Title: The Princess of Baker Street
Author: Mia Kerick
Published by: Harmony Ink Press
Publication date: January 22nd, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult
Source: Egalley from Xpresso Book Tours which did not influence my opinion.
My rating: 4 stars
“Always wear your imaginary crown” is Joey Kinkaid’s motto. For years, Joey, assigned male at birth, led the Baker Street kids in daring and imaginative fantasy adventures, but now that they’re teenagers, being a princess is no longer quite so cool. Especially for a child who is seen by the world as a boy.
Eric Sinclair has always been Joey’s best friend and admirer—Prince Eric to Joey’s Princess Ariel—but middle school puts major distance between them. As Eric’s own life takes a dangerous turn for the worse, he stands by and watches as Joey—who persists in dressing and acting too much like a Disney princess for anybody’s comfort—gets bullied. Eric doesn’t like turning his back on Joey, but he’s learned that the secret to teenage survival, especially with and absent mother, is to fly under the radar.
But when Joey finally accepts who she is and comes to school wearing lip gloss, leggings, and a silky pink scarf, the bullies make her life such a misery that she decides to end it all. Eric, in turn, must decide who he really is and what side he wants to stand on… though no matter what he chooses, the consequences with be profound for both teens, and they’ll face them for years to come.
Is there a chance the two teens can be friends again, and maybe even more?
It's been a while since I've read a middle school book, and there were things about this that reminded me of why I don't read them that often. I know that it is written as if it is from a middle school boy's point of view, and Eric, our main character, is not a overly smart or well-spoken boy. But sometimes that is hard to read. But towards the end, when we get high school years, then it is a little easier to read.
Despite that I really liked this book. It was a great story. A lot of realistic behavior by the characters. However, one thing I really liked is how Eric felt about his friend Joey. The way he behaved was realistic, it is so hard for middle-schoolers to stand up to bullies, to put themselves in the way of being picked on. And Eric's home situation was one that he didn't need the extra problems. As much as it hurt reading about how he let those things happen, the realness of it really got me. But the way he felt about Joey, and how he ended up in the end dealing with that whole situation was very heartening. The friends that he made in high school are the types of kids that I know are out there. The type of people that I hope we see more and more of every day.
I guess my overall take from this is that even with all the horrible things out there, that may not ever go away, due to human behavior being the way it seems to be, there is hope, and I think there are more of these kind of people out there than we think, but it is becoming easier for them to step forward and be the kind of people that can help the world become a better place.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled people in complex relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to her wonderful publishers for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award for Young Adult e-book Fiction, among other awards.
Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit at www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.