Book Review: Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Book: Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Published May 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers|304 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Royals #2

Genre: YA Contemporary

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can’t believe her luck when she’s accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess.

She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other–Flora is both high-class and high-key–but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?

I liked Her Royal Highness!  I don’t know that I liked it as much as the first book in the series, but it was still fun and entertaining.

I wasn’t sure about Millie and Flora at the beginning, and by the end of the book, I still wasn’t sure how I felt about them as characters. They’re thrown together since they have to share a room for part of the school year.  They did have some pretty interesting interactions and I was curious to see what Flora would do next to get out of boarding school.  It didn’t work but it was fun to see what she would actually do, and I was glad that she actually found a reason to stay.

The nice thing about Her Royal Highness is that you don’t need to read the first book to know what’s going on in this one.  Some of the characters from Royals make an appearance in this book, and while it’s a good idea to read the first book for some background, you’ll know what’s going on in this one if you don’t.

One thing I didn’t like about the book was the timeline.  It seemed liked things were going really fast with not a lot of explanation of what was going on.  I felt like there were a lot of gaps in time with no indication time had passed and yet it also felt like it took forever to get to Millie and Flora getting together.  Don’t get me wrong, the book was entertaining and fun but at the same time, it did drag in the beginning.

As a couple, I didn’t really feel any connection between them.  Maybe because it felt like there were these weird gaps in time?  Honestly, I couldn’t tell you much about Millie and Flora, and maybe that’s why I’m not sure about them.  I wish there had been a little more time developing them as characters.

Speaking of characters, I couldn’t even begin to tell you about the other characters.  I can’t remember much of anything about Millie and Flora, so there’s no hope for any of the other characters that we meet in the book.  It’s also been a while since I’ve read the book, so that might be part of it, but you’d think something would stick.  Millie does make friends, which is great, and hopefully they’ll stick around for awhile.

3 stars.  Her Royal Highness was fun and entertaining, but things seemed to jump around and the characters didn’t stand out.

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Book Review: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

Book: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

Published May 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers|296 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Royals #1

Genre: YA Contemporary

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.

I liked this one!  Her books are always fun and light-hearted, and Royals was no exception.  It reminded me of The Princess Diaries, but in an alternate universe Scotland, and the main character is the sister of the future princess of Scotland (by way of marriage).  I was also reminded (at least a little) of Princess Kate and Prince William (and Harry and Megan) and if you need more royal family in your life, this is an entertaining read.

So, I kind of expected Daisy to have a slightly different interaction with the tabloids.  I don’t know, the summary made it seem like the attention she was getting was a lot more attention then she really did.  I was kind of let own by with what actually led her to going over to Scotland.

In general, I feel like what happened in the book didn’t match up with what I thought would happen.  I thought there would be more rewriting the royal rulebook and going along for the ride with the prince’s younger brother.  Or getting dragged along, as the case may be.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still enjoyable, and it’s very much a Rachel Hawkins book.  I think I just had a different idea of what would could happen, and it didn’t match up with what actually happened.

So, this is definitely an alternate-reality Scotland where Scotland has a king and queen.  Which I just went with, but keep that in mind if you pick this up.  Also, there are mentions that the Scottish royal family paid for the medical bills for Miles’ mother.  I don’t know much about the healthcare system in Scotland, but that seemed a little off.  I’m not sure how much research went into the book, as far as life in Scotland goes, but based on some reviews I’ve read, it seems like Hawkins got some things wrong.  While I can’t speak to the accuracy of things like healthcare and tuition in Scotland, keep in mind that some things may not be accurate, if those things are important to you.

I liked Daisy well-enough, and I really liked her dad.  Miles was sweet, and I do like him and Daisy.  I didn’t really care for Daisy’s sister, but I felt like I understood her better by the end of the book.  I also thought Daisy’s story was pretty resolved in this book, so while it’s the first book in the series, Royals functions as a stand-alone pretty well.  And based off of what I’ve seen for the second book in this series, I get the sense that it’s a series where each book focuses on a character who was introduced in one of the other books.  Maybe I’m wrong about that (we’ll have to wait and see, I suppose) but hopefully, we’ll get more of Daisy’s story.  I do want to see what she’s up to.

3 stars.  I liked Royals, and it’s fun and entertaining.