I went into this book hoping I’d enjoy it, but I didn’t count on how much I would like it. The premise seems really close to a book I read earlier this year and thought was okay but wasn’t really impressed by (Stephanie Kate Strohm’s Prince in Disguise), so that seemed like a point against it. This book takes a similar premise (older sister marrying a prince, protagonist gets involved in the royal drama) and makes it so much better.
I really enjoyed Rachel Hawkin’s Hex Hall series and need to reread it, but I wasn’t super-impressed by some of the books she put out after it, so that’s why I was a bit wary of this book. I thought it might be 3 stars, maybe 3.5 stars, but almost right away, I was into this book. Something about the protagonist, Daisy, and all the banter was just so entertaining and fun to read. There was plenty of drama, including romantic drama, but I found it all entertaining. I’m the type of reader who often gets tired of drama-filled books, especially when it has to do with lots of romantic drama.
There’s also a great trope that many readers, including me, love: fake dating. I won’t spoil who Daisy is supposed to be dating for the royalty-obsessed cameras, but it was fun. It was a little part of this story, but a nice little addition.
I think it helped that I knew, going into this book, that it was the start of a series. I feel like we don’t have a lot of contemporary series anymore, just companion series and surprise sequels and such, but I digress. My point was, I was okay when we were getting closer to the end and things were very much not resolved – if you didn’t know about it being a sequel before coming into this book, maybe that would have been a problem. I feel like the end set up some interesting plot points and gave us some insights into various characters that will hopefully be in the spotlight in the sequel (I don’t know offhand if this is a duology or longer, but I think two books could certainly be enough, so I’ll be happy either way).
I ended up giving this book 4.5 stars – not because it’s a game-changer in the YA world or because it says a lot of important things, but because I just had a lot of fun reading this book. I wanted to read it, and even though I’m not in a bookish slump right now or anything, it was still a nice feeling. I’m definitely excited to see where the series and characters go from here in the next book, whenever that comes out (soon, please, bookish gods?).
Position: Book One in the Royals series
Author: Rachel Hawkins (School Spirits)
Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.
While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.