Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
on October 30, 2012
I've read every Hester Browne novel since reading The Little Lady Agency a few years back. She has a clear, funny writing style that I think many "chick lit" novels seriously lack. I enjoyed the aforementioned Little Lady Agency and Browne's last release, Swept Off Her Feet. I was less pleased with The Finishing Touches and the 2nd Little Lady book and, unfortunately, this one as well.
My main issue with The Runaway Princess is that it feels too recycled. Browne's heroines are all a bit too alike, something I'm at odds with because they make me feel like a good friend of Browne's. To have four main, first person characters who all share several identical traits is a bit much to believe it's not totally coincidentally fictional. But I'm never bored with these girls, so that's not the recycled bit that I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is other things: the BFFs of these women are identical, there are unbelievable yet comedic families (particularly heavy on the sister front), the love interests are dreamy, typical guys (the exception being Nelson). The only thing that changes is the details of the plot, and even that is only slight at best.
This plot didn't appeal to me much, so in that sense I knew what I was getting into. I don't find it attractive to be a royal or someone famous and I was really hoping Amy would choose someone different, particularly (and this brings me back to the recycled bit) because Leo is much, much too familiar, being a clear composite of mostly Jonathon and Nelson from Little Lady Agency. I also didn't like all the royal name dropping; it was to be expected but it was way overkill by the end of the book, which was way too slow in coming. Add to that the family "mystery/secret" that Amy withheld until almost the very end (making it more predictable and, therefore, less terrible than it was built up to be). But this book had several funny moments. In fact, I would say this was Browne's funniest of the bunch.