Sweet, sassy and mystical, this novel deftly melds an old-fashioned story of princess preparation with the modern twist of body image and self-esteem.
B.B.’s plight unfolds in a diary format. At 13, she has grown bored with life on a secluded island with her doting, albeit squabbling Godmommies. B.B. is in exile because her royal parents feared for her life. Rather than fearing for her safety, however, B.B. is more concerned with having friends, meeting a boyfriend and wearing stylish clothes. What works best is the classic storytelling voice. Randall (The Wind Done Gone, for adults, 2001) and Randall Williams create characters who feel authentic and familiar even as they inhabit a fantastical, supernatural world. The Godmommies are a hoot, coloring B.B.’s world with their homespun wisdom. B.B.’s constant comparisons between herself and Photoshopped images in the magazines she reads sometimes feel jarring, although they are certainly timely. At its heart, this is a tale of a girl straddling two worlds—the safety and comfort of what she’s been taught with the promise of who she really wants to be.
Young readers will respond to the voice as well as the predicament, while grown-ups will appreciate the values. (Fantasy. 10-14)