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Book Review: I Am Princess X
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I Am Princess X

I Am Princess X
Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Cherie Priest
Illustrated by Kali Ciesemier
Arthur A. Levine Books | Scholastic
Release Date: May 26th, 2015
Cover Price: $18.99

May was a loner in a new school. One day, a girl came up to her and drew on the playground with some chalk. That was the birth of Princess X. This girl, Libby (also new to the school), became May’s best frend. They were inseperable. Together, Libby and May created notebooks upon notebooks of the adventures of Princess X. Libby drew the pictures. May wrote the stories. But they came up with the adventures together. And they didn’t need anyone else.

“If she’s got a sword, she’s probably got a mission. Maybe she’s a spy, or a soldier, or like you said – she could be a ninja. She could have a code name. We could call her… Princess X.”

And then Libby died. She and her mother drown when their car ran off the road. And May lost her best friend.

Years later, after her parents divorced, she was visiting her dad in NYC, ambling around the streets when she spies… a Princess X sticker? And they’re everywhere! I Am Princess X is everywhere. There’s a comic, a website, and merchandise. Is Libby really alive? Or has someone found the notebooks? All May knows for sure… she has to read the comics to find the answers.

This little book/comic mystery surprised me, delightfully so. I read it straight through, as eager to get through the comic mystery as May was. The comic inside the novel, with both carrying equally interesting connected stories, were so incredible. I shared May’s frustration when her Dad didn’t believe her, and her anxiety when faced with a real Princess X adventure.

Kali Ciesemier does a great job with the illustrations, maintaining the character, while simultaneously simulating the evolution of Princess X from the drawing of a 5th grader, to that of a teen, who has had lots of practice.

My only slight criticism is that while it is a perfect read for the female 12 and up set, younger boys might not be interested solely because of the title. But that might be on purpose – the desired readership could be tween and teen girls. Whenever I read YA novels, I ask my 11-year old son to read them too, and he usually obliges. He was hesitant to try it. I’m still working on it.

I Am Princess X was released May 26th, 2015, and is available in both hardcover and kindle formats on Amazon.com.

Arthur A. Levine Books synopsis:

Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a long-lost girl collide in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen, & illustrated throughout with comics.

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the comics, May wrote the stories, and Princess X fought monsters, ghosts, and other assorted creepazoids from her haunted house high on a hill.
Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across a bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.

Once upon a now, May is sixteen and lonely when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window — a figure in a gold crown, pink dress, red Chucks, and a long katana sword…

Princess X? Suddenly May sees the princess everywhere: stickers, patches, graffiti — an entire underground world built around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the comic, the more shocking connections she finds between Libby’s death and Princess X’s adventures. And that means only one person could have started this phenomenon — her best friend, Libby, who lives.

Illustrated throughout with the Princess X webcomic, I Am Princess X is a mystery, wrapped in a friendship story, bound up with a cyberthriller… and all-around awesome.

 I Am Princess X Full Cover

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