I first discovered Leavitt on the shelves of B&N with Princess for Hire, and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite children authors with this series. Her sequel, The Royal Treatment was an absolute delight to read.
Desi Bascomb is back as a princess substitute, advancing to Level Two at Facade. She is working on BEST (Betterment of Elite Sub Training) for her Level Two jobs; she is starring as Titania in the school's production of Midsummer Night's Dream; she is dealing with her crush for Karl; she is dealing with her mother coaching and helping her enemy, Celeste; and that's just the start. There is still Reed to consider. Reed, who is hands off because he is her best friend's crush. Reed, who is starring as Bottom alongside Desi. Reed, who seems to have a lot of acting experience and is full of advice. This novel turns into a mystery when Desi is on the hunt for how magic makes Facade work, and what should she do when the one she is substituting for has no plans to return?
The character of Desi has a lot of growth in this novel, as do the other characters. We learn a bit more about the workings of Facade and of Meredith, who oversees Desi's training and jobs. With a few surprise twists (okay, I saw one of them coming) sprinkled with allusions to Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe and topped with clever dialogue, The Princess for Hire series is one of my favorites.
A few of my favorite moments
"Who made up that expression anyway?" Kylee said. "Why is rolling in your grave bad?Maybe it means you're a zombie or something. If your acting creates a Shakespeare zombie, I'd be all for that. Like, he could come on the stage during all his plays and be like...'Iambic pentameter...bad. Brains...good.'"
I picked up a bottle of Some Like It Hot nail polish. "This is great! It's like the perfect red."
"I prefer Swan Princess Pink."
"You like Grace Kelly?"
"High Society is my favorite old movie." Meredith sighed. "Witty banter, a love triangle, snappy music. Plus, Frank Sinatra is an absolute dreamboat."
|Kelly and Sinatra|
She shook her head. "I don't know if I can. He's, like, a good-looking guy Medusa: I just
freeze up when I see him."
With a strong plot, strong characters, and strong writing, this is a must-read series for tweens, period. Tween girls will delight in the prospect that one day, while taking a bubble bath, they too might be invited to be a part of Facade and work as a princess substitute; otherwise, it's just a great, fun read.
Leavitt hits it out of the park for me with this novel, and I predict we will see a lot of great reads from her in the future. Right now, I'm looking forward to the final book in this series. If you have not read her YA novel, Sean Griswold's Head, you should. I review it here.