Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Young Adult

American Royals by Katharine McGee

American Royals #1

It’s not often that Laura tells me that I must read a book, typically we’re going the other way ‘round, I’m telling her what she must read! But when I had the opportunity to do a virtual event with Katharine at the old store, I figured best time to finally sit down and read American Royals!


From the publisher marketing:
Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown.
Two girls vying for the prince’s heart.
This is the story of the 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.

Sam had long ago resolved that if she couldn’t be beautiful, she should at the very least be interesting.

Click on this graphic to explore the book page on LibraryThing!

Sarah’s Review

In my thirties, I’ve become particularly picky about which YA books I am willing to read. After the boom of my Fab Five, I was getting burned on book after book that publisher reps were giving me. Nothing felt as good. But. We all know now that I love books about royalty, either real or fictional, I love them, unashamedly so. And so here we are, with me reading American Royals

It is, thankfully, not in first person, yay! I go around and around with my friends about first person but at the end of the day, I infinitely prefer a book to be written in third person, even when there are multiple point of view characters as there are here. I find you just get to experience so much more of the world and setting if you’re not stuck on one person’s limited point of view, unless there is some big reveal that the main character doesn’t know at the start.

In the American Royals series, we follow the women around the crown, oldest sister and crown princess Beatrice, younger sister and twin to Jefferson (Jeff), Samantha (Sam), Jeff’s ex-girlfriend, Daphne, and Sam’s best friend, Nina. I love how varied they all are in their personalities and how well Katharine weaves all of their stories together. I’ve seen her planning board, it is massively impressive to an organizational geek like me!

Overall, the pacing of the book was what really sold me – while not a thriller, it reads like one with a similar amount of tension and desire to turn the next page to find out what happens next. The drama never feels trite or unimportant and there is a pretty big character tragedy at the end that changes the characters’ entire world. I’m excited to keep reading the series, especially now that I have three at this point! Oh, and they’re all college aged which is also great!

Rating: 7 out of 10

Laura’s 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. (Laura would like it noted she wrote this review in early 2020)

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)

Click this image to visit the book page on my Bookshop page!

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