AMBER LOVE 20-FEB-2015 The full PART-TIME PRINCESSES OGN by Monica Gallagher, published by Oni Press, is a whopping 168 pages. The first scene shows one of the strange mysterious attacks at The Enchanted Park after it has already been closed down. Then it flashes back to the summer tourist season where readers meet each girl working as a princess. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Ariel are all ready to leave behind their years as princesses and venture to different parts of the world in search of acting fame and other performing arts. When the park becomes unsafe, the girls want to save it and its reputation.

The story shows how even the popular girls have to face life’s obstacles, especially rejection. Tiffany is scolded for trying to flirt her way to success and get everything she wants with family money. Michelle’s plans for college are ruined. Amber has to deal with the escalation of beauty standards outside of high school. Courtney is the one to deliver the call to action for them stay on top as popular girls. The girls develop pride in their “kingdoms” within the park and work hard after hours to fix them up. Each one has a strength like athleticism, manipulation, and intelligence. They decide to use their skills for good for a change. Their new heroic endeavors end up creating quite the urban legend for The Enchanted Park which gets the attention of three high school boys are interested in investigating. Who’s behind the park attacks is where PTP turns into a solid Nancy Drew reveal.

The girls are so self-absorbed in their own successes and failures that they are within character even when victim-blaming. The park’s lack of business due to the muggings is surely the fault of the “hag” who was “barely touched.” As a reader, you would like these girls in the way you like villains. They are easy to sympathize with because life’s struggles suck at every level even in the formative final high school year. But you still get to see their personalities and how they treat other people as beneath them.

As for appropriate reading ages: I’d say it’s PG. There’s usage of “crap” and also one of the underage girls drinking a beer but it’s barely noticeable and not the focus of the panel in which it appears. Even without focusing on romantic storylines, this book is perfect for young readers who fit in or are outcasts. The outcasts might enjoy the schadenfreude actually. There is still some emotional tension addressed but it’s far from Vampire Diaries steaminess.

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Beautiful, popular, and adored by all, Courtney, Amber, Tiffany, and Michelle can’t wait to graduate and take their place among the world’s elite. But when all their future plans are ruined, the girls have only one back-up plan–working as costumed princesses at the local amusement park. Unfortunately, increased gang activity has driven away all but the most loyal of customers. With the park on the verge of closing, the girls resolve to fight back, bring back their adoring customers, save the amusement park they never wanted to work at, and maybe learn something about themselves along the way.

Complete OGN (Contains #1-6) available in-stores: 3/25/15


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