01 August 2010

Princess For Hire

 Based solely on the title, what teenage girl wouldn't want to read this book?  It's flippin' fantastic!  I wasn't terribly excited when I started it - though my dear friend and mentor Di Herald recommended it highly.  Though the book has been out since March in the US, I read the ARC, and LOVED it.  What a creative storyline!

The premise of the story is that Desi - an average, if not slightly dorky, teenage girl - lives a fairly boring life in Idaho.  One day she stumbles upon a job as a princess for hire.  A princess stand-in if you will.  When a princess wants a vacation from her life, she calls on a substitute princess.  Desi accepts the job just to bring a little glamor into her life.  Though the job is pretty awesome in theory, in practice Desi gets stuck in some amazingly awkward situations.  She also finds herself wanting to not just 'stand in' but to stand up for the princesses she works for - her gut tells her that these girls would like their lives to be different, but just can't find the strength to make changes.  When her actions become controversial, Desi finds herself caught in the middle of some pretty powerful magical people - one of which is her mentor and coach, the distant yet driven Meredith.

I loved that the author paired a very fantastic idea (substitute princess) with some very real life, down to earth problems that everyone - even princesses - have to deal with.  Things like overbearing siblings and arguments with parents.  Through Desi, the reader comes to realize that being a princess isn't necessarily all it's cracked up to be. Desi realizes that life is complicated no matter where you live or what you have to live through, and she is such a realistic teenager that it's easy to identify with her (even though I haven't been a teenager for a very long time...).

I would highly recommend this book, and you'll probably find it in the GMMS Library collection very soon.  Thanks for the suggestion Di!

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