YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Princess For Hire by Lindsey Levitt
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: March 16th 2010
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Silver star (3.95/5 stars)
Synopsis: When a well-dressed woman steps out of a bubble and wants to know if you’d like to become a substitute princess, do you
A) run
B) faint
C) say yes?
For Desi Bascomb, who’s been longing for some glamour in her Idaho life, the choice is a definite C). Desi has a rare ability: with the help of “Royal Rouge,” she can temporarily transform into the exact look-alike of any princess who needs her subbing services. Dream come true, right?
Well, Desi soon discovers that subbing involves a lot more than wearing a tiara and waving at cameras…. In this winning debut, one girl’s dream of glamour transforms into the desire to make a positive impact. And an impact Desi makes, one royal fiasco at a time.

Review: Princess For Hire was a fun and heartwarming middle-grade novel. This book sparks our imagination because it’s hardly believable that a women steps out of a bubble out of nowhere. While I found the story a little too cheesy for my taste, I am sure middle graders will enjoy this book and will be begging for more. My 11-year-old self would have happily gobbled this book.

At first glance, Desi, the main character, has the tendency to look down on herself. She talks about how she was not pretty with her braces and other superficial problems. She pines for a guy who probably doesn’t know she exists. I thought despite her character acting more like a 12-year-old than a 14-year-old, I thought Levitt did an effective job capturing her voice. Desi was an engaging narrator and she’s just too funny for words. As I read on, I began to like Desi more. Sure, in the beginning she was rather self conscious but upon further thinking, I realised that everyone has been through the phrase where they hated how they looked.

While I enjoyed reading this book, I wasn’t blown away by it and I had some minor issues with the writing. There were a lot of “telling” done, instead of “showing”. Levitt would tell us how Desi feels instead of showing it through her actions. This bugged me. The beginning of the book was enjoyable but the momentum grew slower in the middle. Each princess job only lasted for a short period, hence, this left little room for character development for both protagonist and secondary characters. But since this is a middle-grade novel, I suppose it is forgivable and will overlook these problems.

Moving on, the adventures Desi went on were fun to read about and fairly well done. How can you not love a book where the main character gets to become princesses? Desi is a delightful character who is full of wit and has a heart of gold. Forget reality and lose yourself in this amusing, fun girly book. I recommend this book to tweens and teens age 11-14 who love princesses or anything Disney.

PRINCESS FOR HIRE WEEK

Monday- Review
Tuesday- Interview with Lindsey Levitt
Wednesday- Interview with Desi
Thursday- Contest to win 5 copies of PFH!

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