American Royals by Katharine McGee
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.
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.
American Royals was almost exactly what I was expecting, a YA romance with plenty of soap opera style drama. It was fun, escapist, and an enjoyable read despite being a little insipid.
This was a super fun “what-if” concept. I really enjoyed reading about the American Royal family. I could have used a bit more history (the dukes of Massachusetts were the Eatons, not the Adamses? and where are the Jeffersons???), but the whole thing was mostly plausible and well thought-through. The theme of a first female queen aligned nicely with current political happenings, and it was interesting to see how McGee thought the world would be substantially different under an aristocracy.
The romances were adorable and swoon-worthy enough. Prepare yourself for lots of PG kissing. Many glances across the room, burning gazes, fingertips brushing. I guess I had forgotten that this book followed all three royals, not just the heir, but that was fine with me since none of the romances were themselves interesting enough to fill a book. Still, it gave the book more of a soap opera vibe, rather than following the cadence of a romance novel. Again, not complaining, just a little different than I expected.
I really liked the characters, even if they were a bit stereotyped. Beatrice, the heir, is perfect and dutiful. If you read the second half of the Selection series, you will recognize her. Sam, the second daughter, is the outgoing, rule-breaking diva we have become accustomed to seeing in movies/books about the President’s children. Jeff, Sam’s twin, is the pretty boy who doesn’t think much, but the girls in love with him are both intelligent and driven. There personalities were well written and leapt off the page, even if they weren’t particularly dynamic.
Of course, what we’re really here for is the descriptions of court life and clothing, which are provided in abundance. Could have used more clothing descriptions (I love ballgowns), but McGee did not disappoint on the glamor and glitz, as well as paparazzi, bloggers, and everything else that comes with modern fame.
While it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, it entertained the heck out of me and I finished it in 24 hours. I am already on the wait list to get the sequel, Majesty, from the library. Highly recommend for fans of The Selection and The Princess Diaries.