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American Royals Paperback – May 5, 2020
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“Inventive, fresh, and deliciously romantic—American Royals is an absolute delight!” —Sarah J. Maas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series and Court of Thorns and Roses series
“Imagine a world where Meghan Markle is the queen of the United States of America…. American Royals is the next closest thing.” –Teen Vogue
"For all the glamour and intrigue, there's also a reality check. All four central characters struggle to reconcile the expectations the world imposes on them with the internal selves they discover through heartbreak and struggle." —The New York Times Book Review
“A soapy, escapist blockbuster [following] the drama, scandal and romances of the impossibly glamorous young court. An unabashedly frothy romp, and enormous fun." – The Guardian
A fun, fast-paced read packed with drama, scandal, and romance” —The Sun
“Mixing scandalous secrets and political intrigue, American Royals is thrillingly addictive.” —Shelf Awareness
"Critical questions tantalize readers through the foibles and flaws of characters who are frustratingly human… readers will eagerly await the next installment to find out whether true love will win or stodgy tradition will triumph.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A deliciously soapy American royal family… McGee’s characters are well-crafted and flawed, giving the narrative emotional texture that elevates it above the dramatic formula.” —Publishers Weekly
“Readers will be hooked…. A fun twist on history as we know it, and the ending will have readers hoping for a sequel.” —School Library Journal
“For readers looking for intrigue—and for those who like their royal fever with a twist—this is a quick and delicious read.” —Booklist
About the Author
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If you are like me, then you love stories that at their core are about the characters and their development. Within the pages of this book, you will get this and more. By the author writing multiple perspectives, the reader gets to see the whole picture. It never once becomes too much or confusing. Everything blends seamlessly into a vignette of what it is like to be American royalty.
The only negative about this book was that I was expecting the story to wrap up when I finished it. At the time when I read it, I didn’t know it was going to be a series. Now that I do, I am excited to see the direction all the characters can go in.
Now, I usually don’t recommend teen/young adult books to everyone, but AMERICAN ROYALS stands its ground as a positively charming read for all ages. It has it all. It has secret love affairs and scheming exes. It has the struggles to be whom everyone expects you to be, and the burdens placed on those in power. It has jealousy over the crown and over what is perceived to be had. It has true love, loss, and some cheekiness is thrown in there for fun.
I cannot wait to see what the royal family is going to do now!
American Royals is a kind of alt-history, set in the present day. After the US won the revolution, George Washington became king and his descendants have set on the throne ever since. King George IV now reigns, but his children, Princesses Beatrice and Samantha and Prince Jefferson, have a lot of drama of their own. Beatrice is in line to be the first ever Queen of America, but who will be her King?And when her time comes, will she be ready? Samantha has always been the “spare” and lived her life how she pleased, but at what cost to her relationships with her family and her friends? And Prince Jefferson, well, he’s going to have some big decisions to make soon, because the other two POVs in this book are the two girls vying for him–Nina, Samantha’s best friend and a commoner, and Daphne, a social climbing crown grabber who will do anything to get her man back.
Told over a pretty short period, I’d say less than four months, this is the perfect first book in a series. It introduces you to a world we can relate to but that has this new royal element. It’s got LOTS of nods to the real British Royal Family, Hamilton, The Crown and more, and I could not get enough. The relationships…especially Beatrice’s…WOW WOW WOW. It’s The Crown meets the Selection meets Gossip Girl and I can’t wait til my pre-order copy arrives in September so I can read it all over again. There’s love, royalty, ball gowns, college campus drama, family strife, more love and romance, and a lot of scheming and I love love love it.
I think it is a great accomplishment when an author makes me care about teenage drama, when normally I would hate hearing about it. It reminds me of The Selection in a way, because I thought I would hate the story of girls vying for one guy's attention, but I ended up loving it. I experienced the same feeling with this book; I wouldn't normally care in real life, but oh do I care about what is going on with these characters! Sam, Nina, Beatrice, and Daphne provide the four points of view, and I loved everyone I was supposed to love and utterly HATED and DESPISED Daphne for being a cruel, conniving, insidious, b-i-t-c-h. She is the girl every guy needs to steal clear of, and yet I still occasionally felt sorry for her, and for the guy who is more like her than anyone else, but whom she ignores in favor of gaining a title and crown and prestige. I loved the intrigue, even though I thought I wouldn't. Although Beatrice's love interest was cliche, the relationship didn't feel forced or unnatural. Nina is the most "normal" of the girls, and yet I found myself frustrated with her for not going after who she wanted more, especially when she actually cares about Jeff as a person, unlike Daphne.
This book was a roller-coaster ride, and I loved that all these girls' lives are intertwined whether they realize it and want it or not. I think the only POV that could have been more polished was Sam's, because everyone kept talking about how strong of a force she is, but her own POV didn't feel that way. It felt like she was on the sidelines for a lot of the book, and so her infatuation and "relationship" with Teddy didn't make sense. Their meeting and interactions felt too superficial for me to understand why Sam suddenly fixates on him, especially when she has been known as the flirty one. And Teddy being drawn to her wasn't fleshed out enough for me to understand why they are so desperate to be together.
I almost wish we could have had a POV from Jeff, just to see what he is thinking about the two very different girls he is entangled with.
I am not surprised by how the book ended, but it is still a doozy of a cliffhanger in my opinion. I want Beatrice to follow her heart instead of her mind, and to not ruin her relationship with her sister by the choices she makes. I do not know how I am going to be able to wait however long for the next book!
Top international reviews
Written in McGee’s typical style, the story is told from four different points of view which gives us an insight into the plans and motivation of all four girls.
We have Beatrice, heir to the American throne and the girl who will become the first ever Queen of America. Her sister Samantha, the wild child “spare” who doesn’t seem to play by the royal rules. Nina, Samantha’s ’commoner’ best friend and Daphne the ex-girlfriend of Samantha’s twin brother, Prince Jefferson.
All four girls find themselves in the spotlight for different reasons and none of them truly feels in control of their own lives but in the glamorous world of the American royal family, all of them know that the Crown comes first.
Now this book is not going to be for everyone and will never be considered a classic work of literature however if you are looking for some fictional escapism and good old fashioned back stabbing fun, then look no further. The story is full of cliches and doesn’t break any new ground as far as this genre is concerned, but what McGee does is bring these cliches to life and execute them brilliantly!
The characters are multifaceted and flawed in their own ways and even Daphne (who is a piece of work btw) has her moment of clarity.
I did see glimpses of The Thousandth Floor characters in these girls: Beatrice is reminiscent of Avery, Samantha reminded me of Eris and Daphne definitely brought to mind Lida! For me that wasn’t a bad thing as I really enjoyed those characters however I know that might put some people off.
Overall I loved this unique idea of changing American history and switching from a President and First Family to a King and Royal family. I loved that so much of the royal traditions we’re taking from our own British monarchy and adapted to suit the American culture.
The ending of the book left me wanting more which I always think is testament to a great read - 4.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (rounded up to 5)
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher (Penguin Random House UK Children’s) for providing a copy of the book for review. All opinions are my own and provided willingly.
The story is about the three kids of the royal family and their aspirations and their love live. Beatrice as the first born child will inherit the crown as the first ever queen. So she has been trained all her life and is a well-behaved princess. Her two siblings - twins - are not bound to the same level of scrutiny, so they life an easier life, going on trips around the world for leisure and such.
Beatrice is supposed to pick a future husband from a bunch of esteemed bachelors, but she's secretly in love with someone else, her sister is having a fling with the guy she's supposed to be married to and her brother is torn between an old flame and a new girl. All of them are always head over heels in love, dying without the other, every touch tingling and every kiss the best in the world. This for me is just a bit too kitsch and makes it sound like a teenage love story and nothing more.
Another annoying aspect is that none of the story lines are resolved at the end of the book and you're basically forced to read the second book in the series as well to get any kind of closure (and who knows, there might be a third).
I don't think I'll read the second instalment, I feel I can already guess what might happen and not sure I'm interested in those soap opera teenage kitsch story lines.
Fans of the the Asian series Crazy Rich Girlfriend will really enjoy this take on an American royal family
First things first, I’m very happy there’s another book after this one!
The book is told entirely from the perspective of four female characters; Beatrice (Heir to the throne), Samantha-Sam (the spare), Nina (Sam’s friend, and also happens to be in love with Jefferson, Sam’s twin brother), and Daphne (ex girlfriend of the prince will do whatever it takes to get him back). They drive the story with their ambitions, loves, secrets, and how they all intertwine. There are many secrets yet to be revealed and I can’t wait for the next book
I hate Daphne, Nina is a wallflower the only two interesting characters are Samantha and Beatrice. I just skipped Daphne and Nina's chapters because I don't care about them. Jeff is naive but funny enough I will want to read the sequel.