While I’ve mentioned Princess Nevermore by Dian Curtis Regan before on this blog, I realized I never actually profiled it independently, so I’m correcting that now. This book is probably the best example of a “reverse” Girls Underground plot – one where the girl starts off in the magical otherworld and enters the real world – and in this case, the otherworld is specifically underground, so that’s perfect! (Check out the reverse tag for more examples.)
Quinn is Princess of the underground kingdom of Mandria, where all magical creatures live since fleeing our world long ago. Her parents exist but are never seen in the story and seem rather distant. Nearing her 16th birthday, Quinn must soon choose a husband and begin her royal duties – but she would much rather journey to the world above and have adventures. A magical mistake sends her to that world, but traps her there too.
Quinn surfaces near an amusement park called WonderLand (as I’ve noted before, Alice in Wonderland references are very common in GU books), and immediately meets an old man who mysteriously knows about Mandria, and his two grandchildren Sarah and Adam. The teens show her the ways of their world and become her companions to some degree. The adversary in this one is a bit anemic, a jock named Zack who lusts after Quinn and then covets her power once he sees her do some subtle magic.
Eventually Quinn must choose between the wonders of the world above – and her blossoming love for Adam – and the familiar joys of her home underground. She has a final showdown with Zack as he tries to steal her magic, before finally discovering the way back home.