Growing up with women who've had nothing but bad relationships, Quinn has only heard bad stories and dire warnings about the male gender. Still, she tries to remain optimistic. After all, her father is back in her life after years of absence; that must be some proof that men aren't entirely bad. But being suddenly dumped by Daniel, the boyfriend she thought was perfect, jars her back into reality, and a shocking discovery in her father's household makes her question the trust she's placed in him. Is her father just a handsome charmer or also a cruel womanizer? Emboldened by a reconnection with her spunky half sister Frances Lee and opportunity, Quinn embarks on a road trip with her younger sister, her half sister, and a tagalong musician to fix her father's wrongs and ultimately find the truth.
There are a lot of partially contradictory statements I can make about The Secret Life of Prince Charming. I liked most the story a lot, but there are some elements I wasn't pleased with. Caletti takes an extremely long time--practically the first third of the book--to set up the story, and unfortunately, this was rather hard for me to get through as it wasn't that interesting. After that, though, the story turns around and becomes much more exciting with adventure, humor, and especially romance. Too bad I often felt Quinn's romantic interest was a little too good to be true. I had a difficult time connecting with the characters as well, and this may have something to do with Caletti's writing rather than their realism. I have no problem with creative literary sentences filled with symbols and metaphors and whatnot, but Caletti, I felt, laid it on a bit too thickly, especially in the first section; this sadly made me feel bored instead of intrigued. While I was bothered by these technicalities, I did enjoy the messages behind the story. Caletti does a wonderful job of exploring all the facets of relationships between family and significant others, from the pits of the bad to the dizzying heights of the good.
The Secret Life of Prince Charming is a sweet story with a great message, if a slightly disappointing execution. Having really enjoyed Caletti's Wild Roses and The Nature of Jade, I was expecting a little more from this novel than I got. Nevertheless, fans of Sarah Dessen's Lock and Key and This Lullaby and C. Leigh Purtill's Love, Meg will still enjoy this book.