The Debutante by Kathryn Williams | Rating: ★★★★☆
Revised review; originally posted in 2008. The Debutante has the perfect formula down when it comes to its target audience. Kathryn Williams is charming as always in her writing as she presents to us a lovely coming of age story that appears in a young girls life when her family decides to up and move to a new location and home during her senior year of high school.
Although The Debutante isn’t a groundbreaking novel by any means, it is surely enough to keep you entertained when you’re in the need of something light and fluffy to read in your free time. It manages to take a familiar formula of writing and turns it into something that still remains refreshing and often hilarious. This is something that Williams manages to do with ease and for that, I love her.
Our story opens with teenager, Annie McRae, having just found out that she will be relocating with her parents to Alabama. This news comes about at a very sensitive time: before senior year begins. And as many people know, senior year is often a crucial time in a teenagers life and to be taken away from all that is familiar? It’s rough. Alas, after some begging and hoping her parents are set in their ways to move.
Goodbye, planned senior year. Goodbye, best friend and boyfriend. Hello, Alabama. This move leads us to a lot of questions as Annie tries to find her identity. Can she keep her old life while adjusting to a new one? Or will everything change further for our narrator?
Annie’s life changes further when she’s pushed out of her comfort zone by having to “learn to become a lady” and promises to become a debutante. In these moments, as she navigates her new life, she discovers things about herself and learns to embrace her new life warmly when trying to make friends and finding a new possible romance. Although she may get under your skin at times, Annie is genuinely a lovely character to root for and it’s nice watching her develop further as a character.
Throughout the story we find many moments that are easy to relate to and will chuckle to ourselves frequently. The Debutante is in the same vein as The Princess Diaries and fans of the genre will eat it up. In the years that have passed since the story had been published, I can honestly say that even though my taste has differed more recently: I still love this novel. Shamelessly, too.
I love it so much that it will always be featured on my summer bookshelf.
So, what are you waiting for? Go pick yourself up a copy of this little gem and enjoy the fluffy goodness that is The Debutante. Pair it with a nice cool drink and a little sunshine, and you’re good to go!