Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Fourteen-year-old Miri lives on a mountain where her ancestors have quarried stone and lived in poverty for generations. Then just before winter's first snowfall, a delegation from the lowlands arrive with exciting news. The king's priests have divined that her small village is the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince will come himself and chose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, where every girl of age will be sent to learn the skills of a princess. But there is no way Miri can prepare herself for what lies in store.