Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Book review: Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

Book Summary
Fiercely independent and smart, Zora Emerson wants to change the world. She's excited to be attending a prestigious summer program, even if she feels out of place among her privileged, mostly white classmates. So she's definitely not expecting to feel a connection to Owen, who's an actual prince of an island off the coast of England. But Owen is funny, charming...and undeniably cute. Zora can't ignore the chemistry between them. When Owen invites Zora to be his date at his big brother's big royal wedding, Zora is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, along with her family and friends. Everyone is talking about her, in real life and online, and while Owen is used to the scrutiny, Zora's not sure it's something she can live with. Can she maintain her sense of self while moving between two very different worlds? And can her feelings for Owen survive and thrive in the midst of the crazy? Find out in this charming romantic comedy that's like The Princess Diaries for a new generation. 

Flo's Review
Happy book birthday to Truly Madly Royally! I knew I wanted in on this book as soon as I heard about it. I was lucky enough to meet the author and snag an ARC at BookCon, and it's the first book I got from that event that I've read. 

"I love me some Owen!" I told the author on Instagram, and it's so true. He is formal, and it's totally adorable. He's also sincere. Best of all, the banter between him and Zora is so natural and easy. They really are great together. There was an incident that made Zora mad at him, and I totally agreed! It was such a dilemma because I'm like, "I totally understand why Zora is mad! She'd better not just forgive him because he's a prince!" At the same time I'm like, "But I want them together!" Lol. Apparently Zora was not the only one to have a full range of emotions over this man.

This kind of felt like multiple books to me? Let me try to explain. It's a good thing to have other characters with their own stories -- that is realistic, because supporting characters' whole existence isn't just conversing with protagonists. But it almost felt .... extraneous here? I'm not talking about the Walk Me Home storyline -- that's integral to Zora. But the details of her family members lives. I understand going into her parents' divorce, but, I don't know, I felt we didn't need her brother's and best friend's relationship. I think because usually when I see another relationship in a story like this, it's acting like a foil for the main relationship. But this one wasn't. It was just .... there? Okay. Good for Skye?

The second part of the book also felt like it could have been it's own story. Zora and her mom's time in Landerel felt a little rushed. Just a little. Actually, it read fine. It just could have been so much more. It would have been amazing to really dive deep and explore the country. Then the tension between Zora and Owen's mom could have been played out a little more, again with more time. That whole part of the story really felt to me like it should be expanded and turned into a separate story.

On the flip side, I enjoyed this story because it was an easy, quick read. I think that's part of the charm for a story like this. So if you're harboring fantasies of meeting and falling in love with a real life prince, this one's for you.

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