Monday, March 15, 2010

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti

Favorite Quote: "And what about the big daddy of all, Prince Charming? What was his secret life?"
Quinn is surrounded by women who have had their hearts broken. Between her mother, her aunt, and her grandmother, Quinn hears nothing but cautionary tales. She tries to be an optimist -- after all, she's the dependable one, the girl who never makes foolish choices. But when she is abruptly and unceremoniously dumped, Quinn starts to think maybe there really are no good men. It doesn't help that she's gingerly handling a renewed relationship with her formerly absent father. He's a little bit of a lot of things: charming, selfish, eccentric, lazy...but he's her dad, and Quinn's just happy to have him around again. Until she realizes how horribly he's treated the many women in his life, how he's stolen more than just their hearts. Determined to, for once, take action in her life, Quinn joins forces with the half sister she's never met and the little sister she'll do anything to protect. Together, they set out to right her father's wrongs...and in doing so, begin to uncover what they're really looking for: the truth.
It's amazing really, what some people will fall for. Mr. Sensitive, the competitive jerk, the control freak, or the "dirty, rotten, liar" in the words of Dorothy Hoffman, Quinn's grandmother. Sometimes though, you never know about your mistake until you really get to know that person. In The Secret Life of Prince Charming, Quinn explores the world of not-so-perfect men, choices, and the complications of, well, someone who is NOT prince charming and someone who is.
This is my first Caletti book. I know, there must always be a "first" for everything, but I'm very sorry I didn't read one sooner. No, wait. If I had, I wouldn't have enjoyed this one so much! It was fun, had a creative plot, and a colorful set of characters––especially Quinn–– that made me really loved reading this book. It was a breath of fresh air from me to read a novel for teens that had some sort of maturity, a guideline, or a message told to you by someone with experience on this subject. And in a way, it was. 
I really liked the way Caletti presented the story. Many people would dramatize it by making the adults shallow as possible, thrown in all kinds of so-called "average teenage stuff", and pull the normal "this is how a love story is" plot. Because of this, I am very hesitant when picking up books about "love stories" among teenagers because everything has gotten to be too cliche. Not so in Prince Charming; every bit of it was original, and even though you might suspect a few things to happen with Quinn, it was exciting to watch her discovery and her adventure unfold all while knowing that there is a good chance of a happy ending.
Another key concept to Caletti's writing with Prince Charming (and maybe in her other books as well) is humor. Realistic, everyday, family humor. Love that. It really makes the characters personalities go far. While showing you characters you could only wish you knew (like Quinn), you also meet some characters that make you cringe, like Berry, Quinn's father, the exotic, smooth-talking casanova that many women (too many) have fallen for. Again, very neat set of characters.

Overall, The Secret Life of Prince Charming was a fantastic story that teen girls would enjoy and appreciate the message of finding a real Prince Charming Caletti. Highly recommend to teens ages fourteen and up. (As for my next Caletti novel, the winner is The Nature of Jade)
|Pages: 336|Year Published: 2009|Publisher: Simon Pulse|
|Genre: Contemporary fiction, teen romance, drama|
|Age Group: YA, ages 14+|Buy/Borrow?| Buy|
|Content: Some language and family drama; 
  will be more appealing to older teens|
|Enjoyed It: 5/5|Content Rating: 4/5|Cover: 5/5|



Unknown said...

Wow, this sounds great. If I see this in a bookshop, I'll pick it up. Great review.

Emma Michaels said...

Amazing review! I will have to put this on my TBR list!

Emma Michaels

Lost in a Book said...

Nice review, I haven't read any of her books yet so maybe now I'll pick one up!!

Maria said...

Great review! I'll have to pick this one up. I haven't read anything by her yet, but like you said, there's a first time for everything :)

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