Here is my March read for the #bestiemademe challenge: American Royals by Katharine McGee. Kari has been bugging me to read it for forever, as she read it super early on. You can find her review here. I genuinely don’t know why it took me so long to get to it, but it was a perfect read for me this month. Again, it was another wonderful recommendation and one that I absolutely loved. I gave it five stars as well.
Here’s the review from GoodReads
What if America had a royal family?
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.
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.
I have been anticipating reading American Royals since I first heard about it. Katharine McGee is one of my favourite authors, and I loved the Thousandth Floor series. It was a fun sci-fi series that was intensely dramatic and I genuinely couldn’t wait to see what she’d do with an alternative history story. I thoroughly wasn’t disappointed.
The book has four different points of view: Beatrice, the ‘perfect’ future queen; Samantha, Beatrice’s younger sister and the ‘spare’; Nina, Sam’s best friend; and Daphne, Jefferson’s ex girlfriend. I loved each and everyone of these characters for a variety of different reasons. They were each so unique and had a distinct voice and motivations. Some of the characters were easier to love, but that made the book more fun in general. The book opened with Beatrice, so I have the softest spot for her and that’s just the nature of who I am as a reader. However, I really liked all the different characters, and the ways that they interacted with each other. The drama that popped up between them was super fun to read about from a reader’s perspective.
Plot wise, I had a lot of fun reading this story. It did give me similar vibes to the television show The Royals, but I didn’t mind at all because it was also an original concept. I really liked the basic premise of what the world would be like if the United States had a monarchy. What does that look like? It was really cool to see Katharine McGee’s interpretation of that. I really enjoyed the way that she showed the different aspects of the world. Digging a bit deeper into the events of the story, I really enjoyed the way that each story line was distinct and came all together. I don’t want to spoil any of the specific events of the story, but in the best way possible it felt like I was reading a less dramatic soap opera. There were so highs and lows, and some super good romance along the way. I really enjoyed the dramatics and the manipulations between the character. Daphne, especially, was good at manipulating things to get what she wanted and it was fascinating to watch her try to manipulate other characters in the story to try and meet her end goal.
One of my favourite parts of the book was the family dynamics within the Washington family. It was really interesting to see what the pressures of the royal titles did on the sibling dynamics versus how the parents related to their children. The family aspect of this book actually made me cry. It really wasn’t the most functional family because of those pressures. It forced a distance between Beatrice and Samantha, and based on where Samantha fell in the line of succession, she felt very left out and lesser. You really felt for her, but you also really felt for Beatrice who had the pressure of being the perfect heir resting heavily on her shoulders. It made sense that they would both heavily struggle with their individual roles. People have a very romanticized ideal of what royalty is like, and I know that I am guilty of that as well. I know that this a fictionalized account of a fictionalized royalty, but the way they interacted felt very real.
Overall, this was an excellent book. I really, really recommend it, if you haven’t already read it. Please check it out. I can’t wait til the next one comes out.