Retro Friday: The Princess Academy

Posted July 30, 2010 by Emily in book review, Uncategorized / 10 Comments

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out-of-print, etc.

Princess Academy
By: Shannon Hale

PRINCESS ACADEMY is one of the rare books that I have read multiple times. Every time I read it I get something new from the experience.

I think that one of the strongest parts of Shannon Hale’s writing is her character development. I fall in love with every single one of her characters every time.

Miri shines in this novel. I think that if there were a literary character that I think best represents me, Miri would be it.  I too, am a mountain girl.  I live in Utah, high above sea level. I grew up in a very small rural town where the people worked very hard on farms, dairies, or orchards.  Miri is smart, and eager to prove herself. Yep, me to a tee.

I am a total sucker for the best friend love. I think all of us know that real love begins with a deep friendship, not from a smoldering look shot across a biology class.  At least the kind of love that lasts.  Peder is a perfect fit for Miri.  He also has dreams and desires beyond the quarry and mountainside.  He accepts Miri for who she is and loves her ambitions.  When others were hesitant of Miri’s “crazy ideas,” he believes in her.

Along those lines, Britta is everything a best friend should be.  Britta is a culmination of the traits possessed by many friends that I had over the years: self-sacrificing, kind, positive, supportive, and unconditional.  Miri in turn is just the confidence boost that Britta needs. In fact, it seems that Miri has an uncanny ability to notice the good things in everyone around her, including those that cause her pain.

This is a book for a younger demographic. However, I find myself falling in love with it every time I reread it.

Oh, and I know I’ve said this many times.  Shannon Hale is so wonderful. Makes me love her stories even more.


10 responses to “Retro Friday: The Princess Academy

  1. This book is old enough to be consider retro? I feel like it was just published a few years ago. Still this one is a classic. I read goose girl over and over again. Shannon Hale is awesome.

  2. Princess Academy is one of my favorite Shannon Hale books. I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of Hale. I like her books, but don't LOVE them, you know? I think they are a good read and I will probably buy them, but I don't devour them like I do other author's books.

  3. Lol. You are a sucker for the best friend love interest. 🙂 And why not? He is very nice in this one. It really is a good middle grade/crossover YA read.

  4. I bought this for my young cousin for Christmas even though I hadn't read it myself. I grabbed my own copy at a library book sale recently but haven't read it yet. I really need to!

  5. I enjoyed reading this one as well! When I finished reading Goose Girl a couple of years back, I wanted to read all of Shannon Hale's novels and I'm glad I got the hardcover for Princess Academy because I like that cover a lot more than the paperback.

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