Author: Ursula Vernon
Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: Harriet Hamsterbone is not your typical princess. She may be quite stunning in the rodent realm (you’ll have to trust her on this one), but she is not so great at trailing around the palace looking ethereal or sighing a lot. She finds the royal life rather . . . dull. One day, though, Harriet’s parents tell her of the curse that a rat placed on her at birth, dooming her to prick her finger on a hamster wheel when she’s twelve and fall into a deep sleep. For Harriet, this is most wonderful news: It means she’s invincible until she’s twelve! After all, no good curse goes to waste. And so begins a grand life of adventure with her trusty riding quail, Mumfrey…until her twelfth birthday arrives and the curse manifests in a most unexpected way.
Huge thank you to Penguin Canada for this ARC!
Earlier in the year I had the chance to read Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon and I thought it was a wonderful, quirky read. In this retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Harriet is cursed as a child. However, the curse doesn’t exactly go as planned, because she was made invincible until her twelfth birthday. Harriet, completely in love with her new found powers, enjoys fighting dragons, jumping off high cliffs, and never worrying about the possibilities of a scratch. Until her twelfth birthday hits, and everything goes array.
This book is beyond hilarious. Harriet frequently breaks the fourth wall at her readers with tons of sass and charm. In fact, she’s just completely kick-butt for a twelve year old, and her courage and tenacity is admirable. I feel like she’d be an amazing role model for young readers, as her can-do spirit is quite infectious.
Moreover, Ursula Vernon’s writing is fantastic and vivid. She has this way of capturing the reader’s attention with such humour. Plus, the artwork is fantastic, well-detailed and eye-catching. I found myself whipping through the book, laughing as I was reading on public transit and just having a ball with the cast of characters and Harriet’s overall adventure. I thought her friendship with Prince Wilbur was honest as it was entertaining. Especially there responses at the end of the novel when given the suggestion that they should marry each other. Ick!
I feel like Hamster Princess will be one of those unexpected reads that will even capture the attention of reluctant readers. If there’s any criticism I can impart, is that the cover may not appeal to male readers, which is a shame because I feel like boys would get just as much enjoyment out of this story as girls would.Hamster Princess is worth looking into when it releases, especially for those who love parodies of fairy tales, and sassy heroines.