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Jenna lives with her mother. She is a quiet and polite young lady, as her mother expects of her, but she doesn't quite feel like she fits in with the crowd. When she is approached by a young man to come for an audition for a new movie, she is enthralled. Her mother will not allow it, but Jenna has other ideas! Jenna dreams of being a real Princess!
This is a good story, that has many plot twists throughout, although by about halfway through the book, one of the biggest plots was fairly obvious and I felt it became a bit predictable from thereon in. I was disappointed with the ending, as it came to an end far to quickly for the build up, it was almost like the author was on their deadline and rushed to the finish. I felt it needed a little more umph, but it rather fell flat on it's face after the suspense of the rest of the book. That said, it kept me reading and I was eager to reach the end and see what would happen (which is why the ending disappointed me so much).
I also did not really see the need for the characer "Bea", as she just appeared intermittently throughout the book and didn't really contribute to the story with any great effect and she could have easily been written out after the audition chapter, without being missed!
Overall, I did enjoy reading this, despite the disappointing end and I did find it compelling reading material! This book would ideally be for younger teen female readers, although being an adult myself, I cannot rule out it's appeal to the older "young at heart" females out there.
From the cover, this novel looks great. The book is nicely produced with a shiny, sparkly front cover complete with 'actual' bullet holes, and the blurb promises princesses, conspiracies and far-away romantic kingdoms. It seems perfect for a girly girl like me who still enjoys teen fiction. But sadly, the book is a bit of a let down.
The plot is reasonably predictable. It begins with a princess going missing in Scandia. Back in England, a girl of the same age whose mother refuses to tell her anything about her father or her family tree is going about her daily life when she is whisked away to Scandia by a slightly suspect 'film company' who promise to make her a star despite her frumpy looks. It doesn't take a genius to spot the clues that are laid down heavily in the first couple of chapters and although the plot twists and turns a bit throughout the book, there are no real surprises and everything is well signposted.
As well as the predictable plot, there is a distinct lack of spark in the writing. The brief snippets that we get fed of the events in Scandia are dull and just involve adults talking to each other. And the more lively writing which describes normal girl Jenna in England is still a bit contrived. There are moments when the writing turns Jenna into a likeable and believable character but then the standard drops off and we are distanced from the characters once again. There's definate promise from the author but her writing style just isn't good enough yet to compete well in the world of teen fiction.
The girls in this book are fourteen but I think it is aimed at any young girls from about 9 to 15. It would probably fare best with 11 to 13 year olds, especially those who are a bit insecure about their appearance and could do with a bit of a confidence boost.
This is a reasonable book but there just isn't enough sparkle or originality in it to make me want to read large chunks at a time and unfortunately I found myself tempted to skip over parts or stop reading at times. It's definitely not one of those 'good for both children AND adults' books. Strictly for young girls.
This book is available from Amazon.co.uk for £4.19, though it has an RRP of £6.99. However I would recommend borrowing it from the library instead, as I can't envisage many people wanting to read it more than once!
(updated and revised from my review on Amazon.co.uk)