ARC Review: I Am Princess X

Written by: Cherie Priest
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Pages: 256, hardcover
Series: Standalone
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Thanks to TXLA and Scholastic for this ARC!

Book
Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a long-lost girl collide in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen; illustrated throughout with comics.

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.

Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.

Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.

Princess X?

When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There’s an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby’s story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon—her best friend, Libby, who lives.

 

LetsTalk

I snagged this ARC from Scholastic at TXLA after hearing about it online. I didn’t realize at the time that it was Middle Grade, and at the time I was surprised at how small the book was. My second surprise came when I read it and I was blown away by how great the story was. The book felt more YA than MG, yes the plot was simple and straight forward but overall it was a really great book. Since I was so busy with finals I only had the time to read here and there, and I Am Princess X fell into that so easy.

I really loved the story in I Am Princess X, was it straight forward? Yes. Was it a good mystery? Yes. Even though I knew how things would end; I didn’t know how May and Trick were get there. The path wasn’t straightforward it took many twists and turns that had me flipping the pages.

Didn'tWork

When I say the story was straight forward, I’m not kidding. There aren’t any surprise twists at the end that throw you for a loop. There aren’t any great turns that make you sit up straighter. The story that you think will be there in the pages is the story you get. So as you start out reading you already know the ending.

I also really wish there had been more about our main characters. Sure this is a MG novel and there wasn’t a lot of time to be able to focus on the characters with the story rushing along so fast. But I just wish I’d been able to see May and Trick interact on a bit more of a personal level. Just to get to know the two of them better,

DidWork

The complexity of the plot was great. As the reader we knew we’d have to get from point A to point B. But I was constantly guessing as to how we were going to bet there. Having the answer to the final puzzle doesn’t help you when you’re in the maze. We knew the answers were in the comic and that May was going to have to figure it out, but I spent time myself reading over the included comic pages to see if I could figure it out first.

Despite everything the ending was one of the best parts. I got excited, I got into it. Even if I knew it would all be okay, again I found myself asking how in the world the characters were going to get through this one. How we were going to be able to finish this.

Also I know it was the point that the comic pages had to feed nicely into the story but I loved seeing the way the comic worked with the real life story. I think that the two meshed nicely. Admittedly my ARC was missing the finished illustrations, but this just means I have to go find a finished copy asap.

Pickup

This one worked well for me during finals week when I didn’t have time to read, and I didn’t have time to keep up with a plot that was insane. If I didn’t have finals and had more time to devote to this book would I have loved it as much? I’m not completely sure. But I can say that if you need a simple light hearted read you absolutely should go pick up this one.

Sondra

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