When she was a child, Joey Kinkaid, assigned as a boy at birth—wearing Mom’s purple sundress and an imaginary crown—ruled the Baker Street neighborhood with a flair and imagination that kept the other kids captivated. Day after day, she led them on fantastic after-school adventures, but those innocent childhood days are over, and the magic is gone. The princess is alone.
Even Eric Sinclair, the Prince Eric to Joey’s Princess Ariel, has turned his back on his former friend, watching in silence as Joey is tormented at school. Eric isn’t proud of it, but their enchanted youth is over, and they’ve been thrust into a dog-eat-dog world where those who conform survive and those who don’t… well, they don’t. Eric has enough to deal with at home, where his mother has abandoned him to live in isolation and poverty.
But Eric can’t stay on the sidelines forever. When Joey finally accepts her female gender and comes to school wearing lip gloss, leggings, and a silky pink scarf, the bullies readily take the opportunity she hands them, driving Joey to attempt suicide and leaving Eric at a crossroads—one that will influence both their lives in not just the present, but the future.
Is there a chance the two teens can be friends again, and maybe even more?
First, this is my 3rd Mia Kerick read and there’s something I’ve just gotta say… My first read by this author was The Art of Hero Worship. The next was Scarred. In each book so far, the “voices” of the characters were totally unique and fit those characters perfectly. I have to admit that when I first started Scarred, it kind of threw me, but the more I read, the more I realized that there was no better way to portray those characters. By the time I got to The Princess of Baker Street, I expected it and the author did not disappoint.
My first reaction when I finished The Princess of Baker Street was that even though this was definitely Joey’s book, it was just as much Eric’s – especially since it was told from his POV. My heart went out to both these young people. I don’t remember middle school being a scary time for me, but as a parent, I honestly couldn’t wait until all three of my daughters were past it. I hated what they went through and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it… and I tried. It was just the whole atmosphere and that included the adult staff. It was a miserable time for all of us and we were just fighting the normal everyday stuff. Nothing compared to what Joey and Eric faced. So, for a lot of reasons, this one just about broke me. *sigh*
It would have been easy to get mad at Eric, but he beat himself up enough. I could also kind of relate to that kind of mentality. He was just trying to survive the best he could with little or no support. Then there was Joey, who was just trying to be who she knew in her heart she was meant to be. The story was a perfect portrayal of how things change as children grow older. Their innocence and acceptance is replaced by what adults and society ingrain in them as the “norm”.
The second half of The Princess of Baker Street was full of hope. Things were far from perfect for either of them, but they were better. Their support system didn’t necessarily grow, but it tightened and I was honestly and truly happy for them. ❤