“Take a Peek” book reviews are short and (possibly) sweet, keeping the commentary brief and providing a little peek at what the book’s about and what I thought.
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.
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.
What a treat! I Am Princess X is a smart, well-written, imaginative odyssey focused on girl power and the bonds of friendship. May and Libby are deeply connected, and their true devotion to one another is what drives the search for answers forward.
Fast-paced, clever, pulse-pounding, and funny, I Am Princess X is a great story of friendship and determination, with plenty of adventure and geeky clue-chasing mixed in. The web comic that becomes a piece of the puzzle is terrific, and I really enjoyed the way the comic provides a map to the secrets of the story.
It’s nice to read a young adult novel where romance, for once, is not a factor at all. There’s lots of tech talk and references to gadgets, devices, screens, and tablets (which makes me wonder if this book will feel dated in 10 years). The plot involves hacking and spyware and questionable internet conduct — but that’s about all that could even possibly raise an eyebrow about inappropriate behavior. Otherwise, it’s practically squeaky clean, so a parent could be comfortable sharing this with mature middle school readers as well as the book’s target teen audience. (I say mature, simply because there is danger and a scary bad guy, with the main characters in serious peril. The bad guy is really creepy and threatening — deadly too.)
Overall, I found I Am Princess X to be fun, memorable and exciting. It’s got a fresh and unusual feel to it, and the narrative-plus-graphics format is very engaging. Check it out!
Title: I Am Princess X
Author: Cherie Priest
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication date: May 26, 2015
Length: 240 pages
Genre: Young adult fiction