A Pearl Among Princess by Coleen Paratore 5 of 5 stars.
Welcome to Miramore, where princes learn to be charming...
It's summer on Miramore, and that means one thing: The island will be full of princes in training. This year the rules have changed and a "PIT" may even woo a servant girl--and whisk her away on his royal boat. Since that's the only way to leave Miramore catching a prince's fancy would let Gracepearl Coal chase the faraway destiny that haunts her dreams. If only her heart didn't belong to Mackree the stable boy! As the giggly girls of the island primp for the ball and the princes prepare for the tournament, Gracepearl is torn: Must she betray her true love to discover her destiny? And will she be charming enough to have that choice? (Summary from ARC)
Gracepearl knows she is meant for something more. Something far, far away from Miramore. She dreams of faces, desperate, needy faces all calling to her. She knows she must answer but the only way to do this is by leaving with one of the princes that come to Miramore to train in the Charming Arts. With two princes handsome vying for her affections this wouldn't be so hard if it weren't for the fact that she is already in love with Mackree, a stable boy. Mackree know that Gracepearl wants more than Miramore so he stays away from her, gives her freedom to leave.
What will Gracepearl choose? Does there really have to be a choice?
A Pearl Among Princes is a lovely story. I wouldn't really categorize it under "young adult" but it is still a great read. It is full of nursery rhymes that make you giggle to remember. Coleen Paratore has certainly created a fairy tale worthy to stand beside Cinderella. The characters are lovely and well imagined. The book isn't thick in plot, but in wonderful writing. The ending is pleasantly surprising, and I would suggest this book to anyone with a love of fairy tales.
For fans of: Gail Carson Levine, Shannon Hale, fairy tales