Lindsey Leavitt grew up in Las Vegas and now lives in Alabama with her husband and two small daughters. Although she has been a substitute teacher and a homecoming princess, she has never been a substitute princess. Yet. She's still scanning the job pages. Until then, Lindsey is hard at work on the next book in the Princess for Hire series. Visit her on the web at www.lindseyleavitt.com
When 14-year-old Desi answers a classified ad that reads "Princess for Hire," she can't believe her luck: Desi finds out she has MP (Magic Potential). This means she has what it takes to become a princess surrogate, which requires the ability to physically transform into the image of any princess across the globe. Desi doesn't have to think twice (she lives in Sproutville, Idaho, and her current job involves wearing a groundhog costume). She signs on with Meredith, a no-nonsense "[p]rincess agent extraordinaire," who gives Desi a crash course in standing in for vacationing royals. Filled with slapstick humor that some might find grating, and populated by an over-the-top cast of characters, Desi's story consists of one mishap after another, as she tries to navigate the love lives and friendships of the royals. First in a planned series, Leavitt's debut novel has an entertaining premise that would be right at home as a TV movie for tweens. Though the stakes never feel high and Desi's ultimate triumph is a foregone conclusion, Desi shows that she's a heroine with heart. Ages 11-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Gr 6-8-Readers still lamenting the conclusion of Meg Cabot's "Princess Diaries" (HarperCollins) will eagerly embrace this first volume in the adventures of Desi Bascomb. The 15-year-old is stuck in Sproutsville, ID, where she is tormented by her ex-best friend, Celeste, and is working a miserable job at Pets Charming, where she is forced to dress up as a groundhog. Then she spies an ad for a princess sub and meets agent Meredith, who informs Desi that she has a rare magical gift that will allow her to apply royal rouge and stand in for any princess in need of a break. Desi is sent on three missions for three very different young women, and though she is told not to interfere, at last she sees her chance to make an impact. Though the plot is predictable and concepts such as royal rouge and getting from job to job in a bubble are silly and contrived, overall the novel is frothy fun. Desi is constantly comparing herself to seemingly perfect Celeste, and it is only through her new job that she begins to discover her own worth. This is a fast-paced and humorous read with a dash of romance. It's sure to leave readers longing for the next installment.-Shari Fesko, Southfield Public Library, MI Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.