I recently watched Melanie’s video (I hope you all know who Melanie is, otherwise, what are you doing with your life?) and she talked about American Royals in it, and whenever Melanie talks about the book I have to read it. The thing that drew me to this one is the promised angst – it’s been a while since I’ve read a really angsty, romance-heavy book and this one looked like just that. And it was! This book is the embodiment of the drama-filled CW shows, and it was so much fun.
American Royals is set in an alternate timeline where George Washington became king instead of president, so now America has a royal family. We follow princess Beatrice, the first woman in line for the throne, princess Samantha, her younger sister; Nina, Samantha’s best friend and finally, Daphne, who is Sam’s twin brother Jefferson’s ex-girlfriend. The story revolves around the three royals – Beatrice, Sam and Jefferson and all the royal drama.
Like I said in the intro, this book is super angsty, it feels like a CW show. It’s very focused on the romances of the three royals, so it has that really great angsty push and pull of will-they-won’t-they AT ALL TIMES. And all of their lives are intertwined because Beatrice likes her bodyguard, but she has to marry Teddy, but Samantha likes Teddy. On the other hand, Nina is Samantha’s best friend, and she likes her brother, but she doesn’t like the attention of the press and on and on. This book is very angsty and over the top and dramatic, but that’s what makes it so incredibly entertaining. It really reminded me of Gossip Girl and similar shows (before they inevitably got stale). I just had a lot of fun with this one, and as long as you don’t take it too seriously, this book really is a great read. There are so many turns when you think the storyline is resolving, but of course, something dramatic happens and we’re back to angst, so it was a lot of fun to read and it is a really engaging read.
I was saying how this would be a perfect tv show – it has all the necessary drama to keep you engaged.
I really enjoyed the characters in this novel. While they are definitely archetypes of characters, in the sense that they have been done before, I found myself really rooting for them and caring about what happens to them. My favorite by far is Beatrice and I found myself being most invested in her storyline. After this book, I can safely say that I am obsessed with the bodyguard-their protegee dynamic and I NEED more stories like that. Beatrice and Connor’s relationship was my favorite thing in this novel and we it’s the best kind of angsty relationship because he is a commoner and she is a princess, so they can’t be together, but he is the only one that knows the real Beatrice AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.
The rest of the characters also fall into familiar archetypes – Sam is a wild, controversial princess because she wants to be noticed and is frustrated by Beatrice’s perfection, Nina is doubtful of herself because she isn’t as rich and likable as Daphne, and Daphne is the social climber mean girl who actually has depth to her and is pretty smart. While these are things that we have seen before, somehow I was really invested and was loving the characters despite them being pretty generic.
This book is incredibly tropey – you have the princess falling for her bodyguard, the prince falling for the commoner best friend of his sister, there’s the “one bed” trope, there’s forbidden love, having to marry to maintain your family’s wealth and reputation – you name it, it’s probably there. And I kind of love it, it works for the book and the story and propels it forward.
I will say that I did not particularly enjoy some tropes this book falls into. I think Daphne’s character is one of those for sure, and the whole storyline of her sabotaging Nina and then Jefferson not believing Nina’s claims that Daphne was the one behind it irked me. It’s just a pretty stale trope that I got over in the early 2000s and I was frustrated with it. Which leads me to my next point…
While I loved the angst and the tropes, I have to admit that by the last third of the book, I was already a bit over it. It’s just that it gets frustrating – just when you think things are looking up or resolving themselves, some drama swoops in and we’re back at square one. While it was fun for a while, this is a 400-and-something-page book, and the constant miscommunication and obstacles that seem too dramatic and unrealistic got a bit boring. I would not have minded that if we actually got some resolution in this book. But we’re basically back at the beginning and nothing really worked out or resolved itself by the end of those 400 pages. And the thing that is most annoying and why I lowered my rating for a bit is the fact that there’s still a whole book where probably we’re gonna get more of the same. And I was already frustrated by the end of this one, so not ideal.
I really loved this one. While it wasn’t perfect, and it’s definitely a bit repetitive and over the top, it was just what I needed and I had so much fun with it. I love the characters and if you can suspend your disbelief and be less critical, I think you will have so much fun with this one. I would definitely recommend it.
I would love to hear from you! Have you read this one or plan to? Any thoughts to share? I would love to know, so let’s chat in the comments.
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