“The Princess Within for Teens” by Serita Ann Jakes is intended to be interactive and in-touch with issues that today’s teen girls face. I believe it is most suitable for mid-range to older teens, based on my (mature) twelve year-old’s lack of interest in the book. She’s a prolific reader, but three chapters in she declared she’d read enough. Her synopsis was that the book is “confusing because it jumps around from one thing to another too much.”
When I read it I had to agree with her assessment; this book is busy. Each chapter begins with a brief segment of a `fairy tale’ that serves to tie the theme of the book together. Sometimes that story doesn’t seem to make much progress or have any real relevance though, its almost like its there because it has to be. Then there’s the recommended playlist for every chapter (not sure that some of the recommended songs are anything that most teens would listen to) as well as the quizzes (that didn’t always have a clear purpose other than to give the reader something to do), teaching sections, facts and statistics, journal entries and personal stories from young women, and finally a closing prompt urging the reader to seek God on a particular topic. A number of the journal entries and personal stories were difficult to follow in terms of relevance- this was also something my daughter pointed out. For instance, the author’s first journal entry begins by talking about the death of her brother but then veers off into her abusive relationship with her boyfriend without any clear reason for the change in direction. Anyway, the chapters are busy and not always cohesive, but I believe older teens could find the format generally engaging and interactive. I also think the material is relevant to, and cognizant of, the many issues that teen girls face today, and that the author’s tone will appeal to young women. She manages to advise and instruct without sounding too preachy. Ultimately, “The Princess Within” encourages young women to grow in the Lord, to live their faith in hard situations, and to love and accept themselves as precious in God’s sight. If you’re looking for a book that is founded on biblical teaching but written in such a way that it will engage a busy teen, this could be the one.I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.