Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Just your Average Princess

Just Your Average PrincessTitle: Just your Average Princess
Author: Kristina Springer
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Publication Date: October, 2011
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel
Summary: Jamie Edwards has a dream. She wants to be the Pumpkin Princess.  She has been gearing up for it for YEARS.  She works diligently at her father's pumpkin patch and everyone in Average, IL knows her.  She is a shoo in.  And on top of it all, Danny, her totally dreamy crush, is really paying attention to her. 

But then Milan, Jamie's semi-famous cousin from L.A., comes to visit for the pumpkin season and really throws a wrench in her plans. Milan is everything you'd think about a Hollywood starlet- plastic, loud, judgmental, and beautiful. And she is winning everyone over. Jamie's parents are loving Milan even though she is doing hardly anything at the patch. Danny seems to always have an eye on her.  And to top it all off- Milan is going to run for Pumpkin Princess as well! And no one sees how horrible Milan is being except Jamie. 
What I Think: I love those books where you pick it up, read for two hours and finish a complete book because you cannot put it down.  Just your Average Princess was one of those books for me.  It was so much fun! From the very beginning you like Jamie and are rooting for her and dislike Milan and want to know why.  You have to keep reading to find out the answers of the probing questions:
1) Why Milan was being so rude?!
2) Will Jamie win Danny?
3) Who will win the Pumpkin Princess?
And Kristina Springer was brilliant in how she developed her plot because she scaffolded her reveal of each of these questions throughout the last third of the book.  I also think she played on our nation's fascination and distaste of Hollywood starlets by making Milan fit the stereotypical profile.  It made the emotions more instantaneous, because who wouldn't root for a hard working all American girl vs. a Hollywood starlet?

Although I zoomed through this book, I was disappointed in some of the minor characters and their development.  I would have loved to have the book be 50 pages longer so that Jamie's friendships and crush could have been built up more.  I also was slightly unhappy with the ending, but I am not going to discuss it because of spoilers.

Now, I do not see Just your Average Princess being used in a classroom, but I can see the book being loved by many a teenage girl who will be sitting in their room eating the book up. 
Read Alone: Grades 7 - 12
Read With: Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, Paradise by Jill S. Alexander, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Not that Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
Snatch of Text: 
"I stay in the storybook barn for the rest of the afternoon avoiding Milan.  I read Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, Shel Silverstein, and Kevin Henkes to the kids.  And I do feel a bit better.  You can't be in too foul a mood after reading Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse three times." (p. 70)
Mentor Text in: Plot Development, Characterization
Topics: Romance, Future, Dreams, Family


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