From that time on, the world was hers for the reading....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lindsey Leavitt: Princess for Hire

At the beginning of the year, I won a contest. My prize? Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt ()! I was very excited because this book ranked very high on my "to read" list.

When an immaculately dressed woman steps out of an iridescent bubble and asks you 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 a bit of glamour in her Idaho life, the choice is a definite C--that is, once she can stop pinching herself. 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, winning 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.

I thought Lindsey Leavitt came up with a really interesting premise for her debut. Seriously. What little girl hasn't pretended to be a princess? Or fantasized about replacing her ho-hum daily existence with something more exciting and glamorous? I know I have, which made "Princess For Hire" a delectable treat from beginning to end.

I thought the characters were marvelously entertaining, especially Desi's no-nonsense princess agent Meredith. She's tough on the outside, but has a soft spot or Desi and really wants what's best for her and all of the princesses involved.

Desi is a typical girl dealing with boy trouble, bullies, and daily humiliation. This not only makes her sympathetic, but also easy to relate to. I enjoyed reading the shenanigans she got herself into as she subbed for various princesses. Some of her faux pas were laugh out loud funny.

I was also impressed by the character development. The story alternated between Desi's princess adventures and her home life in Idaho, which not only shines a spotlight on how very different the two worlds are, but also helps Desi come to a better understanding of each lifestyle, turning mistakes into valuable lessons. Being a princess isn't all about a life of luxury, makeovers, and popularity, it's also about having a heart and caring for others. And Desi has a gigantic beating heart.

As the cover suggests, Princess For Hire is girly and pink and fun. It was a quick read and a delightful escape. I really liked it and look forward to Desi's future princess adventures.

For more information, visit Lindsey Leavitt at:

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