Charlotte Gorman loves her job as an elementary school librarian, and is content to experience life through the pages of her books. Which couldn’t be more opposite from her identical twin sister. Ginny, an Instagram-famous beauty pageant contestant, has been chasing a crown since she was old enough to enunciate the words world peace, and she’s not giving up until she gets the title of Miss American Treasure. And Ginny’s refusing to do it alone this time. She drags Charlotte to the pageant as a good luck charm, but the winning plan quickly goes awry when Ginny has a terrible, face-altering allergic reaction the night before the pageant, and Charlotte suddenly finds herself in a switcheroo the twins haven’t successfully pulled off in decades. Woefully unprepared for the glittery world of hair extensions, false eyelashes, and push-up bras, Charlotte is mortified at every unstable step in her sky-high stilettos. But as she discovers there’s more to her fellow contestants than just wanting a sparkly crown, Charlotte realizes she has a whole new motivation for winning.
Charlotte long ago made peace with the fact, she is not the beautiful twin, but the nerdy bookish twin who is cute and quirky, but not beautiful. Charlotte’s sister, Ginny is the twin everyone wants to know, the one the boys want to date, and the girl the other pageant contestants want to beat. With only one change left to achieve her ultimate pageant dream, Ginny has called her twin to her side for moral support as she makes her final run at the Miss American Treasure title.
Though Charlotte doesn’t agree with the whole “pageant life” her sister has carved out for herself, she also wants to support her twin. Additionally, Charlotte really wants to spend her down time at Universal Studios and soak up all the geeky, nerdiness she can. She’s got her nerd shirts and full week pass ready to go, and then, disaster strikes. After what should have been a delicious cheat meal before the competition begins, Charlotte’s gorgeous twin wakes in the middle of the night in the throes of a horrifying allergic reaction that leaves her utterly distraught and unable to compete.
Good thing Ginny has a twin sister . . . .
Though Charlotte initially has no intention of stepping into her twin’s stilettos, her twin plays the one card guaranteed to hook Charlotte, the dead mom card. With nothing left to do but give in, Charlotte tucks in an allows her far more experienced sister get her primped and primed for the Miss American Treasure preliminaries. Charlotte is a witty, intelligent girl, but she isn’t at all certain how her wit and intelligence are going to get her through the swimsuit, short interview, and evening gown portion of the competition. What’s more, once she begins to talk to the other contestants, even her confidence in her wit and intelligence begin to fail her. As it happens, all the contestants are witty and intelligent women which certainly changes Charlotte’s perspective and opinion about pageants and pageant life she has long made fun of. The deeper she gets into the competition, the more respect Charlotte has for not only the other contestants, but also for her sister, and the guiltier she feels for deceiving a group of women she has come to genuinely like.
The Bottom Line: Let me tell you what, I completely enjoyed this book and found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion. From the moment you understand Charlotte and Ginny are twins, you understand exactly where this story is going. What you don’t know involves the twists and turns, the trips and dips, the awesome talent competition, and the romance that blooms amid the crazy. What The Accidental Beauty Queen is really all about isn’t the glitz and glamour, but self-discovery, friendship and loyalty, and simply being who you are and were always meant to be. Charlotte and Ginny both have a lot of maturing to do, and that growth happens in the span of one crazy, tumultuous week. I found myself quite taken with this book and look forward to Teri Wilson’s next offering.