May 19th 2013
Princesses Don't Get Fat by Aya Ling
The book is somewhat of a short quick read so it only took me a day or two to finish it once i got around to it. The story focuses on a princess named Valeria who has a penchant for food and sweets and because of this she's grown to be a bit of an unhealthy weight. This leaves her undesirable and ineligible for marriage, but princesses aren't quite how they used to be so she could really care less. Whereas other princesses are dodging marriage due to the need to want to be adventurous, Valeria finds the love in food and nothing seems to be able to surpass that. But when 3 princes lose purposely in attempts to win her hand in marriage, her mother deems it necessary to enroll her in a some kind of warrior academy for nobles and royalty like herself to see if she can lose a bit of weight.
About the characters, I liked Valeria. She seemed to not let what anyone think of her stop her from living her life or what she loved the most, cooking and food. The only thing I have to say that i disliked about her was that I felt as though she could have taken the training at the academy seriously. She seemed to be losing weight the way you're supposed to, by cutting back on food and working out, but as soon as she rediscovered sweets(which was forbidden in the academy)she just gave up completely on her workout regimen. It made her seem like a bit of a quitter with little self control. I guess because I take fitness so seriously it just upset me that she would give up before reaching a healthy goal, and no i don't mean skinny. I was just where Valeria was at one point, so i know how hard it is to LOVE fitness as much as you love food. But all in all I still liked her and found her easy to relate to.
I loooved Prince Ralph, her handsome friend at the academy. He was the most sought out Prince of all the land and somehow he was able to look past the fact that Valeria was really overweight. He had a very regalness to him so at times he was a bit stiff, but he was a prince, I suppose he wasn't supposed to be the happy, smiling type. I wished he would have pushed Valeria more. The person you love should want to see you around for a long time and unfortunately being overweight comes with a lot of health risks. But i just really liked the two of them together, it's rare when you read about a guy in these type of books who's attracted to the girl that's seen as less than astonishingly beautiful. It made me want to find my own Prince Ralph. She didn't really have to change anything about herself for him to love her, and in some books like this the girl loses all this weight and her crush likes her suddenly out of plain vanity.
The setting and descriptions the author chose to use were beautiful. I felt as though she painted the pictured very well for me, and i liked that it wasn't based of our "real"world. It was more like inspired by Europe but not completely mirroring it. The author is a really good writer and the book was really well edited. For Indie books it's common to see a lot of grammatical errors as well as misused words, but this was damn near perfect. I caught like one or two but i've caught the same in a recent book i've read by Cassandra Clare so the author seemed to treat this book as a professional project.
I'm really big on diverse character in books because i feel there's a need for characters that break the industry standard of white, able bodied, red or blond haired, skinny heroes and heroines and even though there's characters were obviously Caucasian, the fact that the main character was Plus sized put the book into a category of breaking that mold. I really enjoyed this book from start to finish and I really look forward to the next one.......and the next one after that!
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because Valeria seemed to be nonchalant of what being overweight could do to her in the future. I would have really like to see her take it more seriously. She seemed to be a beautiful person inside and out, but i just felt as though she could have taken better control of her life and lastly, her weight.