May and Libby were friends from 5-8th grade. They fit together perfectly, May loved to write and Libby loved to draw, so they decided to create a comic called Princess X together. Princess X lived in a haunted house and her parents were away, not dead but retired and vacationing. She has to protect her kingdom of Silverdale, and would go on amazing adventures. Neither May nor Libby had many other friends as they were completely satisfied with being together and writing their stories.
When they were 13, Libby died with her mom in a car accident. Her body wasn’t found until 2 weeks later when it floated on the river that the car had fallen into, Libby only identified by her school ID in the body’s pocket. May felt as if her one friend had left her, and then a week after the funeral Libby’s father packed up and donated all of her things, including all the Princess X books that they had tirelessly made together. May was heartbroken, searching thrift stores for the books for weeks, but she never found them.
3 years later, May is 16 years old and walking on the street when she starts seeing Princess X posters all over the electric poles and buildings. After a small hunt, she finally finds someone who tells her the name of the site that the comics and memorabilia are found on. When she goes onto the site, she sees that not much of their story has stayed the same. However, the princess’s mother is now dead, and is drawn with a shocking resemblance to Libby’s mother. The Needle Man, one of the villains, is now the main villain who had a sick daughter. When Princess X’s parent’s didn’t allow Princess X to save the daughter by giving her her blood and bones, the daughter died. The Needle Man killed Princess X’s mother, the Queen, and took Princess X to be his daughter.
The artist drew Princess X and her friend playing with chalk when the Needle Man approached the Princess’s parents, and Libby and May met when they were playing with chalk. Princess X even looks like an older version of Libby. May is convinced that Libby never actually died and that she is the one drawing the comics, and enlists a hacker to track her lost best friend down.
This book was very unique . I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, but it didn’t leave me with that many lasting impressions after finishing it. I was simply happy to have finished it, not reveling in the amazing story. I admired May’s perseverance in finding her long lost friend even when everyone else was telling her that it was basically pointless. I haven’t read many cyber thrillers before, so the intermingling of hacking and mystery solving in a book was fairly new to me. I feel that some of the things should have been a bit more difficult for them to do, but I do like that the plot kept moving along. I wish the book had been extended a bit more past the ending, but I suppose the author had reasons for leaving it there. This book didn’t stick with me that much, as the story was interesting enough but the storytelling just didn’t do it for me that much.
Overall Rating: 2.5/5