American Royals by Katharine McGee
Recommended: not for me, maybe for you
it’s a series starter, the characters are often wishy-washy and fickle, and multiple characters are cheating on another
When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American.
As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.
The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded–and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.
If I had known this was a series started when I began it, that might have helped. As it was, I was about 70% of the way through and getting frustrated that nothing seemed to be heading towards a resolution, and it gave the impression that the “big conflicts” for each character were unimportant in the end. So FYI: this is a series.
Even knowing that it’s going to be continued, the ending felt really lackluster. The way it ended, while inevitable, was still just… unsatisfying. I feel like wherever it goes next will invalidate a lot of what happened in this first book (in my mind at least) which is frustrating.
I also didn’t care about, hmm, any? of the narrators. Honestly I thought Daphne was the most interesting, and she’s the “villain” of the story, which sucks. She knows herself and oddly, I found her easy to root for. Plus just straight up entertaining at times. The others felt very wishy-washy. Sam was the most consistent after Daphne, but good lord, Nina and Beatrice were just absolute messes of characters. They both flip flop all the damn time, and it made them come across as extremely fickle. It’s hard to back up someone’s love story when they’re constantly bailing on their “love.”
Four narrators is also a lot to put in a book this length, I think (~110 pages each if it’s divided evenly). Maybe that affected how much I really got to know each of them. There were definitely times where I’d finally get interested in a character’s story, and then wouldn’t see them for three or four chapters. It interrupted my flow of things and made me forget about what they were doing, so I didn’t really care when they came back around.
Overall, I was generally annoyed during this book, and rolled my eyes a lot, and skimmed a lot towards the end as it started to feel like a chore since I already knew I wouldn’t be continuing this any time soon, if ever. This wasn’t fun for me. It might be for you though, if (again) you know it’s only BOOK ONE, and you can deal with a lot of unsettled back and forth. Also cheating.