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The Prince and the Dressmaker

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Paris, at the dawn of the modern age: 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 f Paris, at the dawn of the modern age: 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.


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Paris, at the dawn of the modern age: 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 f Paris, at the dawn of the modern age: 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.

30 review for The Prince and the Dressmaker

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    This was absolutely adorable. I'm not exaggerating when I say books like this really do restore a little of my faith in humanity. It's a really cute story but, as a person who generally prefers "tense" and "gritty" over "cute" reads, it's not too saccharine as to be unbearable. This is a good graphic novel for readers who enjoy the occasional fun read like Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda or My Lady Jane. The illustrations are simple and cartoonish, but still good. It suits the tone of the story, This was absolutely adorable. I'm not exaggerating when I say books like this really do restore a little of my faith in humanity. It's a really cute story but, as a person who generally prefers "tense" and "gritty" over "cute" reads, it's not too saccharine as to be unbearable. This is a good graphic novel for readers who enjoy the occasional fun read like Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda or My Lady Jane. The illustrations are simple and cartoonish, but still good. It suits the tone of the story, to be honest. The Prince and the Dressmaker is about Frances, a Parisian dressmaker who suddenly receives an amazing opportunity to make dresses for royalty-- Prince Sebastian, to be precise! Together the pair dazzle around Paris at night, with Sebastian - or Lady Crystallia - wearing Frances's gorgeous creations. But by day he must go back to being the prince and Frances must keep his secret. Friendship grows between them, and then something else, but when Sebastian's secret threatens an amazing opportunity for Frances, things get complicated. Both characters are wonderful and lovable and, as readers shall soon see, they are surrounded by some pretty amazing secondary characters, too. The whole (view spoiler)[fashion show (hide spoiler)] near the end might just be one of the best things I've ever seen XD I can't stop smiling. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  2. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Schwab

    Absolutely charming.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cristina Monica

    This is the graphic novel I had no idea I was waiting for these past twenty years of my life. I have always loved stories about princes and princesses and kings and queens and lavish dresses—no wonder I couldn’t put this down. I don’t want to speak too soon… Oh hell, I can already see this one winning Best Graphic Novel in December 2018 when the Goodreads Choice Awards makes its appearance once again. And if that doesn’t happen, I will consider protesting. Unless, of course, something better gets This is the graphic novel I had no idea I was waiting for these past twenty years of my life. I have always loved stories about princes and princesses and kings and queens and lavish dresses—no wonder I couldn’t put this down. I don’t want to speak too soon… Oh hell, I can already see this one winning Best Graphic Novel in December 2018 when the Goodreads Choice Awards makes its appearance once again. And if that doesn’t happen, I will consider protesting. Unless, of course, something better gets published—as if. Well look at that, mama bear has come out to protect her babies. Prince Sebastian has a scandalous secret: By day, he is the son of the King of Belgium who must act accordingly and, unfortunately, find a princess to marry in order to form a fortunate alliance. But by night, he becomes Lady Crystallia, a fashionable woman who creates trends and is the light of any event. All thanks to Frances, Sebastian’s new dressmaker who can transform a boring fabric into a magic dress. Frances knows the prince’s secret, but she is the only one, and that is how it shall remain, or else he might lose this side of him forever. After all, who wants a prince who wears dresses? (I do.) I wasn’t that fan of Jen Wang’s IN REAL LIFE, a graphic novel about gaming, but this is a completely different creature. Everything about it is perfect and that is not something I get to say very often. But it’s true, from my point of view. I loved the characters, the story, the themes, the drawings, and even the ending (regardless of the fact that it’s not one hundred perfect realistic). Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I even breathed as I read this. I was in a state of full absorption. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  4. 4 out of 5

    Zoë

    Loved, loved, loved! The art style was colorful and cute and atmospheric, which is exactly what I enjoy in a graphic novel. It takes place in late 19th century France, which gives the story a slightly fairytale vibe. The characters were lovable and helped each other become the best versions of themselves. And, of course, my favorite aspect was how respectfully gender identity is discussed. I could go on and on about what I loved, but I think you get the point. One issue I had was that the main ch Loved, loved, loved! The art style was colorful and cute and atmospheric, which is exactly what I enjoy in a graphic novel. It takes place in late 19th century France, which gives the story a slightly fairytale vibe. The characters were lovable and helped each other become the best versions of themselves. And, of course, my favorite aspect was how respectfully gender identity is discussed. I could go on and on about what I loved, but I think you get the point. One issue I had was that the main character was forced into coming out during a public event, but I loved the happily ever after both protagonists were ultimately given!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    I just.. loved this. It was so solid. The art was beautiful.. I'll probably buy anything that Jen Wang ever releases. The story was fun and the ending made me happy and emotional. I felt like the story was a little straight forward and predictable, but not in a way that frustrated me. It felt like a fairy tale where you know the lesson, you know the moral, but you still want to hear it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Ramírez

    THIS WAS SO PRECIOUS. All of the stars for it!!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzi

    This book is the anachronistic 19th century French fairytale meets Project Runway but with cross dressing and deconstruction of gender norms of my dreams.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    This was running at a four stars for me the entire book because it was precious and supportive and the art was great.... but then the climax hit and I immediately bumped it up a star. This book was SO great and was the perfect balance of simplistic while also hitting such important topics like being gender fluid and acceptance thereof. I devoured this in less than an hour and cannot wait to buy a copy for my shelf, since this was a library copy! Definitely highly recommend for any reader of any This was running at a four stars for me the entire book because it was precious and supportive and the art was great.... but then the climax hit and I immediately bumped it up a star. This book was SO great and was the perfect balance of simplistic while also hitting such important topics like being gender fluid and acceptance thereof. I devoured this in less than an hour and cannot wait to buy a copy for my shelf, since this was a library copy! Definitely highly recommend for any reader of any age. I wish this book was a series and I could get a million volumes of Sebastian and Frances's adventures.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    I smile every time I think about this. SO GOOD!

  10. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I was so excited to read this graphic novel, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. This is honestly my favorite graphic novel I have read all year—probably in the last two years, even—and I know it is one I would reread again and again in the future. The artwork is beautiful, the story is so sweet, and I just loved every single bit of it from start to finish. I know a lot of reviewers have said they're hesitant to call this a queer story, because Sebastian never specifically calls himself t I was so excited to read this graphic novel, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. This is honestly my favorite graphic novel I have read all year—probably in the last two years, even—and I know it is one I would reread again and again in the future. The artwork is beautiful, the story is so sweet, and I just loved every single bit of it from start to finish. I know a lot of reviewers have said they're hesitant to call this a queer story, because Sebastian never specifically calls himself trans, nonbinary, gender-fluid, etc. I understand the hesitation with how open-ended it feels, but at one point in the story, Sebastian specifically says that some days, he feels like a prince, and some days, he feels like a princess. When I showed this panel to a loved one of mine who is nonbinary, he immediately said that it resonated very strongly with him, and frankly, that's good enough for me to recommend this as a must-read, beautiful queer story. ♥ I know not every experience is the same, but I would just like to ask my fellow cisgender reviewers to take cautions before implying that this story "isn't queer enough". That tangent aside, seriously, this book is gorgeous, Jen Wang is ridiculously talented, and I truly hope there is more on the way in the veins of The Prince and the Dressmaker, because this warmed my heart and gave me all of the fuzzy feelings. Even if you don't like graphic novels typically (but especially if you do!), I strongly recommend picking up a copy of this one and giving it a try, if for nothing other than how much Sebastian and Frances will snuggle their way into your heart. TRIGGER WARNINGS: Please be aware that there is a scene of forced outing in this book, which is challenged and not presented as a healthy situation for Sebastian to be in, but I know could still be very hurtful to many individuals on the trans spectrum if they were unaware of it in advance. Please practice self-care and know that you are beautiful, loved, and valid. ♥

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Andersen

    The art in this! Just stunning! The colors, composition, the flowing linework... Meanwhile the story is modern while retaining the old-school sweetness and charm of a fairy tale (with a happy ending). Just incredible overall. Worthy of study by all illustrators and writers.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I loved it!!! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 I loved it!!! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  13. 5 out of 5

    Korrina (OwlCrate)

    This was exceptional! So heartwarming, and the characters were so lovable. This is definitely a story I’ll read again and again, and recommend to friends.

  14. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Original 4/1/18 review, slightly updated 9/21/18): Okay, even though it is only the beginning of March 1, I'm calling it: This is one of the top ten graphic novels for kids--probably tweens is right, given my tween household--any kids, of 2018. I have now seen teen reading it, too. Now, don't get too excited, Alan Moore fans; this is for younger readers, but for this audience it is great work. I've read Koko Be Good by Wang and thought it was good, okay, but this is really a huge leap forward fo Original 4/1/18 review, slightly updated 9/21/18): Okay, even though it is only the beginning of March 1, I'm calling it: This is one of the top ten graphic novels for kids--probably tweens is right, given my tween household--any kids, of 2018. I have now seen teen reading it, too. Now, don't get too excited, Alan Moore fans; this is for younger readers, but for this audience it is great work. I've read Koko Be Good by Wang and thought it was good, okay, but this is really a huge leap forward for Wang, in my opinion. As of 11/18/18 this book is one of the ten final nominees for the Goodreads award, one of 2-3 faves for sure. In my top ten day for the year! The Prince and the Dressmaker is a kind of revival of a long used concept, the idea of (sort of) swapping identities and/or class positions. It has the feel of fantasy and adventure about it, of aspirations, of dreams. It's the story of a "lowly" dressmaker who is hired to secretly design dresses for . . . (oh, it can't be a spoiler for long, and it's the catch of the book, initially, so get over it) the prince. She doesn't want to be poor, she wants to design for the rich and famous; he doesn't want to be chosen to marry the pretty princess, he wants to wear lovely designer dresses (though it is more complicated than just that, actually)! Sound already cliched, in this time of the explosion of glbtq books? Well, there are earnest glbtq books that are necessary for serious contemplation of a myriad of issues about identity and coming out. This isn't one of those, really, because it just introduces issues of gender identity to a younger audience. And it's really really fun and refreshing and funny and sweet and at times silly, and totally confirming of everyone involved! So this is a kind of fantasy story, where more things work out happily than generally works out in real life, but who cares? Sometimes books can just be feel-good, can't they? Everything doesn't have to go all Ethan Frome on us all the time, does it?! The pattern for role-swapping in lit maybe started much earlier than Shakespearean comedies such as Twelfth Night, but the obvious reference here in this book is to Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, that I seem to recall reading with my sister when I was ten. Or maybe it was some Disney version, that we read and/or saw. It's a story of class envy, and satire (mainly of the upper class), but is also an exciting adventure that spawned hundreds of spinoffs. Dressmaker is a bit like that, a sort of shift into a bit of an upper-class life for our dressmaker. And here's another link for you, of which I was reminded: The deep friendship of Audrey Hepburn and designer Hubert de Givenchy (he said it was "like a marriage"), which itself inspired several books. A picture book I read and liked depicts a friendship between a man with taste and style, a fashion designer, and a girl just too lovely not to dress in the latest fashion, a match made in heaven: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...# (Givenchy went on to design the black dress Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's. To die for, yes!). If you think this is a sweet but a little tired as an idea, that you have already read this book somewhere, and know what it is all about, I urge you to think again and read this book. If you think you are so smart as to predict everything that will happen in it--you sophisticate, you!--I will tell you that the book has at least three surprises I did not anticipate in the end. I forced it immediately into the hands of the Next Person in the house, insisting she read it, and now: Here, read it, now, you, and get happy!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    this was everything and i loved it so much Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Blog | Spotify | Twitch this was everything and i loved it so much Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Blog | Spotify | Twitch

  16. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    "Some days I look at myself in the mirror and think, 'That's me, Prince Sebastian! I wear boy clothes and look like my father.' Other days it doesn't feel right at all. Those days I feel like I'm actually...a princess." Prince Sebastian is 16 years old, and his parents are pressuring him to find a wife. They keep suggesting all types of young women, princesses and other royalty from other countries. He knows he needs to be strategic to help the kingdom, but his heart isn't in it. It's not that so "Some days I look at myself in the mirror and think, 'That's me, Prince Sebastian! I wear boy clothes and look like my father.' Other days it doesn't feel right at all. Those days I feel like I'm actually...a princess." Prince Sebastian is 16 years old, and his parents are pressuring him to find a wife. They keep suggesting all types of young women, princesses and other royalty from other countries. He knows he needs to be strategic to help the kingdom, but his heart isn't in it. It's not that some of these young women aren't nice, that he doesn't enjoy their company, it's just...he has a secret. While by day, Sebastian fulfills his obligations as prince (sometimes just by the skin of his teeth), by night, Sebastian likes to dress in beautiful, eye-catching gowns, and take Paris society by storm as Lady Crystallia. His best friend, Frances, happens to be the most talented dressmaker and seamstress, and she creates Lady Crystallia's gowns, each one more avant-garde than the next. It's hard, however, when you're the only one who knows your friend's deepest secret. Obviously, you want to protect your friend, but what if it means having to keep your achievements a secret, too? Everyone knows that Frances is Sebastian's seamstress, but if she started to get acclaim as the dressmaker for Lady Crystallia, it won't take long for people—especially the king and queen—to put two and two together and realize who Lady Crystallia really is. And that would be disastrous for Sebastian. Jen Wang's The Prince and the Dressmaker is an absolutely wonderful graphic novel with gorgeous illustrations and an amazingly heartfelt story. Not only does it deal with the sacrifices we often make for our friends, and how sometimes we ask our friends for too much in an effort to enable us from avoiding important decisions, its unabashedly positive message that no one really should care what makes people happy if we love them made this book the perfect ending to my month of LGBTQ reads for Pride month. Some have expressed criticism that Sebastian never declares himself to be gay, trans, or whatever, but all I kept thinking when I read this was the line from "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga: "Don't be a drag, just be a queen." Sebastian clearly expresses his conflict over his identity, and at 16, it's entirely plausible that he's unsure exactly how he wants to live his entire life. This is the second graphic novel I've read this month and I am loving this genre. This was a super-quick read, but boy, did it warm my heart completely. It's such an amazing tribute to friendship, love, acceptance, and being exactly who you are. How can you quibble with that? Find this amazing book, take it to your heart, and share it with those you care about. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  17. 5 out of 5

    emma

    WHAAAAAAT. Never in a million years did I expect that from this book. Literally awesome. Beautiful art. Just fantastic stuff. Read it read it read it. That's all I have to say. Bottom line: WHY HAVEN'T YOU READ THIS YET WHEN I JUST VERY POLITELY DEMANDED YOU DO SO.

  18. 4 out of 5

    JV (semi-hiatus)

    Absolutely delightful and charming in all the right and bright places! Finally, an unconventional fairy tale waiting to be told for a new generation! This might sound Cinderella-ish, but everything starts with a royal invitation for the Prince's 16th birthday celebration sans the trope-tastic fairy godmother: As everyone in town clamors for that alluring gown to wear for the ball, only one dress stood out amidst the kaleidoscope of colors inside the kingdom's hall. Certainly, it caught the atten Absolutely delightful and charming in all the right and bright places! Finally, an unconventional fairy tale waiting to be told for a new generation! This might sound Cinderella-ish, but everything starts with a royal invitation for the Prince's 16th birthday celebration sans the trope-tastic fairy godmother: As everyone in town clamors for that alluring gown to wear for the ball, only one dress stood out amidst the kaleidoscope of colors inside the kingdom's hall. Certainly, it caught the attention of a mysterious stranger and offered something more than Frances, a lowly seamstress, could ever hope for — an opportunity to express herself and weave the finest dresses while, at the same time, helping this stranger craft and wear this Parisian avant-garde designs. However, something's not quite right: With Prince Sebastian's identity exposed, Frances and the Prince both enter a pact that paves a way for a special friendship to develop. And hell! What more can I say? He's/she's/they're pretty damn gorgeous, even prettier than my pink soul (Swarovski sold separately) — which reminds me, I need to borrow Sailor Moon's transformation for a while. *cries* There are also brilliantly hilarious moments! Later on, things get quite messy and complicated as the Prince's secret is revealed to the unsuspecting public. If you're looking for a particular label where the Prince might fall in the LGBTQ+ spectrum, you're out of luck. No labels here as far as I can tell, but the messages in this graphic novel are truly inspiring. And what message might that be, you might ask? Welp, I encourage you to read The Prince and the Dressmaker.

  19. 4 out of 5

    demi. ♡

    ❥ 5 / 5 stars OMGGGGG!!! This graphic novel is so stunning and absolutely awesome! The story is cute and the main characters are lovely. Everything is just perfect. This is my first comic book / graphic novel in the past 3 years and it doesn't disappoint me at all! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  20. 5 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    "Some days I look at myself in the mirror and think, 'That's me, Prince Sebastian! I wear boy clothes and look like my father.' Other days it doesn't feel right at all. Those days I feel like I'm actually... a princess." trigger warnings: queerphobia, being publicly forced into coming out. representation: genderfluid MC. This was so lovely :3

  21. 5 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    Delivered more than I had anticipated 😍 This graphic novel has been one of my most anticipated reads of the year. And I am so glad that I have read and absolutely love it!!! I am so glad I picked it up today. It's all about acceptance, acceptance, acceptance and celebrating the uniqueness and differences. Feeling blessed 🤗

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karima chermiti

    well, that was super cute and adorable. My first graphic novel for 2018 and it felt like a breeze of fresh air, I loved it Full review posted Well, The Prince and the Dressmaker turned out to be the most delightful surprise of 2018 and for many reasons: 1/ To say that graphic novels aren’t my cup of tea is an understatement. I don’t like them very much and I feel like I can’t get a lot out of them. it’s not like I’m judging them without trying, it’s actually quite the opposite, I tried many tim well, that was super cute and adorable. My first graphic novel for 2018 and it felt like a breeze of fresh air, I loved it Full review posted Well, The Prince and the Dressmaker turned out to be the most delightful surprise of 2018 and for many reasons: 1/ To say that graphic novels aren’t my cup of tea is an understatement. I don’t like them very much and I feel like I can’t get a lot out of them. it’s not like I’m judging them without trying, it’s actually quite the opposite, I tried many times to read graphic novels and every time I can’t get through it, I just stop and feel totally disappointed and then I get scared of ever trying again but the prince and the dressmaker completely changed my mind. I’m so excited that I think I may try again with other graphic novels so probably I can use some recommendations Guys 2/ I enjoyed the illustrations so much, they were beautiful and so endearing and they reminded me of some the cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid and that was a very nice feeling. Everything that reminds me of my childhood is something to love and cherish. 3/ The story was actually engaging with really important messages about acceptance and how it’s liberating to be yourself and to find someone who sees the real you and doesn’t judge for it. 4/ the characters are amazing and they never felt flat, not for a second. The fact that I loved them, cared about them and rooted for them is a proof that this graphic novel was a win for me. I’m always scared that I will get distracted by the illustrations that I won’t connect to the characters but it was not the case here because I enjoyed those pictures but what I enjoyed more is the different characters this novel introduced to me from the loyal Emile, to the lovely, talented and ambitious Frances to the price who wanted more than arranged marriage out of this life. Adorable, Beautiful with an important message to communicate, The Prince and the Dressmaker is definitely worthy of recommendations.

  23. 4 out of 5

    sarah xoxo

    If I had to sum up this book in one word: adorable The art style? Adorable The plot? Adorable The characters? You guessed it- Adorable. I think I should begin with my experience (or lack thereof) when it comes to graphic novels. Really the only two I have ever read are Heartstopper and R U Screwed, both of which are webcomics. I guess that is all to say that I am quite inexperienced in reading and reviewing graphic novels so be easy on me! Compared to the two other graphic novels I have read- whi If I had to sum up this book in one word: adorable The art style? Adorable The plot? Adorable The characters? You guessed it- Adorable. I think I should begin with my experience (or lack thereof) when it comes to graphic novels. Really the only two I have ever read are Heartstopper and R U Screwed, both of which are webcomics. I guess that is all to say that I am quite inexperienced in reading and reviewing graphic novels so be easy on me! Compared to the two other graphic novels I have read- which were in black and white- the prince and the dressmaker was stunning. 5 stars to just the art if I’m being honest. I loved the colour palette, the historical French aesthetic and the gorgeous dresses. I adored the panels and the way they interacted with each other. However, I didn’t enjoy the story quite as much as the art. It was cute and all, but lacked a bit of substance for me. It may just be that I am too used to full length novels and their style of fleshing out plot and characters, but this fell a little bit flat for me. I liked the characters, but wasn’t particular connected with them. I felt like there wasn’t enough at stake in the story for me to get fully invested. Don’t get me wrong- I really enjoyed the story! I just found it a little lacking in some aspects. I don’t quite know how to weigh the story and art. Because if the art is pretty but the story is underwhelming, how does that compare to one where the story is brilliant but the art leaves something to be desired? I think settling somewhere between 3.5-4 stars accurately represents my feelings, but I'll definitely have to work on my rating system for graphic novels in the future! I would definitely recommend this as a fast paced, adorable read perfect for pride month- or any month really- overflowing with love and friendship. ★★★☆☆.5 stars

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Prince by day, Lady Crystallia by night, Sebastian hires Frances to make him dresses so he can feel more like himself and shake off the pressures of an arranged marriage. But secrets can only stay hidden for so long when all of Paris starts to copy France’s designs, and the Lady Crystallia becomes the talk of the town. This was absolutely adorable. The message, the pictures, the relationship between Frances and Sebastian. It put a smile on my face and made me feel all fuzzy inside. Emotional but Prince by day, Lady Crystallia by night, Sebastian hires Frances to make him dresses so he can feel more like himself and shake off the pressures of an arranged marriage. But secrets can only stay hidden for so long when all of Paris starts to copy France’s designs, and the Lady Crystallia becomes the talk of the town. This was absolutely adorable. The message, the pictures, the relationship between Frances and Sebastian. It put a smile on my face and made me feel all fuzzy inside. Emotional but sweet, it hit the spot for a short pick me up in between some heavier reads. If anything, I wanted it to be longer as the story wraps up really quickly. Otherwise, it’s one of the best graphic novels I’ve read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joce (squibblesreads)

    This was amazing! Beautiful graphic novel with whimsical, royal setting. The art style reflected this in its use of gold, olive, and muted jewel tones. Topics include gender identity and self expression with relation to gender identity, family pressure. I loved how Frances, the dressmaker, was so skillful and talented with fashion design and was quietly confident. She wouldn’t take no for an answer and valued her self worth. I also loved the use of bright bold colors when showing her designs in c This was amazing! Beautiful graphic novel with whimsical, royal setting. The art style reflected this in its use of gold, olive, and muted jewel tones. Topics include gender identity and self expression with relation to gender identity, family pressure. I loved how Frances, the dressmaker, was so skillful and talented with fashion design and was quietly confident. She wouldn’t take no for an answer and valued her self worth. I also loved the use of bright bold colors when showing her designs in contrast to the muted jewel tones and gold of the setting. Sebastian was a wonderful character who was also quietly strong and the way he was portrayed reflected his challenges well and didn’t downplay them. Overall, definitely a graphic novel I’ll remember. I loved it!

  26. 4 out of 5

    ˗ˏˋliaˎˊ˗

    “seeing you, i realized everything would be fine. because someone still loved him.” all of you were right, and i absolutely adored this. i went into the prince and the dressmaker with no expectations at all, other than the fact that chloe loved it. and i especially didn’t expect to be so moved and cry at some parts. it was so beautiful how the graphic novel was really simplistic in terms of plot/ dialogue, yet was able to address the topics of self expression and being gender fluid and how it i “seeing you, i realized everything would be fine. because someone still loved him.” all of you were right, and i absolutely adored this. i went into the prince and the dressmaker with no expectations at all, other than the fact that chloe loved it. and i especially didn’t expect to be so moved and cry at some parts. it was so beautiful how the graphic novel was really simplistic in terms of plot/ dialogue, yet was able to address the topics of self expression and being gender fluid and how it is perceived by different groups of people. and the ART!! i was literally in awe of it and also loved the little insight of the graphic novel’s creation at the end. can’t wait to see more of jen wang’s work! → 4.5 stars

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    My daughters and I enjoyed Jen Wang's Stargazing, so my sister very kindly sent a copy of the same author's The Prince and the Dressmaker for my middle child's birthday. I wish I could just burst into bubbles here, acknowledging my sister's gift. I wish, for the author's sake, I could lavish praise onto this unusual book, too, but I'm afraid it simply confused me. First off, why does the protagonist look exactly like the protagonist from Stargazing?? The only difference I can discern is the longer My daughters and I enjoyed Jen Wang's Stargazing, so my sister very kindly sent a copy of the same author's The Prince and the Dressmaker for my middle child's birthday. I wish I could just burst into bubbles here, acknowledging my sister's gift. I wish, for the author's sake, I could lavish praise onto this unusual book, too, but I'm afraid it simply confused me. First off, why does the protagonist look exactly like the protagonist from Stargazing?? The only difference I can discern is the longer hair, but it is basically the same exact face. (And, no, it is not the same character). Second, why did the author bother to make the setting of this Paris, France? Was she simply in need of a setting that could justify the presence of a prince? If you're going to set a story in Paris, then I think you should at least make one thing about the story FRENCH, rather than have the characters speak nothing but English. Why, oh why, did the king use the word “bloody” several times? The association here is British, not French. Why couldn't she at least have offered something in French, other than a couple of characters mentioning the Paris Ballet? When I asked my 12-year-old what the setting was, after reading it, she answered, “Nowhere. You know, like a fairy tale.” Um, no, that is not correct, but I understand the confusion. Even the book jacket tantalizes the reader with the setting of “Paris,” yet nothing about Paris appears. Almost finished here: why is this story set in the past, with horses and carriages, yet the characters use language like this: And, shall I end with the ending? It was contrived and implausible to the point of turning me green. My daughter rates it “three stars,” but she asked it like a question: three stars? As she said it, she contributed, “I knew you weren't going to like it, Mom.” Well, look at that. I think we're getting somewhere. Somewhere, just definitely not Paris.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    "How can someone like me marry a princess? What happens if she discovers who I really am? How could I do that to someone's daughter? How could I do that to my parents?" pg. 73 OK, so... I'm not sure where to begin in reviewing this book. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous. First I thought it was ridiculous, but maybe Wang was 'stretching things a little' in order to make a happy, fun message about dressing in drag or defying traditional gender roles or something. But there's 'stretching thing "How can someone like me marry a princess? What happens if she discovers who I really am? How could I do that to someone's daughter? How could I do that to my parents?" pg. 73 OK, so... I'm not sure where to begin in reviewing this book. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous. First I thought it was ridiculous, but maybe Wang was 'stretching things a little' in order to make a happy, fun message about dressing in drag or defying traditional gender roles or something. But there's 'stretching things a little' and then there's THIS, which borders on absurdist parody. Maybe it is absurdist parody? IDK. I think my main problem here is the setting and tone of the book. I think Wang would have been helped a lot by choosing to place this book in a fantasy setting or a setting removed from the real world. Unfortunately, she places it in 1830s Paris. This is a mistake. The horrible juxtaposition of 'taking things seriously' and 'being utterly ridiculous' is SO jarring and off-putting, I couldn't get over it. Especially the insane, ludicrous ending of this book. There are two ways Wang could really go with this book. She could create a fake world in which this was taking place, amp up the comedy a little, and make a more 'grown-up' version of something like Princess Princess Ever After. Then, the ludicrous and insane actions of the characters would be seen as 'quirky' and 'uplifting' and 'sending a message of love to all the world!' Or, conversely, she could write a book about a prince in 1830s Paris who enjoys dressing like a woman and then explore what kind of things he'd have to deal with, his problems, his obstacles, the struggles he'd go through especially because he is a prince and not a commoner. Instead, she jams together some kind of 2018 narrative about men who like to wear dresses, and acceptance, and love, and being yourself with a time period when things would NOT have gone down like this. At all. These crossed wires are what is making me despise this book. Let's break it down. Sebastian is a prince. Not of a made-up country! Of Belgium. His big secret is that he loves to wear dresses and other clothing designed for women. He plucks a daring seamstress out of her bad employment situation to work for him at the palace. Blah blah blah. Here are a few of my problems: ONE: Let's start with Frances, the seamstress, making a kind of risqué, modern outfit for a discontented teenage 'lady' who is upset at her mother's attempts to marry her off. It's ridiculous. The girl gets in the outfit and comes to the ball. The whole idea of both Frances being able to make such an outfit and the girl being able to get out of the house in it is RIDICULOUS. Then they all stare at her while she shoves pastries in her mouth. TWO: The idea that Sebastian just moseys around Paris all the time, dressed like a woman. WHAT. WHAT. The book even wants me to believe that Juliana, one of the princesses he 'interviewed' for marriage doesn't recognize him! Yeah. It's incredible, as in 'literally not believable.' Nor does the book really touch upon or describe the real terror I think would accompany these little outings. Even in 1998, they would KILL YOU for being a man trying to 'pass' for a woman. Not that Sebastian is transgender, he's not, but he has to try and 'pass as a woman' because obviously if he didn't things would be much, much worse. Better to let people assume he's a woman than portray yourself as blatantly a man in a dress. WHY? In this book it's because he or his family might be embarrassed. In real life it's because he would be raped and murdered, or tortured and murdered. I was completely gobsmacked. Even in 1990s... more then ONE HUNDRED YEARS AFTER THIS BOOK TAKES PLACE, things were very very bad for queer, gay, transgender, LGBTQIA+ people. I don't know if you remember the nineties. It was BAD. Not like things are so hot now, but... yeah the nineties. >.< However, in this book everyone pretends that the worst thing that could happen to our young prince is that he would be 'outed' and face some embarrassment. He does BAFFLING stuff like goes to a bar alone at night in a dress. Then, (view spoiler)[a man - Marcel, a prince actually - hits on him in a bar thinking he's a woman. Sebastian is drunk. Nothing sexual happens, but it is revealed that 'Lady Crystallia" is really Prince Sebastian. Two things: One, no violence ensues. I don't think in 1830 a heterosexual titled man would be understanding about finding out the person he was hitting on in public was male. Second thing, Marcel, like every other character in this book, makes the absolutely baffling and nonsensical decision to publicly humiliate and expose Sebastian instead of sweeping it under the rug. This makes no sense for a plethora of reasons including but not limited to: in doing so, he will expose the fact that he hit on a man sexually. In doing so he will humiliate and devalue his sister. In doing so he will humiliate his own family. In doing so he will be fucking over another royal family which I'm pretty sure he needs to keep good, strong, diplomatic ties with. (hide spoiler)] THREE: Sebastian's parents basically just (view spoiler)[shake their heads at him and abandon him. WHICH MAKES NO SENSE. He isn't a commoner, he's the fucking prince of Belgium. (hide spoiler)] FOUR: (view spoiler)[Then he RUNS AWAY and 'no one knows where he is.' The prince. The PRINCE of a European country 'runs away' and I'm supposed to think a.) that this happened and b.) that no one would keep tabs on him. STUPID. (hide spoiler)] FIVE: (view spoiler)[ He goes to practice in a monastery. A monastery. Where he lives as a monk. In some kind of fucking mash-up of This is How It Always Is, Batman, and, IDK, The Next Karate Kid. It's LUDICROUS. (hide spoiler)] SIX:(view spoiler)[ Then he's wandering around Paris in monk's robes. (hide spoiler)] Fuck my life. SEVEN: And this is when things really go off the rails. I know, I know, you are thinking "How could things go MORE off the rails than this?!?!?! Well, let me tell you. They have a fashion show where men come out in drag, but the real crazy-sauce is that (view spoiler)[HIS FATHER, THE KING, whips off his royal outfit and dresses in a huge velvet gown and wearing lot of eyeshadow (very 2018 eyeshadow style as well, I must note) struts down the runway. (hide spoiler)] I literally cannot think of a stupider ending to this book, or one that just renders the entire book completely meaningless. You don't have to (view spoiler)[fight against anything because there literally is nothing to fight against. There are no gender norms in 1830s Paris!!!! The KING and the PRINCE can just easily and casually wear dresses in public and it is all ABSOLUTELY FINE. Love, peace and hugging! (hide spoiler)] What the actual fuck. What was the point of this book then?!!?!? Why didn't she just place it in 2018 if she wanted to write a book that embraces 2018 in every single way except for aesthetics?!!? (view spoiler)[The dad has absolutely no penchant or desire for wearing dresses, by the way. This is all completely stupid, left field stuff that comes from exactly nowhere, suddenly, like heavy artillery. (hide spoiler)] As the final coup de grâce, I just wanted to say that I did not believe Sebastian and Frances were romantically or sexually interested in each other AT ALL, NOT EVEN IN THE SLIGHTEST, and that this seemed totally wedged in for no reason. I guess we are ALSO supposed to believe that he is going to marry a commoner and a laborer. HA HA HA HA HA HA. His parents are so understanding! (view spoiler)[His dad even publicly wore a gown for no reason and with absolutely zero social consequences! There are ABSOLUTELY no obstacles to publicly defying gender norms in 1830s Paris. (hide spoiler)] I also was super-annoyed and bothered by Frances's 'fuck my employers' attitude where she seemingly can leave any job at a whim not bothered by, say, HAVING TO EAT FOOD or any practical concerns. It was INSANE. But I've run out of room to rant about this. TL;DR - This book was stupid. Really fucking stupid. I think Wang was going for some kind of promotion of 'love, peace, hugs' and it was hugely jarring considering the subject material and the time period she had chose to insert this subject material into. Why on earth would Wang write a 2018 book with 2018 sensibilities and place it in 1830s Paris. WHY. WHY. It was giving me fits. This book could have been so much better. I'm sad. I see tons of LGBTQIA+ graphic novels coming out now, which is GREAT, the representation is great, but unfortunately this means that (like any other genre or subgenre) as the market is saturated we will get all sorts: good books, mediocre books, and crap. I didn't want this to be crap - I wanted to like it. I can see that other people love it. While I am glad books with characters like this are being published more and more and becoming more and more mainstream, as an INDIVIDUAL who is speaking about an INDIVIDUAL BOOK, I think this book is very dumb. That's my assessment. Can't be helped. I can't pretend to like it just because I am a liberal and the book is spouting liberal ideology. It's honestly one of the stupidest books I've ever read. You can't expect me to take this shit seriously! And I feel like Wang did intend this earnestly. NAMES IN THIS BOOK (view spoiler)[ Clementine f Sebastian m Sophia f Frances f Adelina f Imogene f Delilah f Emile m Crystallia m Leroy m Juliana f Marcel m Peter m George m Lilian f Aurelia f Louise f Sir James - horse Caroline f (hide spoiler)]

  29. 4 out of 5

    Banny

    Yes, the King did THAT! I

  30. 5 out of 5

    daph pink 君は

    Never did I expected this! It's so beautiful . I loved it🥰🥰🥰

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