Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Royals by Rachel Hawkins

Royals by Rachel Hawkins
Release Date - May 1, 2018
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  296 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.
Thanks to the recent royal wedding the fascination with all things royal is at a fever pitch. If you're anything like me you'll be wanting to get your hands on any book that has any sort of royal family connection in it. Rachel Hawkins' Royals was already on my radar, but it was exactly the book I was looking for when I picked it up. It is a book that more than lives up to what its synopsis promises and will leave you instantly wanting more.

This story focuses on a unique perspective by having it be told primarily through the lens of Daisy instead of her sister Ellie. It's like having a secondary view of what a royal wedding would be like, and this novel is all the better for it. I've never thought about the family of the person marrying into royalty. Through Daisy we see the spotlight that would come along with this. We see how invasive it would be to have that spotlight thrust upon you. It's this invasion of privacy, and a set of expectations, that you never directly signed up for. It's an interesting dynamic because you get that Daisy wants her sister to be happy and marry the guy she loves, but there is also this frustration that her life is now impacted by the choices her sister has made. The tension that is created from this really worked for me. I am a sucker for family dynamics and this has a lot of family focus.

Daisy is a typical teen. She's a fangirl who likes to read. She's a bit of a mess sometimes, but is also funny, snarky, and loyal. She isn't what anyone would consider regal or polished. She is not perfect and that imperfection shows itself on the outside. I loved the connections she had to those she surrounded herself with. Her family bonds, and friendships felt natural to me because I was invested in Daisy.

Sebastian, the younger brother of the prince Daisy's sister is marrying, is also a fascinating character. He's the more scandalous brother. He's the one who breaks hearts and finds his way into the tabloids. He's easily one of the more interesting characters and pretty unforgettable (especially when compared to his brother).

Part of Daisy's journey is realizing that the members of the royal family are not as perfect as they appear to be. This also applies to those they surround themselves with. It was refreshing to have them seem like human beings instead of these bland, characterless personas.

The romance within this one is enchanting. It's the stuff of fairytales, just a much more realistic feeling one. It's not all castles, tiaras, and grand gestures and that is exactly what makes it work. Daisy isn't looking for her prince charming. She isn't interested in the life her sister is living and wants to create her own path. All of this makes the ending of the novel all the sweeter.

The wide cast of characters ensures that this could easily be extended with a series of companion novels focusing on other characters. There are so many fascinating characters that grace these pages that it would be a travesty if we didn't see them again in some format. It's a world that is built to be expanded upon and I cannot wait to see that happen.

A book whose humour and charm sparkles as bright as any tiara. It's a perfect blend of fun, spit your beverage out  humour, and romance. It's the sot of book that is able to break you out of a reading slump. If you're a fan of contemporary young adult novels that seem made for a happily ever after I would highly recommend spending some time devouring this one.

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