Monday, June 20, 2011

MiddleGrade Monday: Princess for Hire

Princess for Hire, by Lindsey Leavitt

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 239 (paperback)
Reading Level: 10 and up
Enjoyment Level: High

This one has been on my list for a while, and I was so excited to see her at this years Houston Teen Book Con. I picked it up and had it signed while I was there.

From GoodReads:

When Desi Bascomb gets discovered by the elite Facade Agency–royalty surrogates extraordinaire–her life goes from glamour-starved to spectacular in a blink. As her new agent, Meredith, explains, Desi has a rare magical ability: when she applies the ancient Egyptian formula “Royal Rouge,” she can transform temporarily into the exact lookalike 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. Like, what do you do when a bullying older sister puts you on a heinous crash diet? Or when the tribal villagers gather to watch you perform a ceremonial dance you don’t know? Or when a princess’s conflicted sweetheart shows up to break things off–and you know she would want you to change his mind?

In this hilarious series debut, one girl’s dream of glamour transforms into something bigger: the desire to make a positive impact. And an impact Desi makes, one royal fiasco at a time.

For some reason, I thought this would be for older kids, but it’s definitely middlegrade reading. I flew through it quickly, and really enjoyed the story. I like the unique take on the princess theme. Desi gets to live the lives of princesses, even if she isn’t one herself, but it helps her take charge of her real life, too.

Desi is a great main character. She’s fun and she’s got a mind of her own. There are some things she struggles with, which make her grounded and realistic, despite the magic of being a princess-double. Desi wants to help people and make an impact. She doesn’t always stick to the rules and she deals with the consequences of that – and things still turn out okay in the end.

The other characters don’t necessarily fade into the background, but they don’t feel like major players either, except for Meredith. There are definitely things going on with her. I like how she interacts with Desi. Despite coming across as dismissive, we get to see why she’s like that and we get to see why she makes the best agent for Desi.

If you know a little girl who dreams of being a princess, this one is for her. It’s a good one for the pre-Princess Diaries age group. The story is excellent and it’ll keep even reluctant readers reading to find out how Desi gets into and out of her spots of trouble.

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate


  1. This sounds like a good break from the stuff that I've been reading lately. It's like Princess Diaries gone supernatural