Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Wide Awake Princess series
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
I have had this book on my bookshelf to read for quite some time. It was an okay read and I think elementary aged girls will enjoy it. For me it was pretty simple and predictable. I also had some trouble relating and engaging with the characters.
Terrified of the curse that was put on their eldest daughter Princess Gwen (basically a sleeping beauty curse) the King and Queen of the realm ask a good fairy to prevent their youngest daughter Princess Annie from being similarly cursed. As a result Princess Annie is spelled so that no magic will work on her. Sounds awesome until you consider that all the Princes and Princesses of the area are magically enhanced both in beauty and in abilities. This results in Annie being a rather plain princess. However, when Gwen succumbs to her curse and the whole kingdom falls asleep it is up to Princess Annie to save it…because of course the curse couldn’t affect Princess Annie.
I don’t really have any problems with this book; it was just kind of okay in every area. The plot was incredibly predictable and the characters very stereotypical. Even Annie’s tomboy-like rebellion (which wasn’t all that rebellious) is very typical of many of these types of princess stories.
I found the whole thing to be a bit bland and boring. The adventure was kind of bland, the romance very cutesy but not that engaging, and the plot just very predictable.
I think younger girls will enjoy this story though. It does convey a good message; basically to be yourself and that it’s what you do and who you are…not how you look that matters. Although I was a bit frustrated that despite Annie’s supposedly plain appearance she is depicted as a beautiful slender blond on the front cover of the book.
Overall this was an okay book. I think it is a book best left to younger readers; especially young girls who enjoy princess stories. I am an older girl who enjoys princess stories but this story didn’t really appeal to me it was just too bland and predictable.