Book review: The Prince and the Dressmaker
Book reviews

The Prince and the Dressmaker – Jen Wang

Release date: 13 February 2018
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5 stars

The Prince and the Dressmaker blurb:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!
Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

Mini review time!! Basically, these are going to appear when I am too lazy to write a full length review. Today my excuse is that I was busy. Reading this, doing some work from home, lying on the couch, and rediscovering Twitter. YOU’RE WELCOME. Also, I still can’t tell if I like Twitter or not… it’s touch and go at the moment.

So, mini reviews are new!! They’re not really because I’m lazy and procrastinating. But mini reviews are easier when it’s, say, a graphic novel or short story type of book. I mean, surely you don’t want to read a review that’s longer than the actual book?? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
This book has been doing the rounds on the blogosphere and bookstagram lately. It seems to be everywhere I look, and because I am heavily influenced by what I see (advertising absolutely works on me) I HAD TO buy this. And I am so glad I did because it is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. Here’s why.

  1. This story NORMALISES being trans. I’m not saying Sebastian IS trans, but the way it is described in the story is how some trans people have described the feeling to me. And the best part is that Frances is just super chill about it. Sebastian could have said “I like chocolate icing with sprinkles on my cake.” or “I would like a pet frog.” and I feel like Frances would have been all “Cool.” and there’s no judgement at all in that. You be you, and I will love you as a person, regardless. That’s actually really beautiful.
  2. The art was super lovely. I loved the clothes that Frances designed. I love the way that Sebastian was transformed into Lady Crystallia. I love that whole French period, and while the copycat dresses weren’t exactly the same, you can see the inspiration from what Frances was making in the ‘lesser’ dresses.
  3. The ending made me cry. (Which, if you have read any reviews by me any time, you may have picked up on this being a good thing.) Like, BAWL MY EYES OUT cry. I’m also starting to suspect that I might have a … *gasp* … heart? And some feelings. It’s all a bit much really. Excuse me while I go sacrifice some wildlife or something to regain that shriveled up ticking thing in my chest. FYI, that scene with Sebastian’s dad with the antlers is the coolest scene in the entire story.

There wasn’t really anything I didn’t like. Except maybe that it took me so long to acquire and read this. But I can hardly blame the author for that.
All in all, I loved it, I recommend it, and you should go read it. (And if you’ve already read it, try reading it again! ?)
Until next time, happy reading ??


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