I Am Princess X
by: Cherie Priest
Expected Publication Date: May 2015
Genre: Sequential Art/Mystery
I received this ARC at ALA Midwinter 2015. The ARC doesn’t have the artwork but because I forget to look at pictures when I read graphic novels anyway; the missing artwork had no impact on my opinion of the book.
May and Libby have been best friends since the 5th grade and they started a comic named Princess X. When they were 14, Libby dies and the Princess X dies with her until three years later when Princess X posters begin appearing all over town. (Don’t worry, that’s not a spoiler. It’s in the description on the back cover.)
Dang, That’s Was Good
- The cover is cool
- The premise has promise
- The relationship between May and Trick was refreshing.
That’s Too Bad, Dang
- The main issue with this book is the writing.
- The main characters are 17 so technically it should be aimed at 10th to 12th grade but the meat and bones of the writing was too elementary for that age group. It seemed to be written for 6th to 8th grades. Here’s a line from page 35. (FYI-this is written in third person and May is speaking.) “‘That’s why you didn’t let me go to her funeral?’ She meant Mrs. Deaton’s funeral. Obviously she went to Libby’s.” The reader knows she went to Libby’s funeral; she talks about it a couple of pages prior. It’s like this book is written for an eleven year old with a bad memory. There was nothing insightful about the writing or the dialog.
- The story moved really fast but it came across as a short cut. The overview I described above about the best friend’s death happens in the first two chapters.
- There were several fatal flaws meaning if the story was logically written, it would be over faster. For example, Libby has May going through a convoluted scavenger hunt to find her but all she had to do was give her one clue and the story would have been over after 75 pages.
- The writing was uneven. As I stated earlier, the writing is elementary but then in chapter 19, we get this really well written chapter about one of the characters. He’s well developed and his story is more fascinating than the main characters.
- The Princess X comic was not good. I think the publisher, Scholastic, is trying to spin it off into a graphic novel but the storyline wasn’t interesting al all.
- Princess X’s escape was so stupid. I don’t want to spoil anything but REALLY? That’s how you escape?
- The kidnapper is supposedly a computer mastermind yet he couldn’t find May who is all over the internet and has a cell phone? REALLY?
- What about the police? That’s all I’ll say ’cause I don’t want to spoil it.
- And then there are the characters:
- May is extremely underdeveloped. We know that she grows up poor and probably doesn’t have many friends but that’s about it. The same with all the other main characters. You don’t really get to know anyone. May is not likable. At one point she tells her dad to shut up. Who tells a parent to shut up? She’s all complainy about her parents not being around a lot (her parents are divorced and May the lives with her mom in ATL during the school year and her father in Seattle in the summer.) But she’s poor and they probably have to work a lot. Get over yourself, girl. Lots of people have parents who work a lot and her dad was a nice guy.
- Trick was a bit more developed but he had money issues and needed to work to raise a large sum of money yet, he drops everything to help May and her hunt to find her friend who may or may not be dead. WHAT?
The idea was interesting but the execution was disappointing. There was nothing compelling about the writing, the characters, or the comic.