American Royals by Katherine McGee | ARC Review
|Disclaimer: I was sent American Royals by Penguin Random House for review. This does not affect my views.|
Genre: YA Contemporary Themes: Relationships, Family, Scandal
Rating: 4.5/5 For Fans Of: The Princess Diaries, Gossip Girl, Red White and Royal Blue Pov: Multiple
The Washingtons have ruled America for almost 250 years. They're gorgeous, fiercely famous and the beating heart of the most glorious royal court in the world. But behind the glittering ballrooms, elegant gowns, and seemingly perfect public personas lie forbidden romances and scandalous secrets. Together four young women will navigate gossip, drama, and the eyes of the world upon them.As the world became enchanted with the very real love story of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle, there was a huge gap in the market for royal themed rom-com's, one which Katherine McGee filled perfectly. America has a monarchy you say? With young royals trying to navigate their lives with the whole world watching? Sign me up.
Balance was key to my enjoyment of the book. We are presented with a very intriguing backstory of America while delving into royal drama and ordinary teenage struggles. The re-written history is convincing and detailed enough as to not turn the novel into a textbook of an alternate history in which George Washington declared himself King instead of President. I certainly enjoyed stumbling across the made-up traditions and protocols that an American royalty would possibly have and their historical basis'. Correlating that was the expected glitz and glamour at various parties and drama at every corner. Don't get me started on all the romantic triangles, it was as though Gossip Girl entered the Young Adult world.
Feminist values are at the heart of this book and truly showcases the unjust medieval laws that prevented women from inheriting the throne. As a first female heir, Beatrice is faced with many obstacles because she is a woman. She is subtly reminded by advisers that because she is to be the first queen she can't afford to be as reckless as a male heir could have been as she has to convince a large number of Americans who may not be ready for such a drastic change to American tradition, that she is a worthy candidate for the throne. The writing in that aspect is very eyeopening.
The abundance of tropes could have made this story just another cliche novel about royals who cannot deal with the pressures of their status yet the eccentric details and world-building give American Royals a very well deserved spot on my top books of the year list.
If you would like to hear my more in-depth thoughts, check out my video review!