Chick-Lit genre is one of my favourites. I don’t think I will ever grow old enough to not feel attracted to these books. But some books are so repetitive and unoriginal that my love for this genre gets a little shaky and I feel like I am losing interest in such books. And after reading Paper Princess I felt just that. No interest whatsoever. I started reading this book because I was suffering from a book-induced reading slump. Paper Princess is a highly praised YA novel so I thought this is the book I need to get myself out of the slump. The book did get me out of my reading slump, but what it didn’t do was impress me. YA novel fans are going gaga over this book. Sadly, I do not find myself one amongst them since I belong to the minority (almost non-existent) who dislike the book. Why? Well, continue reading to know my reasons for dismissing this popular chick-lit novel.
Paper Princess by Erin Watt
Synopsis: Ella Harper is a 17-year-old girl who works as a part-time stripper to survive following the death of her mother. Ella lives all alone since she has no relatives and has never met her father. One day a rich businessman visits her in school and asks her to leave with him claiming to be her legal guardian. Suspicious of this strange man’s intention, Ella resists his attempts of taking her in. However, after much contemplation, she finally agrees to live with his family in his mansion. The man, Callum Royal is a widower and a father to five notorious boys. He promises to pay her some allowance every month if she manages to live with his family under one roof.
Callum’s five sons believe that Ella is just another girl who plans to mooch off their father. They dislike her and find ways to get rid of her. Ella however, is tougher than they think and has a reply to every attack of theirs. She is here to stay, especially if she wants a bright future.
Points I Liked About Paper Princess
Ella Harper: The one and only thing good about this book is the protagonist Ella Harper. Living hand to mouth all her life Ella has had a tough upbringing. Her mother was a stripper who had Ella with a man she probably met only once. Ella started working as a stripper to pay off the medical bills after her mother was diagnosed with cancer. After her mother’s death, she continued working as a stripper only to earn some money to be able to go to college. When she enters a completely new world, a world of the rich her past continues to haunt her with mean girls making fun of her. But Ella doesn’t break. She fiercely fights all those who try to put her down. She knows how hard her life is and is not ashamed of anything she did to survive. She is unabashed, honest, spunky, and feisty and I like that about her.
Points I Did Not Like About Paper Princess
Clichéd Characters: I agree that in chick-lit romantic novels, it is important to have drop- dead, gorgeous characters.This book too has it and in abundance. After reading just one line I knew which one of the five brothers Ella will fall for and how it will happen. Reed will put her in trouble and save her and just like that they will fall in love. Yeah, right! What’s funny is that Reed loves her, sleeps ‘next’ to her but not ‘with’ her. Seriously? I am not saying abstaining from sex is wrong, what I am saying is that he is a teenage boy who shares a bed with a girl, who sleeps wearing almost nothing, and manages to ‘only’ cuddle her the whole night. Yeah, yeah… I buy that. Such guys are found only in misleading novels.
Predictable Scenarios: Most incidents and scenarios in the book seem inspired from teen movies. There is nothing you have never seen or read before. The conflicts, solution, friends, foes, and almost everything is repetitive. In this one case, I would prefer watching a movie than read a book like this.
Final View: Though the writing is crisp and precise the story has no substance at all. With a plot as thin as paper, the book could have been titled ‘Paper Plot’. I generally enjoy chick flicks and the whole ‘Cinderella’ concept, but this book is so damn predictable that it felt like a mash of American teen movies. Didn’t like it, won’t recommend it. Period.
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