Contemporary, Fiction, Young Adult

American Royals by Katharine McGee

First Book in American Royals Series

Like my wonderful sister I am always going to pick up a book that is related to royalty, whether real or fictional. When the pandemic lockdown started earlier this year, I started buying lots of books to make sure I would have enough. Although I firmly believe I could never have enough books! I was waiting for this one to come out in paperback before buying though because I wasn’t certain if I would really love it. Well, let’s just say that when I finished it in May, I was extremely grateful that my sister could get me a digital advance copy of the sequel!

Synopsis

From the back cover:
What if America had a royal family? The Washingtons (that’s right – descendants of George) have been on the American throne for two and a half centuries. They’re the most famous family in the world. But behind the glittering ballrooms and perfect public personas are romances and scandalous secrets that could cost them the throne. The Heir: Princess Beatrice knows duty to the crown comes before all else. Right? The Spare: Princess Samantha is pretty sure her only duty is to party hard. The Schemer: Daphne Deighton would do anything to get her hands on a crown. ANYTHING. The Commoner: Nina Gonzalez is just a girl in love with a prince…and she’s about to steal the spotlight. The Power. The Drama. The Intrigue. The Crown. This is the story of the American Royals.

Review

American Royals was a concept I hadn’t really thought of before. Having studied history in both college and graduate school, the idea of George Washington agreeing to accept a crown was an alternate universe I hadn’t thought feasible. However, this book makes me believe we would have been better off if this was the family ruling our country rather than the ones currently in power.

I was surprised by how emotional this book made me at times and that is a reflection of the power of the different characters and how their growth over the course of the books evolved and while most of them are royalty, were also relatable. As a younger sister, I could identify with Samantha at times, as an introvert, I could really relate to Beatrice in certain respects. And as someone who is not royal at all and just trying to figure my life out, I could empathize with Nina. There were aspects of nearly every character that I could relate too, except Daphne, who I just wanted to punch in the face. Some people may say that’s unfair to Daphne but there comes a time when a person’s choices can’t be excused by their upbringing. The other characters learn this lesson in often devastating ways, but I never stopped rooting for them to find happiness. Particularly for Samantha, who I wanted to be happy not only in terms of romance, but with herself too. By the end of the second book, I actively wanted Daphne to be unhappy because she consistently made choices that knowingly hurt the people around her whom she purports to love.

The first book ends with a pretty significant event taking place that alters the lives of all the characters and how they view their role in the family. It creates a massive shift and the second book has the characters exploring what they really want out of their lives as they grow up and how to find happiness when confined to the circumstances of their birth. Some wonderful side characters provide amusement, while others will have you screaming about their backwards, patriarchal, oppressive thinking and actions while waiting for them to get their comeuppance. At this time there are no plans for a third one in the series although I would happily return to the world of the Washingtons and discover if the wayward Prince Jefferson ever got his head out of his arse.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (7 out of 10 for Majesty, the sequel)

Where to Buy
In the USA, I recommend purchasing through BookShop or your local independent, in the UK, and many other parts of the world, I recommend Blackwell’s, and if neither of those cover where you live, I recommend checking out your local booksellers! Independent bookstores are vital parts of every local community and I wholly endorse supporting your local stores versus Amazon.

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