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The Princess of Las Pulgas

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  89 Ratings  ·  41 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 West Side Books (first published November 16th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 15, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
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
May 06, 2011 Courtney rated it really liked it
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
Jun 05, 2011 Steph rated it really liked it
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
Lynn Kelley
Jul 03, 2012 Lynn Kelley rated it really liked it
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
Medeia Sharif
Jan 14, 2015 Medeia Sharif rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
Carlie’s father dies of cancer, and her life goes down the drain. Her mother cannot handle the finances, so the family has to move to Las Pulgas. From a posh school and beautiful home, they transition to an inner-city school and a cramped apartment where they hear the neighbors argue all the time through the thin walls.

The students at Las Pulgas hold a deep distrust of Carlie, as she does of them. They both have misconceptions of each other, to the point that there is violence in the hallways in
Lloyd Russell
Mar 16, 2014 Lloyd Russell rated it really liked it
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
Erin Fanning
May 01, 2016 Erin Fanning rated it it was amazing
This story of redemption, survival, and forgiveness features believable, likable characters and situations that readers of all ages will appreciate in an impossible-to-put-down novel that I consumed in about a day. Author C. Lee McKenzie is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA authors with a gift for capturing universal emotions which will have you cheering (and, at times, crying) for the heroine. Highly, highly recommended!
Mar 13, 2016 Natalie rated it liked it
Carlie, her mom, and her brother have not had the best fall and winter. Carlie's dad passed away from cancer and Carlie spends her time between missing him like crazy and hating him for dying.

Then her mom drops the bombshell. They can't afford their house in Channing and have to move to Las Pulgas. Carlie and her brother are horrified and Carlie doesn't want her friends to know where she lives.

The students at her new school assume Carlie is really a snob, when she just wishes things could go bac
Mar 15, 2015 Catherine rated it it was amazing
This book will make you cry. It begins with the quote: "Last night I pleaded with Death, but he turned a bony back to me, pushed Hope into the corridor and shut the door." It is sad, but oh so hopeful. When I see the situation Carlie ends up in, I'm not sure how McKenzie will write her out of her problems, but she does so well.

I loved the burglar episode at the beginning. I love that Carlie is so real and so flawed. Her emotions on dealing with her father's death are so raw but so real: anger,
May 16, 2011 Lizzie rated it it was amazing
This was fantastic. SO touching and beautifully written.

More thorough review to come.
Feb 22, 2016 Sallie rated it it was amazing
Nothing prepares you for the loss of a parent, nothing! We meet Carlie Edmund and her family at her father 19s bedside, on his death bed. All too soon, or maybe not soon enough, Carlie is drowning in the loud silence of grief. While being pummeled by an agony so deep that it bores into her bones, Carlie suffers yet another blow that further rocks her tremulous attempts at survival. The loss of her father, her safe harbor, support and comfort is followed by the loss of her family home. It 19s mor ...more
Oct 04, 2015 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
Although I have read books by C. Lee McKenzie before, this was the first YA book by her that I’ve read. I didn't have any idea what to expect with The Princess of Las Pulgas, and I was completely thrilled with my reading experience. Carlie is a character who is in a new situation trying to figure out how to act and how to not get on people's bad lists. She's also piecing together what happens to friendships that might not have been as strong as she thought they were. I liked seeing how Carlie le ...more
The BookWhisperer
Dec 25, 2010 The BookWhisperer rated it liked it
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
Jun 09, 2011 Crystal rated it it was amazing
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
Beverly McClure
Jan 28, 2012 Beverly McClure rated it it was amazing
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
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
Dec 29, 2010 Jessi rated it really liked it
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
Jan 19, 2011 Katryna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
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
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
Jan 21, 2011 Diana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
Darby Karchut
Jan 16, 2011 Darby Karchut rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Jan 16, 2011 Kyleigh rated it really liked it
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 Robles
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
Kai (Amaterasu Reads)
Jun 01, 2011 Kai (Amaterasu Reads) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teens, arc, for-review
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 m
Jessie Harrell
Feb 05, 2013 Jessie Harrell rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 12, 2011 Jinky rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011, won
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
Jan 23, 2011 Lawral rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, arc, 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
Elizabeth Seckman
Apr 28, 2015 Elizabeth Seckman rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful story. It's about dealing with loss. It's about accepting change. And finally learning to be happy where you are while you wait for the next fork in the road. All that and a sweet love story too! The only bad thing about the story was that I had so much work to do, but had to finish the story instead!
Margaret Arvanitis
Feb 23, 2013 Margaret Arvanitis rated it it was amazing
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
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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. ...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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