Working Toward a Goal
'The Secret Lives of Princesses' by Seven Steps is yet another enjoyable addition to the St. Mary's Academy series of books. Main character Jasmine Patel knows what she wants out of life, but she isn't quite sure how to take charge and make it all happen. Worry envelops her as she wonders how to tell her parents about her desire to be a painter and not a doctor when she grows up, and how to break the same news to Andrew, the guy she likes, when he takes an interest in her. Besides her friends, she doesn't seem to have much support from the outside world in terms of her aspirations, which flummoxes her since she feels so strongly about those goals.
Enter Oliver Santiago, better known as Ollie, who inspires Jasmine in ways she didn't know were possible, but irritates her even more. She can't wrap her head around why he is so ridiculously down on co-winning an art mural contest with her, but she finds herself constantly partnered with him by means of their art teacher. Finding a way to work together allows Jasmine to let her walls down a little bit, but this only causes tension between her and new beau Andrew as she struggles to figure out what she really wants for herself and how to best go about achieving it.
With her friends by her side, she discovers that her parents are closer to divorce than she thought, and when her mother decides to take unexpected interest in her life, everything seems doomed. However, at every point in the story where doom seemed imminent, a bright light always came through, even taking into account Jasmine's insistence to herself that everything is constantly bound to go wrong.
Despite the fact that the book was quite lengthy and could have likely been pared down quite a bit, there were also a few scenes that could have used some further elaboration. However, the story is interesting and will keep readers invested in finding out what will happen to Jasmine, Ollie, and Andrew, along with Jasmine's friends and family. A creative take on another Disney classic, 'The Secret Lives of Princesses' proves that one's determination and insistence on achieving one's goals are paramount to success.