It's been a long time since I've read a book that wasn't edgy, filled with swear words or slightly offensive. It's been an especially long time since I've found a book like that in the YA genre, but I'm now happy to say Princess Academy is a book like that! 4.5 out of 5 stars!
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
4.5 out of 5 stars
Published in 2005
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, considering the fact that I don't usually like books in third-person. However, Shannon Hale did an excellent job of writing in it. I could really get a great idea of Miri's character, personality and feelings. Third-person actually worked in Princess Academy. I liked how it was just as first-person, probably even more.
Speaking of Miri, I really loved how she developed in the story. She was always fairly smart, but she became even smarter throughout. I loved how she became more caring and friendly deeper and deeper into the book. She was creative, innovative, fun and inspiring! I also loved how relatable she was! Miri was really fun to read about!
I liked the whole simplicity of the novel, not a girl saving her world, just a girl saving herself and her friends. It wasn't some huge battle between good and evil. It was just a book about a girl leading her friends and choosing the best for everyone. However, there were still a few twists in the plot that I did not see coming. For example, I did not see the whole power thing coming! I absolutely adored this plot!
I loved the writing style; it was done with the perfect amounts of description. While it was third-person, not once was it too flowery. There was a bit of description, but not enough to make a reader bored or anxious. Plus, it was actually really fun reading the descriptions! I loved reading about the mountains and the snow and the carvings!
Overall, Princess Academy is a great read for people of all ages. It's powerful, inspiring and fun! It's an epic story about a brave, clever heroine and her life! I really enjoyed reading it, especially since the simplicity of the book made it seem more complicated, if that makes any sense. Anyways, this book will blow you away! It's definitely not your average fairy tale.