Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Jennifer Roy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Eleven-year-old Claire Gross is just a regular girl living in a sleepy town with one huge secret: her cousin Belle is engaged to the Prince of England, and Claire is about to be a junior bridesmaid in the wedding of the century. Although Claire adores her cousin, she’s not so sure that this marriage is a perfect match. Between her parents’ divorce and her special interest in royal British history, Claire’s not so sure that “happily ever after” exists. But when Claire and her mom get whisked away to England and thrown into wedding activities, she discovers that a princess-wannabe is determined to sabotage the big day. Quickly, Claire realizes that she must put aside her own misgivings in order to save the day. Among the mishaps and mayhem, Claire finds her own romance with a cute British Lord, befriends others involved in the ceremony, and is pampered with the luxurious royal treatment. At long last the grand ceremony arrives, and the royal couple is married happier than ever.
Whether or not there such a thing as "happily ever after" is the biggest theme within this novel. This story helps readers realizes that fairy tale endings may be impractical, but a little magic can still be found in real life. Recognizing the possibility for blissful reality is accomplished by acknowledging that things don’t go perfectly smooth in love and marriage, but that happiness can still be found despite the bumps along the way. This is made apparent in the relationship between the Prince and Belle, and the struggles that they encountered before they finally made it to the altar. However, the story makes a point to focus on how each of their hardships allowed them to come out stronger. Through this novel, young readers can come to understand that you can realistically “live happily (enough) ever after.”