompts the White Rabbit to assist Cammy with keen observations and strategic planning to rearrange the social pecking order.
At first it was ~glorious~. I admired what was done for the most part. It started with a bang that made me worried, but the WR’s plan is more savvy than a prank war.
I was fascinated with Cammy’s transformation. But she makes some really dumb decisions that I don’t understand. That whole misunderstanding with Dream Boy and her gramps? Ugh.
As the White Rabbit’s mischief escalates, Cammy’s increasing torn between her old and new self. I liked this question of where to draw the line and the cost of being noticed, being a someone.
Something has to give, of course. I wasn’t surprised by the hill Cammy decided to die on, but I didn’t understand why WR made the request. At least, not until the very end and even that’s a gut feeling. Or maybe a hopeful wish given WR’s final antics. Guess I’ll never really know.
This is when the book really started to decline for me. The careful planning dissolved and my connection with Cammy eroded.
Once Cammy’s luck turned, the reaction didn’t seem right. There should’ve been more backlash and outrage. And being that coordinated in her punishment? Nope, don’t buy it. It’s so tame in comparison to everything else.
I thought the most disappointing part was how little Cammy did to find out White Rabbit’s identity and how she missed some pretty big clues. Then they were revealed… The red herring was more interesting and less obvious than the true culprit.
I wasn’t feeling Loser/Queen anymore but it was almost over and I wanted to see how Cammy turned out. The epilogue is great, showing the different pieces and parts. She did good. There’s character progression all around and I like how it worked out. Yet my early enthusiasm never came back.
I don’t regret reading it but after falling in love so quickly, it wound up disappointing. Not a bad contemporary, and has a few characteristics you won’t find elsewhere, but it’s hit or miss in the end.
If you don’t love, like, or find its preview intriguing, it’s probably safe to skip it. If you’re looking for a mystery, the White Rabbit’s doesn’t hold up. If you like underdog stories, a shy girl coming out of her shell, and character progression, it’s worth a shot.