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Book Review: The Southern Girls (Pageant, #1) by Cherie Bennett

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In my quest to reread my way through my childhood, I picked up a book called The Southern Girls (Pageant, #1) by Cherie Bennett. I have always been hesitant to read fiction books on the topic of beauty pageants because I use to compete in them from the age of eight to the age of nineteen, and so many books on this topic seem to be completely off base. Or, the author doesn't like pageants and tends to demonize them. However, Cherie Bennett does a fair job of portraying beauty pageants.
This particular book series was one of my favorites by this particular author . . . second to Bennett's Sunset Island book series. The characters are extremely relatable and for the most part, likable. The only exception was Allison "The Virus" Gaylord, who will do anything to win. Of course, there always has to be a bad guy. At one point, Allison blackmails Willow over something in the past that was covered up by her parents. Willow's parents just happen to be big shots in a particu…