Darling Charming is bored in Damsel-In-Distressing class. She’d much rather be in Hero Training with her brothers. The only thing is, she has secretly been helping her brother Dexter ace the class. If anyone finds out, a scandal would erupt at Ever After High. One of the most prestigious families in town, the Charmings have a reputation to uphold. Darling is destined to be a damsel…but this Rebel may want to decide her own destiny! Why should princes have all the fun?
Don’t miss the companion activity book, Hero Training!
First, I am here to say that Darling went beyond the I’m not like other girls trap that tomboy girls fall into. Well, she kind of skirted it at times which I will get into in the bad section. One of the main thoughts when I was reading the first couple of chapters is that this book is very feminist. It has the depth to make me understand why she doesn’t like being a damsel without hitting the common traps. Even though, I read the short story of hers in the A Storybook Collection I was still a bit surprised by the amount of work she put into being secretly what she wanted to be.
Her main issues were:
- Guys fawning over her beauty and money/family name without knowing her every five minutes
- Being restricted in what she could do because she is a princess
-The brother sister relationship is good. It is not as amazing as I thought it would be since Darling wants to keep everyone at a distance.
-So the Charming parents are the worst so far in the series.
-I seriously still like all the parts when Daring appears. I feel that he is not as bad a character as people make him out to be seeing how he acts with Daring in this book.
Darling is selfish and very much about herself. The moments that really illustrated Darlings flaws is the way she treats anyone who is not like her. She ignores Rosabella her roommate because she stands up for social justice and is whatever box Darling put her in to not to actually give her the time of day. Darling essentially does this with every body.
Rosabella Now that we are on Rosabella let me take a quick derail and talk about where they seem to be going with her. So Rosabella is shaping to be the character who like Venus cares about social justice. The issue is that I am afraid like Venus her caring about anything beyond herself will cause her to be characterized as a crazy social justice warrior. If this happens it will be an excuse for them to not only barely feature her but also not give her any nuance beyond that. It gives this message to kids and whoever reads this that you cannot care for anything beyond yourself without being overbearing. I know (pray) that Rosabella is getting this treatment so they do not have to include her because she is not full fleshed out to them at the time of this book.
Back onto Darling, she couldn’t have friends because she is too busy keeping up this façade and looking down on everyone. She has no friends in result of pushing away the other girls since they seem to be so into being damsels.
I hope she is checked one day this preferably by Rosabella Beauty.
Is Darlings physical makeup of blonde hair and blue eyes thus being the object of the guys affection a comment on society too? I think this is an interesting narrative seeing how Cedar, Duchess, and Ginger cannot get one guy to remotely look at them. I think this could be read on a bit of deeper level than other middle grade (even some adult too)books that include feminism.
After my rant and everything I want to say that I really enjoy this book and overall series. It manages to make characters who in any other series would get on my nerves interesting and fun to read about. Can’t wait for the next book in the series.