PULLING PRINCES

Tyne O'Connell, Author . Bloomsbury $16.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-58234-957-2

Calypso Kelly, 14, stars in this frothy and fast-paced boarding school novel in which the genre's stalwart traditions (food fights, cuddling the beloved rabbits of others in the pet shed, pooling "tuck" for midnight feasts) are glamourized and brought up to date with all mod cons (text messaging on teensy cell phones, Jimmy Choo slingbacks, vodka stashed in empty Body Shop bottles). Back at her posh English boarding school for summer term, American-born Calypso is "sick of being the class freak" and intent on becoming part of "the cool set" ruled by The Honourable Georgina Castle Orpington (whom she has just been assigned as a roommate) and Georgina's best pal, the ultra-nasty Honey O'Hare. Calypso's popularity plan seems to be working, until she makes an enemy of Honey by attracting the interest of Prince Freddie (second in line to the British throne and a student at a nearby boys' boarding school) by besting him in a fencing match. Paparazzi madness ensues, Georgina reveals unexpected dimensions, a satirical literary journal is founded—and Calypso finds herself having the best term ever. Refreshingly, as Calypso's social status improves, she never abandons her long-time friend Star, a Kelly Osborne ringer. Instead, both girls get swept nearly effortlessly into the elevated social whirl. Not far behind the giddy, ultra-glitzy fun lurks a generous spirit. Bring on the sequel. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
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Paperback - 223 pages - 978-1-58234-688-5
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