Title: I Am Princess X
Author: Cherie Priest
Published: May 26, 2015
Characterization and badassery
This is a YA book, so the badassery is a bit contained, but it’s there. First, Princess X is a very cool comic character, with her katana and her Keds and her fighting spirit. May is a devoted friend and willing to put herself in harm’s way to try to help out the bestie she’d lost three years prior. I liked all of the characters in the book, really.
Plot and pacing
This is a short book and it moves quickly. The opening scene caught me, where the two little girls meet and become friends. All too soon, real life intervenes and tragedy splits them. The mystery is well placed and I really wanted to keep turning pages to find out what happened to Libby.
Prose and editing
Good. Professionally edited and not dumbed down just because it’s geared toward YA.
I liked May’s banter with Trick. They seemed like a well-matched pair of friends.
“A crowd of nervous six-year-olds watched the newcomers from behind the swing set, big-eyed, silent, and ready to bolt. For all the little kids knew, fifth graders were capable of anything.”
Here’s the thing about this book. If you take it literally, as a typical, linear story, the (lack of) logic in the resolution of the mystery is going to smack you in the face and make you mad. There are a couple things that you’re just going to have to suspend disbelief for and take for granted. If you can’t do that, this book isn’t for you. If you can accept it as a graphic novel told with words, you’ll do fine. Maybe even be crazy for, if you’re into the webcomic genre.
Since I read an early, uncorrected proof, I only got to see a few of the actual comics. That’s too bad, because I really liked the early ones. I found the descriptions of the panels sufficient for me to judge the story, but I’m betting that having the illustrations will improve the actual experience of the book. I enjoyed it even without them.