Thursday, September 19, 2013

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.

Title- Princess Academy #1.
Author- Shannon Hale.
Publish date- July 2013.
Publisher- Bloomsbury Australia.


What I thought:
I read this when I was eight or nine years old and it was one of those books that A. feels like a very mature read and B. one you think of fondly when you remember it, but otherwise you mostly don't think of or remember it.
I had, however, put it on my re-read list and had been planning to read it for a while when a review copy turned up for me- it was a total surprise, and a lovely one.

The plot and characters were all fairly similar to how I remembered, but there were also sections and people I didn't recall, which made it feel more like a new story, not one I had previously read.

My main trouble with the book was the edition- the cover redesign (I long ago read this (link to wikipedia) one, and it's so perfect to my mind) just really disappoints me. It's very pink and flowery and, well, you can see it above. This was the first book that made me squirm to read in public, just for the totally unsuitable, again in my mind, cover. If I had to classify it for an age group I would say 75 percent MG and 25 YA, and yet I think the plot and the characters would be suited to a wide range of audiences, and I really feel like this cover doesn't promote that.

The characters aren't necessarily spectacular, but they are easy to become fond of and all the Academy girls have a story- a unique one at that- to tell, and the enjoyment I get when thinking back to the things I learnt about them all from snippets along the way is strong.
Miri, the protagonist, was a little slow at picking up things- she would get the initial idea, something very clever and ingenious (esp. for her age), but the follow-through was laborious and I did, at times, become surprised because I thought she had already worked it out. (Probably due to the fact she has a slightly indecisive nature- she made a decision at one point and it felt very settled, but a chapter later it was suddenly, without any warning whatsoever, up in the air again.)

Rating: Ooh, very good.
I didn't like it this time as much as I did when I read it "all those years ago" because it had such an element of nostalgia to it, but I still enjoyed the story and found it pleasurable following the tracks once trodden once more.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for this review copy!


  1. I actually like the cover :) But that might be part of the fact that I honestly don't care what other people think about the book I read :p

    I'm very interested in this book, because it's so fairytale-ish.


    1. Looking at it online I like it a little more, but in physical edition it just doesn't work for me, unfortunately. Strange thing is that it was the first time I'd ever been subconscious about reading a book in public! I always read when out and don't care what the book is, but the cover of this one just made me incredible self conscious. It was an odd feeling.

      I think you'd probably like it, Mel- I recommend you check it out!

  2. Replies
    1. Isn't it neat? A wonderful feeling of imagination fills me at the thought of it.


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