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The Princess Plot

The Princess Plot is a YA/middlegrade contemporary novel by German author Kirsten Boie.

Fourteen year old Jenna has always felt she paled in comparison to her thinner, prettier best friend Bea. But when movie producers hand out flyers for an audition, they all seem to think that SHE is perfect for the role of a princess!

Before she knows it, the movie people have convinced her domineering Mom to let her give it a shot, and whisk her away to a small country she’s never heard of, Scandia, to start prepping for the role.

Yet, when she arrives, things start to smell fishy. The real-life princess of Scandia apparently wants to take a break from public life after the sudden death of her father the King, according to what Jenna’s told. So, they tell Jenna – who looks remarkably like the true princess after some make-up, colored contacts, and a blonde wig – to step in to her shoes for actual royal outings, as a sort of final audition.

It doesn’t take long, however, for Jenna to realize Scandia is a country in turmoil, right on the brink of a civil war – and she might be, unwittingly, part of a rebel plot!

The Princess Plot is a mixture of royalty in a foreign country and a modern city girl trying to break free of her mother’s overprotectiveness. Definitely a mix that a lot of middlegrade girls would find appealing!

Despite a tone that is difficult to gel with (possibly due to a translation from the original German into English), the mystery that weaves itself into these two girls lives is intriguing and pretty fast-paced. I was interested to know what was going on.

I had a couple problems, though. Jenna’s aversion to clues and lack of noticing the suspicious circumstances surrounding her sudden discovery as an actress is a bit hard to stomach. I tried to tell myself that she was just being na├»ve and blinded by her self-esteem issues, but we all know that excuse only goes so far. So this issue led to a disconnect between me and the characters, and eventually had me way ahead of Jenna, plot-wise. I was guessing plot reveals correctly before I was supposed to.

The Princess Plot was always interesting, but the way the book presents itself with switching viewpoints, often cutting away right when someone’s about to reveal some info, actually seemed to drag the action out unnecessarily.

Though I think there might be some fun in here for middlegrade girls who like a little thrill and politics with their princess fantasies, I wasn’t all that impressed unfortunately. It just didn’t have enough humor, logic, or zippy delight that really propels a book like The Princess Plot to true enjoyment, in my opinion.

Since the sequel, The Princess Trap, is already scheduled to be on its way to me, I’ll be reading it. And I certainly didn’t hate The Princess Plot – it was easy to read in many ways – so I’ll hope that The Princess Trap improves on these issues I had.

Either way, think The Princess Plot sounds like the perfect book for you? Read it for yourself and see if you agree or disagree with me! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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