Title: Princess Ben
Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
What it's about: So Benevolence, or Ben, is a princess. Her parents die when she's fifteen, and she's suddenly heir to the throne, with her aunt Queen Sophia as regent. Sophia's ultra strict and kinda mean, yanking Ben from her sort of wild life to the proper life of court and royalty. Ben hates this. Because of her disobedience, she has to live in a tower room, and she discovers a secret room with instructions for learning magic. Ben applies herself to this, and with her skills, she eventually ends up bringing peace to her kingdom. (Yes, vague, I know, but I'm not going to spoil the whole thing, you know.)
What I thought: So, Ben is definitely not your typical princess character. For one thing, girl's pretty fat, no bones about it. She loves to eat. Come on, how many times do you read about fat princesses? Also, she's not perfect, and the romantic subplot comes into play rather late. Plus, the evil aunt character turns out to not be as evil as she's originally painted, and Ben grows to understand Sophia's point of view. This book bills itself as not a typical fairy tale, and that's completely true. Nonetheless, it has its charm, and it's good if you're tired of stories where you can predict the whole thing.
Overall: Surprisingly good. Follows its own path and ends up the better for it.
So, I just need to review Kiki Strike: The Empress's Tomb, and I'll be caught up. On one hand, caught up is good. On the other, I need to read a lot to make sure I'm on track!