The Princess Protection Program -- Book Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Now over the years we have loved fairy tales and princesses. We have explored fairy tales in different cultures as well as real life princesses and fictional princesses. When Hazel was young, she loved fairy tales. Now that she is older, she discusses the inappropriateness of some of them. These discussions remind me of today's book. The book is The Princess Protection Program by Alex London. It was released last week and is recommended for ages 8 to 12.

From the Publisher: 

Where can a princess hide if her Ever After isn’t all that Happy? Bestselling author Alex London turns classic fairy tales on their heads in this fast-paced, funny fantasy about embracing change and taking control of your own story. For fans of the School for Good and Evil and the Chronicles of Never After series.

Every fairy tale ends with its characters living happily ever after, right? A valiant prince quests long and hard to reach the castle where the sleeping princess lies. And with a kiss, he awakens her.

But what if the princess does not think a kiss from a stranger is a very pleasant way to wake up? Yuck!

When Rosamund flees her prince, a Door of Opportunity opens, and she steps through it to the Home Educational Academy (the HEA for short). Rosamund has found the Princess Protection Program, where fugitive fairy-tale princesses escape unwanted affections, untimely ends, and all the other perils of their stories.

But the longer Rosamund lives in the real world, the more questions she has. Does anyone ever graduate from the HEA? Why doesn’t anyone seem to remember the former students? Is the kindly fairy headmistress all she appears to be? Is anyone? And the most important question of all: Can Rosamund change her story?

Acclaimed and bestselling author Alex London weaves together several beloved fairy tales in this fast-paced, funny, and slyly subversive adventure about finding your place in the world.

From Me:

This book explores so many topics. Like I mentioned in my introduction, it questions things like a princess being awoken by a kiss from a prince she never met, or a princess being placed in a glass coffin and then being awoken by a kiss as well. There are so many things in fairy tales that in this day and age seem quite inappropriate. The book also questions the idea of stories and who controls or owns them. And it also discusses freedom of choice. All of which are great topics for discussion with classes or a reading club! 

Rosamund (aka Sleeping Beauty) gets awoken from her 100-year slumber by Prince Percy. Rosamund awakens to find a strange man kissing her and then staring at her. She jumps out of bed and runs for it. When she tries to hide in the throne room lavatory, she finds herself walking out of a woods with strange eyes watching her and at a fence where two students greet her and invite her in. When they hear her name, the students (who are princesses--the Little Mermaid and the Frog Princess) say they have been waiting for her arrival and take her to the headmistress of the school, Verna. Rosamund is thrust into this world where all the other students seem to know every answer and she starts questioning everything. She follows her friends sneaking out at night and discovers pizza as well as other things. Rosamund's questions lead to more questions and eventually she gets her friends on board to question and worry about the real intentions of Verna. 

As for a magical princess story this book has it all. Fairy godmothers, evil sorcerer, unicorns and princesses and a couple princes. It also has a gay Prince Charming. Cinderella and Prince Charming leave their story together because Prince Charming is gay. This book is a fun read and will have readers questioning many things from fairy tales and the appropriateness of some of the stories as well as who owns the stories and what happens when a character doesn't want to live out their story. Plus, it questions making changes that will affect other people. Who should decide. As I mentioned there is so much to discuss with this book. Our school does a lower school and middle school project-based learning this coming week and the theme this year is fairy tales. I let the teachers know about this book last week in case they wanted to include it in their work! They were rather excited for it. I hope you will check it out. You won't be disappointed!