Publishing Date: May 30, 2017
Young Adult Contemporary
The Premise from the Publisher: "For the first time ever, the Weston sisters are at the same boarding school. After an administration scandal at Libby’s all-girls school threatens her chances at a top university, she decides to join Charlotte at posh and picturesque Sussex Park. Social-climbing Charlotte considers it her sisterly duty to bring Libby into her circle: Britain’s young elites, glamorous teens who vacation in Hong Kong and the South of France and are just as comfortable at a polo match as they are at a party. It’s a social circle that just so happens to include handsome seventeen-year-old Prince Edward, heir to Britain’s throne. If there are any rules of sisterhood, “Don’t fall for the same guy” should be one of them. But sometimes chemistry—even love—grows where you least expect it. In the end, there may be a price to pay for romancing the throne...and more than one path to happily ever after" (HC).
My overall thoughts and review: So when I first heard about this book, people were saying it was inspired by Kate and Pippa, and it takes place in a boarding school setting. I was quite interested since I have to admit, I have a small fascination with the royals. So a book about fictional royals? I'm in! The story is told from Charlotte's POV, so I feel like already you are kind of meant to empathize more with her character. It was cool to see someone talk about their love for participating in sports (in Charlotte's case, it was hockey), but I will say some moments when she was talking about "perfecting your looks" and constantly instagramming/snapchatting selfies, I was a bit 'blegh' about it all. I understand that is the culture we live in today, but it just felt like overkill with how obsessive Charlotte was with it. So I did not immediately take to her and I was more fascinated to hear about Libby's character. One of my favorite scenes was when Libby first meets Edward and just speaks her mind. Things get complicated when both sisters have feelings for the same person, and personally, I wasn't too keen on the narrative of Edward going from sister to sister. The way both of the sisters ended up acting over a guy was really disappointing because they let that come between their relationship. I understand that it was the author's intention to demonstrate that the sisters can overcome that, but even when they did, I still felt like in many ways that their characters were defined by a romantic interest. It was nice to see Charlotte find her footing even after Edward, but then another love-interest is thrown into the loop, which in my opinion, downplays her other achievements (like doing well in school, sports, and even developing an app). Sure the new romantic interest is sweet, but it felt predictable, and I feel it would've meant more if she simply didn't have another relationship. With Libby on the other hand, although she comes to terms with Edward in regards to tradition and fame, I really feel like the Libby we initially met was lost towards the end of the book. Every time Libby or Charlotte moved one step forward, it also felt like they were taking two steps backwards. There was also some diversity, as one of the characters, India, identified herself as LGBTQ. But I really felt like we barely got any of India's story at all. Overall, it was a decent read, but I feel like I spent most of the book being annoyed with certain characters. Some moments with Flossie had me rubbing my temples because she was just so awful! I will say it was fun to read a boarding school setting book, and dive into the world of royalty for a bit. So if you are looking for something light and fluffy, then this is definitely the read for you!
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮ (3/5 stars)
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Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by HCC Frenzy/HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.