Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Cherie Priest
Illustrator: Kali Ciesemier
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Libby and May became friends almost accidentally. Due to a broken limb and asthma, neither of the girls could participate in their elementary P.E. class. Instead they spent their time entertaining kindergartners by drawing a picture of a princess with sidewalk chalk. But unlike most princesses, this princess had blue hair, wore red chucks, and wielded a purple katana. They dubbed her Princess X. The creation of Princess X was also the start of Libby and May’s friendship. From that point on they were inseparable. They created thousands of Princess X stories and comics and stood by each other through thick and thin. Then Libby and her mom died in a car accident. May was devastated, and started having a recurring dream of Libby surviving the accident. Three years later, May discovers IAmPrincessX.com. But this doesn’t look like the Princess X May and Libby created years ago. This Princess X looks like Libby. As May reads the comic she discovers hidden clues that reference places she and Libby used to go together. By following the clues, May discovers the truth about what happened to her friend.
I Am Princess X is a fast-paced novel that engages readers quickly. The mystery of the Princess X comic and how it retells what happened to Libby will keep readers turning pages. The novel is intermixed with panels from the Princess X comic, which assists the storytelling. The characters are also very believable and realistic. However, the emotional arc of the story gets lost in the adventure and danger of different events. The characters don’t involve their parents enough for how much danger they are in. May has a few brief conversations with her dad about looking for Libby but neglects to tell him or the police about being chased and nearly run over by an SUV. This book does provide an excellent opportunity for parents to discuss with their teenagers what to do in unlikely, but dangerous situations (like kidnapping, being followed, etc.).