Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Guest Book Review and Giveaway: The Royal We

By Michelle Drodge

Even though I’m not a huge follower of everyone’s beloved Royal Family, I was very intrigued to read this story that is ‘loosely based’ on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The authors of this novel are two American women who admit in the acknowledgments that they toured Buckingham Palace and spent an extended period of time researching. Still, I somehow had a shred of hope that they knew something we didn’t – could this actually be the true story of Will and Kate disguised as a Chick Lit Novel?

Bex is an American studying at the prestigious Oxford University in England, an ocean away from her twin sister Lacey. It’s no secret that Prince Nicholas of Wales is also studying at Oxford, but to Bex’ surprise, he was also living with her in the same dorm called Pembroke, and it wasn’t long before they fell into the same crowd.

Nick and Bex became close friends long before they fell in love – but falling in love with a Prince is far less glamourous than it sounds. Amidst the elaborate functions and expensive clothing also comes a slew of paparazzi hounding their every move around the clock, and a family less than excited about a Prince falling in love with an ‘ordinary American’.

The question is simple: Will Bex and Nick make it to the altar, or will they let outside influences tear them apart?

The answer isn’t as simple as one might think in this book.

There is certainly not a lack of ‘fullness’ in this book, as it’s almost as chaotic as this story may be in real life. The amount of characters introduced sometimes led to confusion (who is that again?), but definitely contributed to a colourful cast. I especially enjoyed the dynamic between Bex and Lacey but felt that some of the more insignificant characters could have been left on the editing table.

The length is also something I struggled with. The middle section has some pivotal moments taking place, but I felt this section could have been omitted almost entirely. I had to return to this section to re-read it after I finished this book because I knew the outcome and really wanted to continue with the turmoil surrounding Nick and Bex's relationship.

As I earlier mentioned, my knowledge of the Royal Family is minimal at best, and when I began this book, it felt like I was reading somewhat of a tabloid. The language seemed very relaxed and I wondered if these authors were completely inexperienced. However, I stumbled upon some literary gems throughout the book that stood out so much I actually highlighted them purposefully for this review. One of my favourites: “We’d bought last minute tickets in the back row after a long Sunday at the Bodleian, and watched agape as the legendary musical unfolded like a disjointed feline fever dream.” Another: “My favourite urban legend about Freddie (Nick’s brother) claims he got caught in flagrante delicto with the daughter of a Russian political leader, a week before she was to be married off as part of a covert alliance. But the very best part is that it isn’t an urban legend at all. Every word of it is true.” This prose is not that of fledgling wanna-be writers, it is that of truly talented authors and is what makes this book a success.

Although this book is a very entertaining, light read, I do think these women will have a long, successful career. If this is the type of book they can pen with no actual experience but simply skillful research, I have no doubt their next book will be even better. I’d actually like to see them write a more serious drama and think they would do well in crime-based novels. Congrats to Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks on a successful debut!

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for the book in exchange for an honest review. They have FIVE copies for some lucky readers in the US and/or Canada!

Michelle Drodge is 29 and lives in a small town north of Toronto in Canada with her daughter, who is five going on fifteen. She works in Restaurant Development during the day, but moonlights as an aspiring writer after her daughter goes to sleep. One day she hopes to see her own book on the shelf alongside her favourite Chick Lit authors!


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40 comments:

Bonnie Franks said...

First of all, please note that in the rafflecopter, I hit enter before my name was complete. It won't let me fix it.

What fascinates me about the Royal Family is the fact that along with all the pomp and circumstance, they can sometimes behave normally. What a relief that must be.

susieqlaw said...

All of the traditions of the royal traditions are fascinating.

Milena Mutter said...

The history they are born into. It is fascinating to have kings and queens, history makers as ancestors

Patricia said...

While I think the idea of a family that is "royal," or special, merely because of the accident of birth is completely absurd, I also have to say that I will always click on pictures of Prince George---he is absolutely adorable.

Janine said...

The fashion and jewelry

Rhonda J G said...

The fact that it is hundreds on years old and you are born into it.

Denise Berube said...

Their everyday life and what it is like to live like that, always having to follow a protocol, dress appropriately, act appropriately, what is it like to be constantly scrutinized.

Caryn said...

How they handle being in the spotlight while trying to live a conventional life and helping others

cpr040304 said...

I'm not into the Royal family and really can't relate to the whole excitement. I feel the same way about celebrities. I've never been interested even in my teen years. Not my cup of tea LOL!

Bonnie K. said...

As my mother is from England, I've always been fascinated by the royal family. The history has always been of interest to me.

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traveler said...

The royal family and the history, and background. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Hailey Fish said...

I'm not fascinated but I do imagine what life would be like if I were born into the royal family. I mean they do get into the tabloids but not nearly as much as celebrities in Hollywood do. At least in my opinion!

P.S. they do wear beautiful clothes, I'd like a wardrobe like that!

jpetroroy said...

The staff they have!

bookwormerz said...

The fashion, the traditional culture and drama

Linda Kish said...

I have always enjoyed the pageantry and tradition surrounding the royal family. I have watched since Prince Charles courted Diana. I like the natural ease of Kate and William and their two babies are so darn cute.

Jessica Meddick said...

I've always been interested in Princess Diana. I'm not very interested in the current royals.

Susan T. said...

I've always loved the Royal family since I was a kid. When I was 5 my mom wrote in my memory book that when I grew up I wanted to be the Queen! Lol! I love the new generation. Wills and Harry are so fascinating and Kate has the best fashions!

StephTheBookworm said...

What interests me is their lifestyle, where they live, etc. I'm assuming they live in castles or very nice homes!

I hit enter on accident before it let me finish entering my email.. it's @yahoo.com. Thanks!

Vivian Vereeke said...

I'm fascinated by William & Kate. They are trying so hard to have as normal a life as they can. From what I've seen, they are down to earth, and truly enjoy meeting people wherever they go. And I hope they bring up the children in the same way.

Ruth Lyons Mazur said...

I've followed Queen Elizabeth's family thru their marriages, children and now their grandchildren. While I find their lives and adventures fascinating, I can't imagine what it must be like to be in the public eye

Nova said...

loved Princess Diana. i love to look at the clothes the Royal women wear, especially the gowns. i also love to look the the tiaras and crowns.

Anonymous said...

I think I became fascinated by the Royal family when Princess Diana entered the picture. I think she changed their image so much by raising her kids with love and compassion.

Suzy

Cher B said...

I can't say I'm fascinated by the royal family, though the history is of interest. I do like Kate Middleton's persona and wish her well with her in-laws. What really makes me interested is that this book is written by the Fug Girls of the gossip/fashion site. They are always entertaining, so this book should be fun!

Thanks for the chance to win!

jodi marinich said...

i always wanted to know what they are like behind closed doors

Amanda Saltsman said...

Kate just had a baby and wlaked out in heels really I can't believe this how did she look so perfect right after child?!?!?!

bn100 said...

not very interested in the royal family

Bec said...

the history! why this is a "thing" in the first place

Elizabeth Parker said...

Pretty much everything fascinates me about them. I'd like to know how Kate feels to join such a famous family.

Kim Pinch said...

I am interested in the history and traditions. I loved seeing and learning about the the artwork, jewels and properties.

Erica said...

I am interested in the dichotomy that you have all the money in the world but not enuf freedom to actually enjoy it.

AiringMyDirtyLaundry said...

The history of the royal family is interesting to me.

Taren said...

I'm facinated by Kate's effortless style!

Uma Kayla G said...

I am fascinated by how down to earth and normal they seem to act and be. They give a very relatable sense of being.

Holly said...

Diana and that charmer, Harry!

Allison Smith said...

I've always been somewhat fascinated - all the way back to Wallis Simpson stealing the King:)! If it were not for her - we wouldn't following Kate & Will today.

Suzanne said...

Just the lifestyle of the rich and famous... I'm sure it isn't always as glamorous as it looks.

rubynreba said...

I would just like to see if being of the royal family is as much fun as it looks! It fascinates me that they seem to do very little!

Katherine Ivan said...

I'm impressed by how Queen Elizabeth has maintained a modicum of privacy during the course of her long reign. With everything she and her family have endured, she seems to be quite a tough bird.

Bridget O'Neill said...

Mainly the fashions, especially Duchess Kate!

Laura Bryant said...

I love the drama and old time traditions of the royal family