Review: American Royals

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. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American.

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.

The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded–and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.

I’ve been seeing this book at the bookstore for years now, and I finally gave into the hype. Once I actually read the premise of this one, I was intrigued and had to read it right away. Especially with all of the political agendas going on over the past decade… you can’t help but wonder how a monarchy in America would run. This is as close as we’ll get to seeing how that might work.

I enjoyed the different perspectives of the four characters this book follows – Beatrice, Samantha, Nina, and Daphne. It gives insight to how different the princesses, Beatrice and Samantha, are despite being raised in the same home. They have different paths for their lives, as Beatrice will inherit the throne someday, and Samantha is, as she says, the spare heir. Samantha does have a twin brother, Jeff, but we don’t get his perspective in any of the story. I really felt for both princesses because Beatrice has to maintain her perfect image and cannot be herself or be with who she loves because she’s the heir, meanwhile Samantha feels like no one sees her and she has no purpose because she’s only the spare princess.

Nina is someone I adored because while she’s close to the royal family, she likes her privacy and anonymity. So even at college, no one knows she’s best friends with Princess Samantha. However, she’s dealing with feelings that she has for Jeff, and while he wants to pursue a relationship with Nina, she isn’t so sure it’s the best idea. Especially since America is rooting for Daphne and Jeff to get back together months after their breakup.

Which leads us to Daphne… the bitch of the book. She’s a complete gold-digger and only wants to be with Jeff because of his status, even if he is last in line for the throne. He’s still a prince though, and that’s all that matters to Daphne and her parents, whom are still newer in their status of nobility. Daphne spends her time in this story conspiring to get Jeff back, and she doesn’t care who she hurts along the way. She’s definitely the antagonist of this book.

Then there’s the love triangles, circles, hexagons… whatever they are. This thing is a Shakespearean play as everyone is with the wrong person or in love with someone who’s with someone else, and it’s all a mess. Some relationships are for political reasons, some for selfish reasons, and others for actual love, but it’s also forbidden(ish). 

I really enjoyed this novel and can’t wait to continue the series. I was shocked at how many 1-2 star reviews I saw on Goodreads, and I’m glad I didn’t read the reviews before reading the book. There are just as many 4-5 star reviews though, so I suppose it’s all a matter of personal preference, as any book is.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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