UNDERCOVER PRINCESS by Connie Glynn
Verdict: A light and colourful read
Lottie is a hardworking student at Rosewood boarding school, who loves tiaras, the colour pink, and fairy tales. Ellie is the rebellious princess of Maradova, who joined the school to shirk her royal duties and listen to heavy metal. When a misunderstanding has all of Rosewood believing that Lottie is the princess of Maradova, the girls use this as an opportunity to swap lives, one gaining freedom, and the other gaining her fairy tale wish.
This was just what I needed after a dry spell of reading - something light and imaginative, with vivid descriptions and a fast moving plot.
It's a happy book about friendship, princesses, and protecting others, and the many references to fairy tales woven into the plot make it a very charming book. Even when the princess begins receiving anonymous threats, the events never feel too dark and serious. Instead they feel more like a mystery to solve.
The three main characters also work very well together. Lottie and Ellie are opposites: pink and black, studious and rebellious, day and night. Jamie is Ellie's brooding protector, but its great to see the girls are also able to hold their own when things get tough.
My main criticism is that it reads more like middle grade than young adult fiction. Even through the characters are fourteen, the themes, language, and style all point to a much younger audience. The voice is simple and clear, often telling rather than showing, and the emotions are stated very clearly so there's no room for interpretation. As a young adult book, it's much too overwritten, but as a middle grade book it's perfectly fine.
So if you're looking for a light read and are comfortable with a younger voice, then this could be the read for you.
Source: With thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley.com.