The Princess of Las Pulgas
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The Princess of Las Pulgas

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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  70 ratings  ·  32 reviews
After her father's slow death from cancer, Carlie thought things couldn't get worse. But now, she is forced to confront the fact that her family in dire financial straits. To stay afloat, her mom has had to sell their cherished oceanfront home and move Carlie and her younger brother Keith to the other side of the tracks to dreaded Las Pulgas, or "the fleas" in Spanish. The...more
Hardcover, 348 pages
Published December 15th 2010 by Westside Books (first published November 16th 2010)
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Karen
I enjoyed this book more than I expected, since I rarely read or enjoy YA unless they have a lot more going on for them than teenage romance. What I liked about The Princess of Las Pulgas was the look into a family that was turned upside down by the death of the father, and beyond that, the look into a school on the "wrong" side of town. You really feel for Carlie and her family, and want everything to work out for her, her brother and their mom. I liked that it was more about dealing with grief...more
Courtney
The Princess of Las Pulgas is about a girl who lost her dad to cancer and then is forced to move to Las Pulgas. Her mother tries desperately to keep up with the mortgage in Channing but with the medical bills left behind and the cost of the funeral she finally decides they have to move to Las Pulgas and she has to get a job. The move devastates Carlie and her brother Keith. The school is dangerous, their apartment complex is dangerous and they feel their lives are now an embarrassment. Carlie is...more
Steph
Gist of the book:
If Losing her father to cancer wasn't bad enough Carlie and her family must sell there nice home in Channing for a down grade apartment in a rough part of town called Las Pulgas. This means a new school for Carlie and her brother Keith. The other students thinks she is a snob and even call her Princess. As Carlie's old life and friends seem to fade the reality of her father's death emerges but will she be able to confront her feelings in time to heal? Or will her anger and bitte...more
Lynn Kelley
It's hard enough for any teen to change high schools, but Carlie is forced to switch in the middle of her junior year after her father dies and the family loses their home by the sea, the home Carlie has grown up in. An old, deteriorating apartment in lower class Las Pulgas is the only thing they can afford. Carlie's brother Keith hates life now and makes lots of enemies at the new high school where the students are a rough bunch. The other kids have no idea that Carlie is withdrawn and not so f...more
Lloyd Russell
I have a confession to make. I am NOT a 16-year old girl. And, yet, I absolutely loved C. Lee McKenzie's The Princess of Las Pulgas, which IS about a 16-year old girl. I have read and enjoyed several YA books in the past that had teenage female protagonists - Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne and Wyndano's Cloak by A.R. Silverberry (his was a fantasy to boot) come to mind. So I'm not a novice when it comes to YA's. You can add this one to my recommend list. It's absolutely terrific.

I have to...more
Lizzie
This was fantastic. SO touching and beautifully written.

More thorough review to come.
The BookWhisperer
The Princess in Las Pulgas is a very emotionally charged novel; about a young girl that loses her father to cancer, and then must learn what it takes to be a survivor. Carlie not only has to deal with the loss of her father at a young age, but she soon finds herself in an entirely different life that she is being told is her own. Prior to her father death; Carlie had what one would call the "Luxurious Life". Coming from the highly promenient side of town Carlie was used to a very sophisticated t...more
Crystal
The Princess of Las Pulgas is an amazing book. I could not put it down. It felt real, dealt with real situations, played on real sympathies and really didn't pull any punches. It's about finding yourself wherever you are and being true to yourself and knowing and finding your true friends. It is a feel-good book with important lessons and great entertainment value.

Carlie's life has dealt her a tough blow with the loss of her dad to cancer. While she's still reeling from that situation, she learn...more
Beverly McClure
If you’ve ever lost a family member, you know how devastating it is and how your whole life changes. Then, if circumstances cause you to have to leave the home you’ve grown up in and live in a new place totally different to what you’re used to, it’s understandable that you’ll be bitter and hate your new life. At least at first.

Author C. Lee McKenzie’s latest novel for young adults, The Princess of Las Pulgas, deals with such a situation. When Carlie Edmund’s father dies, she loses not only the f...more
Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
We are hit hard right from the start in Princess. Emotions are running high and they stay that way.
I really appreciate how the passing of time is dictated: with sorrow at the holidays; remembrance and grieving for what they lost.
Some of the wording is so lyrical- ‘wrapped in a cocoon of grief”, “when I read what I just wrote, some letters aren’t clear. Even though I’ve turned a new page, the tears have made the surface rough, so Oct 22nd has bled through to a new day.” It makes me feel even...more
J.
This book is a heartfelt look at a girl going through the grieving process after losing her father and basically everything and everyone she knows and loves. In moving to the rough neighborhood of Las Pulgas, Carlie must learn to deal with people that are different from her in the way they cope with life, and she has to learn to cope in her own way. One of the strengths of this book was that it was real. Everything felt natural and exactly the way it would happen in real life.

The diversity of th...more
Katryna
The cover of this book does not do it justice. I feel like the cover is very plain and nothing special. The Princess of Las Pulgas is not plain and is most definitely something special.

C. Lee McKenzie is a wonderful author and her talent shines through in this book. The plot idea may not be something out of this world unique, but it is a touching, coming of age story. I loved reading about Carlie's every day life and how she was working through all of her problems. It sounds quite boring, but th...more
Patricia (Patricia's Particularity)
Princess of Las Pulgas is one of those books that brings you back to reality, away from the of the paranormal craze. C. Lee McKenzie's Carlie is a unique character put in a unique situation. After her father dies she is forced to grow up in many ways, even in ways that she is not aware of.

From the first page Carlie's story became very personal. Having lost a parent Carlie feels many emotions: sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, and even guilt and relief. Unless you have lost a parent it is...more
Melanie Goodman
Carlie loses nearly everything: Her father dies of cancer, her mother can no longer afford their house and moves the family to an apartment in a seedy neighborhood, and her school zoning changes and she must attend an urban high school that’s a far cry from her elite suburban school. While she is grieving the loss of her father, she is also adjusting to a completely new lifestyle. Carlie is too ashamed of where she lives to tell her old friends about it, but too upset and aloof to start making f...more
Diana
The very first line of the book basically gives you a feel of what the book is about. "Last night I pleaded with Death, but he turned a bony back to me, pushed Hope into the corridor and shut the door." (Page 1)

Carlie has recently lost her father to cancer and all her family is suffering from this loss. They have to move to a city that is the complete opposite of what they are all used to. They must adjust to their new life and make many sacrifices. As they spend more time there, they find that...more
Darby Karchut
I’m going to be honest right off the bat: I am not a fan of YA contemporary novels with female protagonists. Give me a hero fighting demons, struggling with werewolf issues, trying out a new set of angel wings, or even destroying a ring of power. All hail swords, magic, and things that go bump in the night.
But.
But.
I stayed up far too late several nights running because I could not put down The Princess of Las Pulgas.
It’s that good.
No, you can’t have my copy. Get your own.
There was so much...more
Kyleigh
Well, after that synopsis I really don’t know why I’m writing this review. That basically summed up the whole novel. I really, really enjoyed this book. I don’t know what it is about obscure novels that makes me think they aren’t going to be good, (well actually I blame that mentality on Her, Me and You) but they always turn out to surprise me and I end up loving them. Princess of Las Pulgas is much the same. While it is just traditional good teen drama, there’s always something refreshing readi...more
Melissa
It's amazing how a book can pull you inside its story, make you feel as if you're going through the same path as the characters, and every feeling is as tough for you as it was for them. My heart suffered and recovered at Las Pulgas.

After the death of her father, Carlie, her mother and brother, have to move out out of their perfect life at Channing and join the community of Las Pulgas, California. It's a terrible ordeal for her and she is struggling to come to terms with the fact that everything...more
Kai (Amaterasu Reads)
Review posted at Amaterasu Reads

A heartfelt, heart-wrenching stunning tale of loss, hope and love.

With a family slowly falling apart because of her father's death, Carlie, her brother Keith and their mother had to leave behind the life of luxury and comfort they have known all their lives to make a new one for themselves. One far from the rich life. From a mansion overlooking the beach they were now in a cramped apartment in the seedy side of town, with neighbors screaming at each other, and mi...more
Jessie Harrell
I don't think a book has made me cry since Marley and Me years ago. And come on, the dog died. That's sad. But this book... this book made me cry. And tear up more than once. Lee makes the emotion come off the page in this book and her character, Carlie's pain, is palpable.

In short, this is a story about what happens when everything in your life goes wrong. Your dad dies a long and costly death to cancer. You lose your beautiful beach-front home and have to move to an apartment in the slums. Yo...more
Jinky
The grabbing opening line, Last night I pleaded with Death, but he turned a bony back to me, pushed Hope into the corridor and shut the door. Now here's a YA that has meaning! Right from the beginning you knew you were in for a conflict of the heart. A story of bereavement but more about the gain in the long run. A careful, soft portrayal of a grieving family's process of loss. Incorporate a story with culture shock, Othello, and stereotypes and you've got yourself a book that didn't dwell on th...more
Lawral
Jan 23, 2011 Lawral rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc, ya, 2011
Poor Carlie. After watching her father slowly die of cancer, a move across town might seem trivial; upsetting, but trivial. Fights with her mom, not getting asked out, rude neighbors, or a "pushy" English teacher (in the Tina Fey Mean Girls way) might also seem trivial. But all together? Carlie is helplessly watching her life fall apart around her.

Carlie's main problem with her new life in Las Pulgas is all the "poor people," as she sees them. Almost everything she dislikes about the people arou...more
Margaret Arvanitis
Feb 23, 2013 Margaret Arvanitis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Author, C. Lee McKenzie brings Carlie Edmund to life and even though it has been years since I was a teen ager, but the authors skill at putting words together brought back memories. Not only is The Princess of Las Pulgas entertaining, it brings out the problems teens, both girls and boys, have to face. The need to be a part of something, and the conflict of facing life without a complete family. I understand Kieth's feelings in relationship to his actions. Ms. McKenzie brings out the desperatio...more
Lynda R. Young
This is a young adult novel about a girl named Carlie who struggles through the difficult, and often heart-wrenching, task of adjusting to change after the death of her father. The author has captured a real sense of poignancy, and I thoroughly enjoyed the many wonderful turns of phrases that brought the story alive.

Because Carlie is used to a comfortable, well-to-do life and has to adjust to being poor, she could so easily have come across as an unlikeable and snobby character. This doesn’t ha...more
Ricki
After her father dies, Carlie and her mom and brother are left with a mountain of hospital bills. They are forced to sell their house and move from the affluent town, Channing, to a small, rundown apartment in the poor town, Las Pulgas. Carlie sticks out at school and is nicknamed "Princess," and she is forced to confront the prejudices she had about the town.
This is a great book. I wish the title was different, as I don't think it will attract many of my students. Hopefully, a good book talk wi...more
Bish Denham
This is a wonderful story about life and loss and finding an unexpected place to belong. Things and people aren't what they seem. And, the way the author weaves Shakespeare's Othello into the story line is both touching and telling. All the characters are strong and well developed. I would recommend this book to anyone, particularly a teen, who is going through difficult changes either through the loss of a loved one or having to move from somewhere familiar to somewhere different.
Nancy
A good high school (primarily) girls' book, this book deals with the death of a parent as well as the reluctant move to a new, less affluent town and school. While some of the book does not seem plausible (the father was an investment counselor, yet his family is out of money and has lost their house in just a few months), the emotions of a move at such an emotional time and the adjustment to a new school culture ring true. A satisfying YA read.
Katie Carroll
C. Lee McKenzie certainly isn't afraid to put her characters in tough situations. Not only has Carlie's father recently died from Cancer, but now the family has to move from their perfect beach home in an affluent area to a dirty apartment in the poor Las Pulgas. I enjoyed reading about Carlie's personal journey of mourning and also of learning to be less judgmental.
Tyrean
I meant to just read a few chapters last night, but then the character and her heart-ache drew me in, and I finished it in one late night of reading. I highly recommend this very real, very gut-wrenching story of a teen girl's struggle to survive the changes that come after her father's death. There are funny parts, sad parts, and exciting parts.
Sillylittlefishey
I felt really bad for the mom in this story. They were losing everything and her kids were being too selfish to see that she was hurting and struggling to. Granted her kids are a good portrayal of real life kids, but it just made me feel for her.

Overall, it was a decent story about change...letting go of the past and moving on.
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2809083
In my other life--the one before I began writing for teens and younger readers--I was a teacher and administrator at California State University, San Jose. My field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I can say, “Where’s the toilet?” and “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects. G...more
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“Many journeys, often ones you didn't plan to make, take you to an unexpected destination that turns out to be exactly where you want to be.” 11 likes
“My dad died of cancer in the month when spirits walk among the living. He's still here because I'm having a hard time letting him go. I need him to help me sort out the feelings inside me, like the funnel clouds that drop from the sky when you least expect them. You may think I'm mad, but when you read my story, you'll see that it's not about madness. Its about hating the person you love the most. It's about the guilt that keeps October's dark chill in my heart and won't allow the spring to come in.” 2 likes
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