Title: The Princess and the Pauper
Author: Kate Brian
What it's about: Princess Carina of Vineland hates being a princess. She wishes she had the freedom normal girls do. So when Carina has to go to Los Angeles as part of a goodwill tour, she and her friend Ingrid make plans to slip away from the delegation so Carina can meet her internet boyfriend and rock musician. Enter Julia Johnson. Julia's a normal girl who lives in LA with her mother. They're only barely able to make ends meet, and Julia can only afford to go to the classy high school she attends because of a scholarship. When Carina and Ingrid meet Julia, they notice Julia could pass for Carina with the right hair and makeup work. A plan is hatched for the two girls to switch places, and plenty of interesting stuff happens.
What I thought: Carina almost seems like she was written to be a cliche foil to Julia's more normal, realistic character. Not that Carina isn't interesting and doesn't get some development, but I think that Julia and Ingrid are much more dynamic. Um. The book's funny, and it doesn't seem unrealistic in the little ways which could make or break a story, and the bigger stuff doesn't seem too unrealistic, any more than a plot like this inherently is. Well, this is teen fiction for girls, definitely, but the romance stuff, while there, is definitely the B-plot of things. I also like how the mother-daughter relationships are played out.
Overall: Not everyone's gonna like this one, but it's not bad for its genre.