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Princess for Hire (A Princess for Hire Book) Hardcover – March 16, 2010

37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–8—Readers still lamenting the conclusion of Meg Cabot's "Princess Diaries" (HarperCollins) will eagerly embrace this first volume in the adventures of Desi Bascomb. The 15-year-old is stuck in Sproutsville, ID, where she is tormented by her ex-best friend, Celeste, and is working a miserable job at Pets Charming, where she is forced to dress up as a groundhog. Then she spies an ad for a princess sub and meets agent Meredith, who informs Desi that she has a rare magical gift that will allow her to apply royal rouge and stand in for any princess in need of a break. Desi is sent on three missions for three very different young women, and though she is told not to interfere, at last she sees her chance to make an impact. Though the plot is predictable and concepts such as royal rouge and getting from job to job in a bubble are silly and contrived, overall the novel is frothy fun. Desi is constantly comparing herself to seemingly perfect Celeste, and it is only through her new job that she begins to discover her own worth. This is a fast-paced and humorous read with a dash of romance. It's sure to leave readers longing for the next installment.—Shari Fesko, Southfield Public Library, MI
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Fifteen-year-old Desi feels she is wasting her life in Idaho, between her job at the pet store, where she has to wear a groundhog costume, and her bitter ex-friend Celeste, whose father was sent to jail by Desi’s attorney dad. So when Desi is offered an enchanted position as a “sub” for real princesses, why would she say no? With a desire to help these girls—whether it’s an older sister’s crash diet or a rite-of-passage ceremony—Desi gets in some hot water and in the process discovers some important truths about her own life. With creativity and a sense of humor, this first novel is a delightful romp. The provision of magic makes all things possible, and the sense of place is vividly realized. Fans of The Princess Diaries (2000) and Ella Enchanted (1997) will be pulled in by Desi and her refusal to accept the status quo. Fortunately for them, Leavitt’s first novel is not her last—she is working on a sequel. Grades 5-8. --Melissa Moore

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Series: A Princess for Hire Book (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (March 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423121929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423121923
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,775,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lindsey Leavitt is a former elementary school teacher and present-day writer/mom to three (mostly) adorable girls. They live in a pink house in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is the author of the PRINCESS FOR HIRE trilogy, SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD, GOING VINTAGE, & THE CHAPEL WARS.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SAM I AM on March 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a pleasant change from all the YA I've been reading lately. Saying this, it wasn't what I had expected. This was a quirky, funny, read about a young girl who is struggling with her 13-year-old self. What girl can't relate to that? Desi is unhappy with just about everything in her life... school, her job, her family and friends. Then she stumbles across an ad for a substitute princess. She gets the job which is the start of several (mis)adventures in which she tries to help or impact the princess' lives. In doing so, she learns several important life lessons and realizes that even princesses have things that they want to escape from. Desi has a good heart and a her desire to do good totally won me over. This is a wonderful book for tweens, but can be enjoyed by young and old. Can't wait for Book II.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Marx on March 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm neither female nor a teenager. So how come I liked this book? Because it's funny, plays for both teens and grownups, and it makes me feel good. Just don't tell my friends that I read and loved a pink book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book Sp(l)ot Reviews on March 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Desi Bascomb is a fifteen-year-old living in boring Sproutsville, Idaho and working at Pets Charming. Instead of playing with cute puppies or kittens all day, Desi dresses up in a groundhog costume to help promote the store. Her work look doesn't exactly help her social standing which has taken a tumble since a particularly interesting falling out with her ex-BFF Celeste (read to find out about it).

Desi's just hoping for something to make her life more like Audrey Hepburn movie when she spies an interesting ad in the newspaper. Suddenly there's someone else in her bathroom. Desi's relaxing bubble bath is less relaxing and more confusing when Meredith, her green haired godmother of sorts shows up with some news. Turns out Desi has an ability that--with a little help--allows her to be a substitute for princesses who need a little break.

Soon, Desi's filling in for royal girls around the world and finding out that there's more to it than the fancy dresses and glamour that she expected.

The first installment in Linsdey Leavitt's new series is a whole lot of fun. Desi is a great main character who really is like no other character I can think of--but also not so different that it's annoying or weird. She's a quirky girl who doesn't like being like everyone else or following all of the rules, but still worries about how her social life. She's very well developed and it's her unique traits that really make her able to be a main character that is temporarily pretending to be other characters. The same is true of Meredith, as well and I really look forward to learning more about them in future books.
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Format: Hardcover
Desi! I <3 you. I randomly picked this book up at an indie I was visiting for the first time. I brought it home and immediately began to read it because I wanted to review the second book The Royal Treatment as well. I was pleasantly surprised with the world building and character depth and I know I would have loved having this book when I was eleven or so.

Desi is everything most young girls are; smart, clumsy and totally likable. She is also meddling, headstrong and not great under extreme pressure. All of these traits serve to make Desi completely adorable and I loved her characters.

Things I love in this series:

The fact that the princesses need a day off. No waiting in a tower for their prince to come; these chicks have real duties that get overwhelming.
The Agents; they are kind of like Fairy Godmothers except way more tough and taking a big cut of the subs pay.
The small bit of Cleopatra mythology included in the Agency history.
Desi's intelligence and how she figures out her love life.
The Royal's, helloooo, this book is a must for those of us who love royal gossip.
And finally, the new boy in town. He doesn't get a lot of page time but I am assuming he will be all up in the sequel.
If you enjoy riotous, and laughable middle grade lit then you are in for such a treat with Princess for Hire. I adored this book and I can't wait to get to the next!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Whatcha Reading Now? on September 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Desi Bascomb would like to change her life--move away from Idaho and lose her summer job where she has to dress as a groundhog and hand out coupons in front of a pet store in the mall. Can you say embarrassing?

Basically she wishes for a little glamour in her life. Then...wish granted.

A Princess Agent shows up, tells Desi she has M.P. (aka Magic Potential) and offers her a job to fill in as a sub for real life princesses who need an escape...er...vacation. Desi, of course, jumps at the job. But as it turns out, the job involves a lot more than wearing tiaras and looking pretty.

Desi is a lovable character; self deprecating, funny and with the best of intentions. Lindsey Leavitt's debut novel, PRINCESS FOR HIRE, is a fun read for tweens. And stay tuned because this is the first in a series of what promises to be more fun and adventures for Desi.
-- Reviewed by Michelle Delisle
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