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Review: Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt

Princess for Hire 
By Lindsey Leavitt

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Release Date: March 16, 2010

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: borrowed/Public Library
Purchase: Book Depo. | Amazon | Kindle
About the Book:

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.

This book nearly killed me because I was laughing so hard, the narration was just hilarious! Right away, this story pulled at me. Maybe it comes from my not-really-secret not-so-childish wish of becoming a princess at at least one point in my life. This book was wonderfully, crazily unrealistic--bubble transporters, agents with pretty, colorful hair, and magic makeup that changes you from the average person to a freaking princess qualifies as unbelievable. But, it felt fantastic to be in that position with Desi. And to read as Desi not only navigates the intense world of royalty, but as she learns something about herself, made it worth picking up this book.

Desi, although I felt like her voice was suited more toward older YA--I mean is anyone ever that witty at thirteen?--she made this book fun to read, leaving me struggling to breathe through fits of laughter. But most important to me was that she was lovable, relatable. A girl with a heart of gold. HoG girls are the best ones to read about, because when they do something amazing for others and get rewarded in the most incredible ways, you can't help but feel good and happy for the MC. And I admired her because she went out of her way to go above and beyond and help so many throughout the novel. I can never get enough of these MCs, the good girls who make tough choices but ultimately do good things.

The plot, while it entertained, didn't totally satisfy me though. I found myself skipping around and getting bored here and there. But then my interest would suddenly get renewed. It was a rollercoaster, reading this book, and I mostly stuck through it instead of jumping out because of Desi. It was imperative that I see how this first step in her journey played out. And what I found was that this book was a decent start to what I hope turns out to be a memorable and awesome series.

And I also hope that the romance improves in the next installment, as well. I mean, I'm a little confused and a little wary at the choice in love interests here. I would be for Karl, if he wasn't already taken. *SPOILER* I assumed he'd be in love with the real princess, so how would it work out for her and Karl? I like that they have a lot in common and I think it's adorable that he's not the most gorgeous guy on the planet, HOWEVER what kind of turmoil is going to come about because of Desi's selection in guys plagues me. And the guy at the end... do I smell love triangle? *END of spoiler* I don't know how this romance is going to turn out and I'm not sure that I liked what I saw, at least not totally. But I do see the potential. And the possible relationships Desi could have is another thing pushing me to continue with this series despite my lack of fawning over the plot.

All in all, I enjoyed the beginning of this series and I intend to continue with it because it was funny, entertaining, and filled with enough good, well-thought out plot devices that guarantees that this series is definitely going to some great places. I expect that I'll love the sequel as opposed to my only liking its predecessor. Princess for Hire is definitely for fans of either or a combination of The Princess Diaries and Paranormalcy.


"...All right." He moved closer and flicked off the lights. "You’re obviously having a hard day, so I’m gonna show you something special."
Uh... they’d warned us about this in the employee orientation video. "Look, Drake, I don’t feel comfortable with you... uh..."
He didn’t say anything for a minute, just stared at me funny before bursting into laughter. "You thought... Oh, come off it. You’re way too young for me. Really, a fetus. Besides, you’re not my type. I mean, you’re too tall and skinny and I usually like a little meat—"
"I get the point." (11)

"If she can stand it, I can. Play it!" he said.
Wait, what? That’s a line from Casablanca. Did he know that? I watched him chew the disgusting sausage and couldn’t stop a strange feeling rising up my throat. Not the sausage (gross!), but uncontrollable laughter.
He swallowed the bite and, in a perfect Humphrey Bogart impersonation, added, "Here’s looking at you, kid."
I was laughing so hard now, I felt faint. Giddy. "I love that movie! I used to pretend my Ken doll was Humphrey Bogart."
He cracked a smile. "Sorry, doll. I don’t think Ken could do Bogie justice. Nobody can. Hollywood stars now just don’t have the same... you know."
"I know!" I leaned in. "And Ingrid Bergman! Did you know Ann Sheridan was also considered for the part?"
"Oh, no. Ingrid Bergman was born to—" Karl froze. "I mean, I only watch movies like that when nothing else is on, of course. Because I’m too busy... hunting." (181-182)


Small Review said...

I'm glad you liked it! I think you'll like the sequel even more. The plot of The Royal Treatment is a lot less episodic and the romance, well, I think you'll be happy with how it all turns out :)

Liz. R said...

I love those extracts! Especially the last one - this book definitely sounds hilarious! Glad you found it funny and entertaining - I'll definitely have to read it! Great review :).