Friday, May 20, 2016

The Royal We

By Charlotte
Book Review: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Official FC Rating:

Is it weird that I feel a pang of guilt whenever I give books I enjoyed a three star rating? If I find a book relatively pleasant and engaging, I automatically want to give it at least four stars. But then I have to remind myself that I can't give every single book I read a near-perfect rating, or this whole site would be useless. This book was fun to read, but it's not like I came out of it any smarter. Or better. 

This book is a love story. It's based almost entirely on the royal family (obviously) and Will and Kate's relationship. Which means... I may or may not have been embarrassed that I had interest in the book at all. I mean, it's cheap entertainment, right? 

Yes, probably right. 

But I grabbed my nose straight out of the air and pulled it down a bit. I read a free preview on le kindle, and... wanted more. I mocked myself and Liz mocked me, too. This book is definitely much meatier than a regular old romance novel, but it's not hefty. I swore I'd dedicate time to read the classics and here I am with a book about the royal couple. I read it nonetheless. Here are my thoughts: 

The writing itself was fine. I wasn't blown away, but I wasn't rolling my eyes, either. It was nice.

The characters were actually fantastic. I didn't love the protagonist, to be honest. (I didn't dislike her, though.) The supporting cast, as it were, was awesome. There's a core group of friends and each one has a distinct personality and dialogue, which is a pleasure to read. In truth, I think my favorite thing about the book is the way the secondary characters interact. Also, they've got great names (Gaz! Bea!) and excellent nicknames (Lady Bollocks. Best. [I think Gaz is a nn too, but it's what he's always called throughout the book.]). 

The story was predictable, but interesting and exciting. I think it speaks to the author(s) whenever this is the case. When you can pretty much guess the line but your attention is still grabbed? That's a mark of talent, I think. 

I would definitely recommend this book if you're into love stories and/or easy reads. It was a good pace (for the most part - I did skip 5-10 pages during [spoiler] Bex and Nick's short lived break-up - it got redundant for a bit there). It was fun and at times hilarious. It was often charming and sweet. Read it for the background characters. Hell, read it for the main characters. They are, after all, based on real people and if I'm being honest, I click on almost every Buzzfeed post I see about the royals. (Shame. I know.) So it makes sense that I'd want to read this book. 

And if you don't read it for yourself, here's a spoiler-filled recap:

American girl studies abroad to see the world and take artistic opportunities.

Girl, Kate Bex, meets boy, embarrasses self. 

Bex finds out boy is Prince William Nick. Feels even worse. But turns out, Nick is a cool guy. 

I find this so fun to watch, it's embarrassing.
Bex is deemed trustworthy, and she and Nick become friends who watch nerdy shows and stuff. 

They largely keep their goings-on a secret, lest anyone find out they love cheesy tv shows.

Nick and Bex both have meaningless romantic relationships with other people. 

A bunch of stuff happens and Nick and Bex start dating after Bex blabs that she loves him (it's clearly mutual), but they keep it mostly private. 

Things are dandy. At first. 

Of course, there are some who doubt the relationship can last. (Lady Bollocks, ahem.)

But most of their friends are supportive. 

Oh my gosh. I forgot to mention! Bex has a twin sister, Lacey. Lacey is supportive, if sometimes bitter. (She can't be with Nick's brother, Harry Freddie, because a Porter sister with both the heir and the spare is too much.) Lacey is more outgoing than Bex, and likes to have more fun. 

Nick's dad is awful and Nick feels too much pressure to keep things secret and he gets tightly wound. 

Nick and Bex break up. 

Nick and Bex are both sad. Lacey and Bex are sad. A bunch of random stuff happens, we see more of the friends, they date other people, there's some family bonding time, etc. Lacey and Bex's dad dies. Nick decides fuck it, he wants to be with Bex, regardless of his family and the public. 

Bex agrees.

There's still some drama, though. Bex and Lacey stop talking (now Lacey is really mad - partially over Freddie, partially over other things. I won't ruin it all for you). Nick is away for a long time and Bex gets extremely lonely and sad... 

spoiler ahead she turns to Freddie. 

OOPS. They're both remorseful and agree not to tell Nick. Then things go a little calm, and then a little nutty. And I'll say Lacey and Bex make up:

But I won't say what, if anything, happens with Nick and Bex. You'll have to read it yourself. And, it's being turned into a film by Lauren Graham!! So there's extra incentive to get thee to a library and read this book. You won't regret it. 

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