A Pearl Among Princes by Coleen Paratore (September 17th 2009—Dial)
Grade: 3 stars out of 5
Summary: “Welcome to the island where princes learn to be charming.
Gracepearl Coal is the cook’s daughter on Miramore, the island all princes visit for their summer program in the Charming Arts. Each year, the princes-in-training arrive on gallant seacraft, guided by captains trained to navigate the island’s treacherous waters. Passage on one of these boats is the only method to leave the island—thus betrothal to a royal is the only way for Pearl to find her far-off destiny, the one that’s started haunting her dreams. Luckily, this year’s crop of princes include some promising prospects, but how will Pearl leave behind her ailing father or—hardest of all—marry a boy other than her long-time beloved, Mackree . . . who now finds it too painful to even speak to her?”
Review: At first I was going to mention how it really didn’t seem to be a teen book but then I saw the age group for the book—8-12—and it made sense. It seemed more tween than teen.
This is all Disney. With the adorable rhymes, childhood lullabies, and a room full of dashing princes, this is pretty much a dream come true. There is no real villain in this book but one with many heroes.
There are two main princes to pick from, Sir Richard and Sir Peter. Richard is the blond and kind, and Peter is the charming pirate with his silver hoop and long hair. We follow Gracepearl (I really do not like that name) as she decides which one will take her away from Miramore and to her potential. But then there’s Mackree who she has fallen in love with for many years. In an ongoing struggle between her future and her love, we follow Grace accomplishes her daily chores while primping for the ball.
I say again that this is for an audience that loves Disney. It’s melodramatic, cute humor, and I expect the turtles/fishes to sing while Grace goes by the ocean shore. Everything falls into place just like a movie from the beginning to the happily ever after. There isn’t much to say about this story. It was short, sweet, and child-like.