Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Published: Disney/Hyperion, 2010
Cover Score: A
Overall Grade: A-
Desi Bascomb's hopes for an amazing summer are quickly disappearing. Stuck with a job that includes dressing up as a groundhog for the local pet store, all that unpopular Desi wants in life is a bit of glamour and the ability to have an impact on people. So when an impeccably-dressed woman in a shining bubble offers Desi a job as a substitute for princesses, Desi jumps at the opportunity. Now, with the help of Royal Rouge, a magical transforming powder, Desi can stand in for any princess that just needs a break from royal life. But being a princess is more than just wearing a tiara and waving to paparazzi. What does one do when a bullying sister puts you on a date-only diet? Or when you are expected to perform a tribal dance you don't know? Desi's determined to help make the princess's lives better...even if she has to break the rules.
My thoughts: I had high hopes for this book. First of all...just look at that cover. It's just so pink and girly and sparkly. The content of the story was just as fluffy and enjoyable as the cover suggested.
Desi's character was super funny and relatable. I could really feel for her, through every crazy and hilarious situation that her unique job put her in. I loved the creativity in the plot line. Subbing for princesses? I've never seen something like that before! Ms. Leavitt set up a well-developed new world that was fun and refreshing and full of girl-power. It reminded me of Kay Cassidy's The Cinderella Society, except with better-outlined details and more action.
The story was a quick read, and one of my favorite parts was learning about all the princesses that Desi got to sub for. I loved all the different cultures and expectations for royalty brought up in the book (it kept the book fresh and interesting), and I loved how spunky and confident Desi was--she had a real voice that brought humor to everything.
Overall, a great debut from Ms. Leavitt that will resonate with girls all over. I can't wait to see what's next for Desi!