Friday, June 17, 2011

The Secret Life of Prince Charming

I almost didn't read this book. I saw it on the "librarians' favorite books" table at the library, glanced it over, and put it back . . . then said "What the heck," and picked it back up again, because I pretty much never pass up a YA, especially when someone recommends it.

I'll start off by saying that this book is basically nothing like the title and cover lead you to believe. I mean, it sounds and looks like a typical YA romance. But actually, the story's more about the relationship between father and daughters, and between sisters, and just about romantic love in a broad sense. I mean, there is a little teen romance going on, but it takes a backseat to the other story lines--so much so that the romance feels a little too zero to sixty. One second they're barely talking and the next they're madly in love. But I could overlook that in this book, when I usually can't in other books, because the romance was such a small part of the story.

Anyway, here's the summary:
Quinn is surrounded by women who have had their hearts broken. Between her mother, her aunt, and her grandmother, Quinn hears nothing but cautionary tales. She tries to be an optimist--after all, she's the dependable one, the girl who never makes foolish choices. But when she is abruptly and unceremoniously dumped, Quinn starts to think maybe there really are no good men.

It doesn't help that she's gingerly handling a renewed relationship with her formerly absent father. He's a little bit of a lot of things: charming, selfish, eccentric, lazy . . . but he's her dad, and Quinn's just happy to have him around again. Until she realizes how horribly he's treated the many women in his life, how he's stolen more than just their hearts. Determined to, for once, take action in her life, Quinn joins forces with the half sister she's never met and the little sister she'll do anything to protect. Together, they set out to right her father's wrongs . . . and in doing so, begin to uncover what they're really looking for: the truth.
I liked the main character, Quinn, quite a bit. She is down-to-earth and kind and just generally a good person. I liked that she isn't one of those angsty adolescents that are so annoying in books--she's just normal. And I admired the way she juggles being close to her mom AND to her dad, a feat not for the faint of heart for someone in her situation. I also LOVED Quinn's 11-year-old sister, Sprout. She's basically one of the best little sister characters that I've seen in a while. Sprout's just so . . . herself. A little eccentric, a little annoying, but so sure of who she is and what's important.

I don't know why, but this book just really hit the spot for me in terms of a good, solid YA about finding out who you are and redefining your relationships with those you love. And it's full of these little gems of wisdom that had me looking for a pen to write them down. Here's one of them that pretty much encompasses what the book is all about--what Quinn is working towards:
I know about my own ordinariness, I think most people do, and I'm okay with it. I am not the most, the best, the fastest, the greatest, but I am enough. Regular and enough, with my own simple but clear voice that I am learning to hear, and my own feelings I'm learning to accept.
The style and content of this book actually reminded of Sarah Dessen's books, so if you like her, you might try giving this book a shot. I'm definitely going to read some of Deb Caletti's other books to see if they're as good as this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...