Title: I Am Princess X
Author: Cherie Priest
Length: 7 hours
Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Original Publication Date: 2015
Genre(s): Young adult, Mystery, Contemporary
“Libby was dead. Princess X disappeared. May lost her best friend again, and again, and again.”
May and Libby were best friends from the start. They didn’t need anyone else—they had each other. And one fateful day, May and Libby created Princess X using rainbow chalk. From there, they created an entire comic series for themselves: Libby drawing the illustrations, May writing the stories. But that was before the accident. Now, Libby is dead, and Princess X along with her. But three years later, walking the streets of Seattle, May starts to see Princess X everywhere—on stickers, patches, graffiti. There’s even an entire website devoted to a Princess X web comic. May knows Libby is the only one capable of this. Libby is alive. And May is going to prove it.
What. A. Story. I don’t even know what to say right now! I’m blown away by this book that I didn’t even know existed until last week! But I’m so glad I found it. I Am Princess X follows May on her impossible journey to prove that her best friend is alive. She can barely bring herself to believe it, but she knows it in her heart: only Libby can be behind Princess X. Told in third-person POV, Princess X is a thrilling quasi-mystery that will enthrall you until the end (almost). The text is accompanied by excerpts from the web comic I Am Princess X, which May reads throughout the story. Unfortunately for me, I listened to the audiobook version, so I didn’t get to see the cool comics throughout the book, but I’m sure they would have only helped my opinion of the book. The story is fast-paced and exciting, though slightly mysterious because you can’t help but think, Is May right? Or is Libby really dead and she’s being tricked? I mean, May was pretty gullible. Maybe because she’s never been in any kind of trouble before, but for such a dangerous situation, May takes things pretty lightly. As does her companion Patrick, a tech guy who becomes as invested in finding Princess X as May is.
Though I liked May because she was funny, fast-thinking, and such a strong female character, I did have my issues with her. As I just said, she didn’t treat the situation as seriously as necessary. I also slightly hated her towards the end of the book. I actually and literally rolled my eyes at her at a few times. It’s like the further into the novel, the more she acted rashly and stupidly. Patrick seemed to have a little more of a level head, but he, too, wasn’t serious enough. He was also kind of a jerk to May. I am happy, though, that the two didn’t fall in love over the course of their adventure. This isn’t a romance novel at all, and that was refreshing. Sometimes it’s nice to just read a story about friendship. Not every story needs to be a love story.
Speaking of the ending, though… Once they find Princess X (whoever that may be—wink, wink), the story sort of falters. Up until this point, it’s a suspenseful and interesting book; then, when things should be the most thrilling, it becomes a bit boring and slow somehow. Like, this ending should be fast-paced and heart-pounding, but instead everything kind of moves along at a painstakingly slow pace and the characters become absolutely insufferable. Which is why I ended up giving this book half a start fewer. The ending definitely fell flat for me. Which is why I said you’d be enthralled until the end—almost. Despite the ending, though, the book overall is a win. The writing is well done, the story interesting, and the characters you will (mostly) enjoy. Definitely a great read and a book I will recommend.