Thursday, October 25, 2012
A Farewell to Charms by Lindsey Leavitt
Release Date: June 26th 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Review copy from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Desi Bascomb is a princess substitute prodigy--she's the fastest employee ever to advance to level three in the Facade Agency, and the youngest to ever be a full-time sub. But now with all eyes on Desi, the only thing she wants is a moment alone to talk to Reed, who's a Facade legacy and secretly a sub for princes As Desi trains for her new role, she spies more than a few cracks in Facade's perfect appearance. But uncovering the agency's dark past might require more than a princess sub can handle by herself. Desi is no damsel in distress, but sometimes a girl needs a knight in shining armor.(courtesy of Goodreads)
Reading A Farewell to Charms was bittersweet. I adore the Princess for Hire series and am sad to see it come to an end. But I'm excited to read more from Lindsey.
There is a lot going on in this last book. Perhaps a little too much, but there are so many plot elements in the series that need to be resolved. You have Desi serving as a Level 3 sub, further investigating & protesting Facade's practice of stealing magic, Desi and Reed's burgeoning relationship, conflicts between Desi and her friend Kylie, and Desi's interaction with her family. Going back and forth between so many different topics certainly keeps the book from dragging, but it also gets somewhat choppy.
As always, Desi is full of spunk and passion. She's at the age where everything is black and white and she is incredibly gung ho about pursuing the cause she thinks is right. But when something is confusing or gray - like her relationship with Reed - she is much more hesitant and childlike. It's cute seeing the juxtaposition in her character. And I love how she is with Reed. He's a nice, normal boy who treats her well and values her opinion.
I wish we could have seen more Princess subbing scenarios. There were certainly significant portions of the book dedicated to them, but I would have liked to see even more. Much of the book was focused on Desi's crusade against Facade's magic stealing. This plot element lends substance to the story, but wasn't as much fun as the cutesy princess subbing story arcs. Of the fun princess subbing scenes, I particularly enjoyed the kind of crazy ninja Princess Vanna.
The Princess for Hire series is shelved with MG but easily fits in the young YA category. Often I get frustrated with the juvenility of MG because I'm accustomed to YA. I rarely had that difficulty with Princess for Hire There are times where Desi seems adorably (or frustratingly) young. However, there are also times when she seems improbably mature for a 13 year old. Mostly, it's nice to read a series that is good natured, with good messages, but above all is super adorable.