Thursday, May 8, 2014

Book Review: Royally Lost

Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.
When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?  Quoted from Goodreads


Okay, put the book down and slowly back away. I'm serious.  I know it looks cute and fun and the perfect fluffy, summer read, but it's not.  I actually had to force myself to finish this because I kept thinking maybe it would get better, and then I was so close to the end, I figured why not keep going? But honestly, it was a complete, irritating waste of time.

So why should you avoid this book at all costs?  First, I absolutely hated the main character.  She came across as a spoilt, selfish fourteen-year-old rather than a competent 18-year-old about to attend Northwestern University.  She's traveling through Europe (which, because it's me, I'm totally envious of) and all she can think of is that everything is, like, a bazillion years old, and why are Europeans so stuck in the past?  She worships at the alter of McDonalds (because who likes food in Europe?), is constantly whining because her parents forcer her on a European cruise (oh the tragedy!), and rebuffs every effort her nice, well-meaning step-mother makes at trying to bring their dysfunctional family together.  I honestly couldn't stand this girl, and while she eventually gives her step-mother a chance at the very end of the book (the only real growth we see in her at all), it's far too little too late.

But if the main character is annoying, at least the love interest/royal prince should be awesome, right? Meh.  Not really. First is his very questionable taste in women.  Second, while he's not nearly as annoying and whiny as Becca, he's nothing to write home about, either.  He's hot and rebelling against his antiquated parents.  At least in his case he does have a bit of a point, but there just wasn't enough character development for me to really care.

Their relationship goes a bit too fast for me, and after a week, they are both declaring their love for each other.  He travels half-way around the world to find her, and she mopes for weeks on end because nothing in life matters after he's gone. I just didn't feel their connection. I was told it plenty of times, but I never actually felt it. It was all about how beautiful and fun the other person was, but mostly built on their mutual dislike of their parents.  

That's the last problem with this book.  Way too much telling and not enough showing.  I realize that I won't always relate to characters in books or necessarily even like them, but if someone or some book is well enough written, that doesn't matter all that much because it works and serves the story.  That wasn't the case here. 

As far as the good stuff about this book? I love the cover, and you can tell the author has either a) been to the places she describes or b) done her homework.  She actually threw in a lot of fun places on this river cruise through Europe that I enjoyed, despite the main characters distinct lack of enthusiasm.

I had such high hopes for this book. It should have been a delightful modern fairy-tale read, but it failed on almost every point.  It made Monte Carlo look deep. Really it should be a 1 star book but because I'm feeling generous and kind and I really don't like giving them out and it had so much potential, I'll bump it up to a low 2 stars.  I know it looks intriguing. Believe me, I was sucked in, but, really, don't bother.

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