Saturday, September 29, 2012
Review of Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Title/Author: Princess Academy (Princess Academy #1) by Shannon Hale
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury, first published 2005
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads summary: "Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.
Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates."
Guys, every once in a while I read an MG book and I usually find myself fully immersed in it and being all kinds of happy because they're so fun and cute! Princess Academy is no exception, it was SO GOOD!
With Princess Academy, Shannon Hale has created a fairytale world full of characters for me to love! Miri is such a sweetheart and I loved her spirit! She's always thought everyone looked down on her for not working in the quarry because her father wouldn't let her and is trying to make up for it by putting a smile on people's faces. She loves her family very much and is loyal to her friends and is just all around a really strong girl. Guys, I could see me and Miri being friends if we ever met. She's the kind of girl you WANT to be friends with because she's awesome.
I loved how at the Academy they taught the girls varying subjects, from reading to dancing to economics and diplomacy! If you might get to rule the country in the future, it's important you know more than how to plan a dinner party and I love that Shannon Hale let them have a broad education! Also, the things that change after they've been introduced to all this knowledge goes to show how much you can benefit from going to school and how just knowing how to read can change your life and can change a community.
There were some mean girls who were slightly annoying, but when you get to know everyone a little better, you find that they have a reason for their behaviour and are not just trying to be nasty. The part where the prince enters the story was nice and it didn't turn out like I expected it to in the end, but that was actually great cause it was kinda perfect like this (yes, I know I'm being vague, but SPOILERS).
There's a sweet little romance brewing between Miri and a boy who is all kinds of sweet boyness and I'm really rooting for them! I was so feeling for the poor boy because Miri gave him some mixed signals, but I don't think she was aware of this at the moment.
I'm so happy there's a sequel! It can be easily read as a standalone, but this world is just so magical that I think I'll find myself happily spending some time there with Palace of Stone! If I ever have a daughter, this will be one of the books I shove into her hands cause I think I would have read it to pieces when I was younger.
My rating: 5 stars