Review: No Missing Parts, by Anne Laurel Carter

No Missing Parts, And Other Stories about Real Princesses, Anne Laurel Carter

In short: I picked this book off the shelf at random, which is unusual for me: the vast majority of books I read have been recommended to me (sometimes unknowingly, as when a kid puts an intriguing-sounding book on hold and I immediately put it on hold for myself as well). The idea (as you can probably guess from the title) is that Carter got messed up by princess stories as a little girl, and wanted to instead present us with stories about strong, independent women. I guess she succeeds in doing that, but to be honest, only the first story really lives up to the “real princess” title. Plus, some of the characters (particularly the protagonist of the last story) aren’t notably strong or independent. So the book is, I think, inaptly named, and I sort of resented that – I was actually looking forward to reading some empowering “real princess” stories. But it’s really just a collection of short stories with female protagonists who live in Canada. Right, I forgot to mention that. They’re mostly set in Canada, which I guess is where Carter hails from. Sometimes this is a plot point, sometimes it’s not. These stories are really underwhelming, though. This is a meandering review because I don’t have all that much to say. Some of the stories are cute. Some are stupid. None are noteworthy. And a few of the endings reminded me, extremely painfully, of Eve Merriam’s unbelievably hideous volume of young adult “poetry”, If Only I Could Tell You: Poems for Young Lovers and Dreamers. And that’s never good.

Read it if you like: Little House on the Prairie, Canada

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