Monday, April 27, 2009

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti

Quinn and her younger sister Sprout (real name Charlotte) just reunited with their father a few short years ago. This makes it all the more troublesome for Quinn when she realizes all is not right in the house of her father. And it has to do with his decorating scheme. Alarm bells start going off in Quinn’s head. Yes her fathers a bit of an egomaniac, yes he gets away with bad behavior because he’s charming and fun to be around, and yes, he’s treated the women (the lots and lots of women) in his life rather shabbily. But Quinn loves her dad despite his faults and she’s sure he feels the same way about her, until the day she isn’t.

So Quinn, Sprout, and their half-sister Frances Lee go on a karmic quest. A road trip. The theme of which I’ll keep to myself because that would be a major spoiler, but rest assured it is inventive and heart-felt and totally awesome. Not to mention insane since they’ve also got an enormous Big Boy statue in the back of the truck. Which was a particularly nice touch. As was the shout out to Canada and the dill pickle chip (hello Old Dutch let me count the ways I miss you although, sadly, she did not mention the ketchup chips which are yum yum yummy) and Mack toffee (…mmmm teeth breaking gooey goodness).

I loved Sprout and Frances Lee whom both overshadowed Quinn in my mind. Their humor, spikiness, and goodness made this book something special. Although, I must say Quinn’s character arc from firm supporter of her dad to firm supporter of herself was a wonderful thing to witness.

The set up of the novel is interesting. With anecdotes and memoirs and advice from women interspersed with the story. These detail stories of their loves gone wrong, their loves gone right, love advice, etc. This is, after all, at its heart a story of love of romantic love, of parental love, of familial love between female family members. I think at times I felt like it was almost too much, but by the time I had finished the book I decided that it was about right. After all, I couldn’t help thinking about all those teen girls who thought Rhianna deserved what she got from Chris Brown. The message in this novel is not subtle, but it is one we need to be telling the girls (and the boys) in our life. If love hurts it is not love.

Previously: The Fortunes of Indigo Skye

No comments: