Title: American Royals
Author: Katharine McGee
Series: American Royals #1
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Alternate History
Published: September 3rd, 2019 (Random House Books for Young Readers)
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. And their country was born of rebellion.
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.
In an alternate version of history, what might have happened in America, had George Washington accepted a crown? Skip to present day, when the House of Washington still rules, twenty-one year old Princess Beatrice, heir to the throne, has her life mapped out for her, but as she draws closer to becoming the first Queen Regnant in history, the duties she has trained for all her life feel ever more confining. Prince Jefferson, the youngest, is America’s heartthrob, and in their eyes, can do no wrong. His twin, Princess Samantha is the second born, forever in her sister’s shadow, and as the unneeded spare, has decided to live her life to the fullest, carefree and breaking every rule possible.
I thought I’d had my fill of drama with The Thousandth Floor series, but this sounded too good to pass up – and yet again, it took all of three chapters for the story to draw me in, drama and all. I also found it really interesting how this major twist in American history has affected the governments of other countries around the world in this book, and every country that was mentioned seems to be under a monarchy. I’m curious to see if this state of things will change based on all the chaos that has been set up for the sequel.
Of the four narrators, Sam was definitely my favourite. Her POV beautifully conveys her frustration at always being sidelined next to her perfect sister and adored brother, always treated by the public as a walking scandal – finding for once one thing she really wants, only to have it stolen away from her. Nina was probably the character I had the most issues with. For someone who has grown up around the royals and should be used to their politics, she’s such a pushover. Not to mention that she never takes the time to reflect upon a situation fully before making a decision, giving up at the snap of someone else’s fingers.
This book was however, overall rather predictable, and lacked the distinctive shock factor that The Thousandth Floor had. But it was great that this had a family element to it, and the bond between the Washington siblings was beautifully portrayed – sibling rivalry, yes, but when called for, standing by each other no matter what. Nina and Sam’s friendship was another aspect that was very well done. I would have also loved to read a couple of chapters from Jeff’s POV to see his side of the story, as his character is very boring compared to the others’.
As always, I love the author’s narration style and how the story flows flawlessly between multiple POVs, making it very easy to pick up their individual plot lines where they left off and also keeping up with the overall story. This was such a fun ride and I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year for the sequel! Pretty much what I expected of one of Katharine McGee’s books, American Royals was an addicting and thoroughly entertaining read and a perfect soap opera. Highly recommended!
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?
Other reviews in this series:
Book 2: Majesty