Friday, July 19, 2019

American Royals

American Royals. (American Royals #1) Katharine McGee. 2019. Random House. 448 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: You already know the story of the American Revolution, and the birth of the American monarchy. You might know it from the picture books you read as a child. From your elementary school performances--when you longed to play the role of King George I or Queen Martha, and instead were cast as a cherry tree.

Premise/plot: American Royals is a contemporary what-if novel. What if George Washington had become King instead of President? More important still for the sake of this plot, what if George and Martha had had children to continue their legacy, their reign? What if the contemporary royal children were young, beautiful, and dating? What if their lives were falling into place like a parody of a soap opera during ratings? I haven't decided if this one is leaning more towards being a TV series on the WB or if it's leaning more towards a Hallmark romance movie. (It does open in December and feature holiday parties--Christmas and New Year's Eve.)

Has there ever been a more poor, unfortunate, soul than the heir-to-the-crown, Beatrice?! Beatrice is on the verge of womanhood--in all its splendors--when she's "forced" to propose to an eligible, wealthy young man whom she barely knows....all the while lusting for her bodyguard who is oh-so-dreamy. (His name is Connor.)

Actual quote (well, actual quote from an ARC that may change before publication date...)
"Is America going to love me the way Connor does? Listen to my secrets and kiss me good morning and tell me my dreams are worth chasing? All I've ever done for America is give and give and give and still America wants more! When will it ever be enough?"
Don't let Samantha hear you (the reader) pitying, Beatrice!!! Sam's the poor, unfortunate soul!!! She really is. Her sister could PICK ANY OF LIKE SIX, YOU KNOW, ELIGIBLE GUYS to court, or whatever, and Beatrice had to go and pick the ONE GUY FROM THE LIST that Samantha had made out with in the coat closet!!! (and in the hot tub!!!) (His name is Teddy.)

Perhaps if someone deserves a "Bless his heart!" it's Jeffrey, Samantha's twin brother. Simply because he hasn't an observant brain cell in his body. But he does have two women fighting over him. Daphne and Nina. Nina met Samantha and Jeff when she was six. Technically, she's probably known and loved him the longest--even if it hasn't always been like-like or love-love. Nina is sincere and spirited. She's not afraid to tell Sam or Jeff the truth as she sees it. She grounds them in a way that no one else does. Daphne is--on paper--the absolute, perfect dream girl a Prince could have. But Daphne does not have a genuine bone in her body...Perhaps you're thinking WELL, MAYBE JEFF IS ONLY STUPID WHEN IT COMES TO WOMEN....well, what about Ethan?!?! Ethan has been his best friend since kindergarten...but Ethan surely has an agenda of his own....

My thoughts: It was silly. It was ridiculous. All hopes of it actually being a serious attempt at a what-if novel soon died. But would anyone actually ever in a hundred million years take seriously a what-if novel that supposes an American monarchy? (Assuming one that accounted for the fact that the actual George Washington did not have any offspring?) It strains credibility, doesn't it, that the actual George Washington would say YES to the throne. Would say YES to establishing a monarchy in America? So the further removed from reality the book takes us--the better, right? Probably.

But I was curious to see how well I could predict how all the characters get from point A to point B before the end of the novel....I think you could do just as well if you give it your time. (But should you?!?! Should I have?!?!)

This one is super-silly and incredibly predictable. But sometimes the writing can put a smile on your face. It reminds me of a creative writing assignment I had in high school to write a soap opera script.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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