Goodreads: Get Over Yourself
Series: Princeless #2
Having escaped from her prison tower with her guard dragon Sparky, Adrienne is now travelling with Bedelia to complete her first rescue mission. She has chosen her sister Angelica, the most beautiful princess in the land, but before she can defeat Angelica’s guardian, she must first defeat the knights sent by her father to kill her.
The second volume in the Princeless series continues to provide a thoughtful look at the way society interprets gender, while still telling an action-packed story. While previously readers only knew Adrienne’s version of Asheland, this volume opens up her world, introducing new people, new landscapes, and new concepts. Though Adrienne believes fighting the patriarchy just means grabbing a sword and releasing her sisters, her new experiences are about to show her that things may be more complicated.
Get Over Yourself quickly addresses the elephant in the room left from Adrienne’s last adventure–what of the women (such as her mother) who do not have problems with the way society works? Readers, after all, know that the queen agreed to lock up her daughters to attract eligible males; she is a part of the system and sees no reason to change it. It stands to reason that she might have raised some of her daughters to feel the same.
Thus Adrienne is in for a shock when she goes to rescue her beautiful sister Angelica and realizes that Angelica likes being considered beautiful and enjoys having people come to fawn over her image. Adrienne suddenly has to adjust her plans when she learns that not all women want what she wants. But is that okay? Should Angelica be allowed to stand around looking beautiful instead of slinging a sword and challenging the traditional concept of beauty? There are no easy answers here.
Perhaps even more interesting are the hints the even Adrienne cannot fully escape the confines of her society. Her anger at Angelica seems to stem less from a desire to see her sister do something useful than from old wounds that never healed–wounds she gained when she learned society did not consider her beautiful. And there is a particularly intelligent scene in which she and Bedelia wake up looking less than princess-like– and immediately rush to prettify themselves before a man can spot them and realize they do not always look perfectly done up. Even after the two discuss the situation and admit no good reason exists for them to pretend they are not human and sometimes wake up with bedhead or awkward grooming issues, they succumb to societal pressure. Adrienne hides her natural hair. Bedelia shaves.
As the series progresses, I expect it will continue to explore social and gender issues as astutely and sensitively as it has done so far. And Adrienne, no doubt, will continue growing as she meets her other sisters and discusses with them what they want out of life–even if what they want does not match her own vision of what she thinks women should want. And with all these issues wrapped up in a fantasy-mystery-adventure starring a dragon, what’s not to love?