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The International Writers Magazine: Young Fiction

Princess for Hire by Lindsay Leavitt
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
(1 Feb 2010)
ISBN-13: 978-1405246125

Agnes Rae review


When I was six I used to pester my Mum for books about fairies – you know the kind - crystal fairies, flower fairies, rainbow fairies. I used to say “Please Mummy – can I have another one of those three minute books?” Because that’s exactly how long it took to read them! This book on the other hand has much more going for it and although it is about fairies (kind of) it is a substantial read.

Desi Bascomb is a 15 year old American girl and her life is pretty boring. She goes to Sprontville High and has a lame job dressing up in a dog costume advertising a pet shop.  She really fancies a boy called Hayden but, as always, Celeste - the spoilt brat of the story who just happens to be her ex-best friend - gets the boy of her dreams. Everything in Desi life looks like it’s going wrong until she looks in the paper and spots an ad in green shiny ink:

Princess for Hire                                                                                                             
Do you have what it takes to be royalty?
Wanted: teenage girl to serve as a substitute princess.
Must be willing to travel.
Please call Meredith.

Desi snaps up the chance to be a princess without hesitation. Meredith – her fairy guardian – offers Desi the chance to work at being a substitute for various princesses when they seem to go on holiday. This is a great idea for a series of adventures in which Desi uses royal rouge to transform herself into each of the unique royals and she learns that life on the throne is never easy. On her journey she encounters an array of dazzling events: pulchritudinous princes, pleasurable places and problematic paparazzi.

I can recommend this book as it is well-written and enjoyable. I do hope that Lindsey Leavitt writes some more Desi novels. Without giving away the story and ruining the ending, Desi’s adventures are one of a kind – it is fun to think about what it is to be a modern princess and I could see a  lot of me in her. For instance, the boy I fancy doesn’t know I exist and I also like to have adventures, even if they are only in my mind. One big difference is that I am not a substitute princess but then, I can only dream....

© Agnes Rae, Age 11 . 

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