Saturday, April 23, 2016

Paper Princess » Book Review

I shouldn't have enjoyed this book as much as I did, but it was a fun little traipse through the gutter.  "Gutter," you say, Ellen?  Mightn't that be a touch harsh?  Nah.  Ask the author to her face about whether or not Paper Princess is even moderate literature, and I bet she'd be like, "No, no, no. This book is just for funzees."

The novel is a rags-to-riches tale following Ella, a seventeen year-old who is a smart cookie, but also a burgeoning stripper.  She's taken to naked dancing following the death of her mother, who was her sole caretaker.  Ella would like to graduate high school and even go to college, but she has to keep herself fed and off the streets, first thing. She's moving right along, making it work, when the best friend of her long-lost father shows up and insists upon becoming her guardian.

Ella accepts his offer and he jets her off to his home on the southeastern coast.  There's a problem though, Daddy Warbucks has five teenage sons...


I'm sorry for laughing, but it's just so gratuitous! Stepbrother romances are NOT a new thing under the sun, in fact they're a full-on trope, but I've never seen a book that's like, "We'll have one, two three.. FIVE stepbrothers. Yeah!" Talk about going all in. And making them all teenagers, too... Lol.

But anyway, the combination of a troubled girl moving into a mansion full of buff stepbrothers reminded me very strongly of Fallen Crest High, the flagship novel of indie author, Tijan.

Against my better self, I have a huge soft spot for Fallen Crest High.  I remember reading that book a number of years ago and thinking, Wow. This is like the Iliad of high school drama. The book is about a girl, Sam, whose mother has an affair with one of their California town's multimillionaires.  One day, Sam comes home and her mom is all, "I'm leaving your father and we're moving in with my uber-rich boyfriend. Pack up."

What follows is a dark, twisty little fairytale that ends in the triumph of feral children over their pathological parents.  The series has since lost its theme and has become one big epilogue, but I will always remember fondly the experience of diving into the weird brilliance of Fallen Crest for the first time.

Paper Princess is both everything like Fallen Crest High and nothing like it. The books have very similar content but are somehow worlds apart.  They're not unlike identical twins — same DNA, unique manifestations. And it's so funny... Paper Princess is the better written book, undeniably, but somehow, it manages to be inferior on every other level to Fallen Crest High.

But down to the bottom line... Should you read this book?  Why the hell not?  I can't promise that you'll be impressed, but I guarantee you'll be entertained.



  1. Hey guh! Teehee! I see you've made a lot of connectios with Fallen Crest! First of all, I'm so happy to have someone else along that I can geek out with about that series! I'm happy to know that this series is kind of similar, and in ways it's kind of not. Tina is widely popular for that series and I've never been able to find a comparison! Until now. ;)

    Thanks for the lovely review boo! <3

  2. OMG another Fallen Crest Fan! Yeah, Paper Princess is highly similar in many ways. I'll be verrry interested to see what you think, if you choose to pick it up. :D

  3. The plot sounds too ridiculous for words. Lol.

  4. It is out there for sure! Funnily enough, though, it was strangely compelling.

  5. […] literature by any means. Ellen described it as having a jaunt through the gutter in her review (here), and I’d have to […]

  6. I've never heard of either before, but like you said, why not try it. :)