Cover Love: Yes! I love this cover but it definitely made me think it was going to be a light story. It wasn't.
Why I Wanted to Read This:
I have read a few other Cherie Priest books and was excited to see her writing a YA book. And I loved the cover. Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.Romance?: No. I thought there was going to be, but there wasn't. I liked that choice the author made, it makes the book seem a little more mature than an average YA book.
Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.
Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.
When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There's an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby's story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon---her best friend, Libby, who lives.
This book was a quick and easy read. The pacing was good and story interesting. I found myself reading late because the story just kept feeding me--bit by bit.
Once May was onto the idea that Libby might be alive she had to go find someone to help her. She found a computer hacker named Patrick who was willing to help her. There were times I felt this partnership would end in romance, but the author didn't go that way at all. Not even a little bit. May was focused on finding Libby and Trick was just along to help her. The real "relationship" was Libby and May. When Libby died May became half a person. At the same time things happened in her family life--parents divorcing and her mom moving--that threw her even more off kilter, but she never fully recovered from losing Libby. It makes me wonder what would have happened to her further down the line without Libby. Would she have ever gotten stronger on her own?
There was a lot of action, with May being convinced there were clues in the webcomic that would lead her to Libby. It was a good mystery and May and Trick were put into several dangerous positions. It's tough to really review this because I don't want to give anything away. I think that if you are in the mood for a mystery and a YA book with no romance, give this one a try!
To Sum Up: Fast paced and very enjoyable. I think this is a read that many readers would enjoy! I will be ordering this one for my library.