First of all, I would like to thank Netgalley and Penguin Random House UK for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Fairy-tale obsessed Lottie Pumpkin has worked tirelessly to be accepted into the prestigious school, Rosewood Hall. When accepted, she is beyond thrilled but little does she know, secrets and betrayal await her in the magical halls. First of all, her roommate is revealed to be the crown princess of Maradova, Ellie Wolf, who is attempting to live a normal, crown-free, teenage life. Secondly, Lottie soon becomes Ellie’s cover, standing in and pretending to be the princess for Ellie. However, being a princess is not all it is cracked up to be as something threatens the crown and the girls. Someone knows Ellie and Lottie’s secret. Threats start to be sent and rumours are rife. The story follows these unlikely heroines as they protect Ellie’s sacred name whilst trying to live a normal life at school.
Okay, my summary was horrible.
I try to not copy blurbs or what is written on Goodreads but every time I tried to describe the plot line, I realised how dumb it sounds so excuse the shoddy description!
Like my description, this book sounds extremely juvenile. It kind of is but if you enjoyed The Princess Diaries and similar books then you may enjoy this one. I needed a really easy and light-hearted read and when I was accepted to review this, it was perfect. I would not recommend this book to anyone looking for a well-written, thought-provoking, serious novel.
I don’t know where to begin with this book. First I will say is I DO have positive things to say about this book so I will start with negativity, if you don’t want to hear about it then read a few paragraphs down!
I guess I will begin talking about the writing style. Connie Glynn is a Youtuber, who I am a fan of. I dislike all of these Youtubers receiving book deals, based on popularity. I did have high hopes for Connie’s book though as I tend to think she is a lot more passionate than other Youtubers (about books). Unfortunately, my high hopes were quickly dashed after I read the first chapter. The writing style is terrible. The vocabulary is extremely stinted. Phrases, names and adverbs are repeated all of the time. The book definitely could have benefited from a thesaurus. Characters had limited dialogue, there was a lot of ‘he said, she said, he did, she did’. Not only this but they are melodramatic and this gets annoying quickly.
Okay so this is something I do not like to do – I do not like to compare writing styles/descriptions/plots/worlds to other literary works but a lot of descriptions in this book seemed like clear attempts at copying J.K. Rowling’s descriptions of Hogwarts. If you look at the description of the halls, the forest, and the portrait of the founder of the school in the headmaster’s portrait, you will find these similar descriptions. The portrait really annoyed me – Connie almost even describes the person in the portrait with twinkling eyes, which to me is a signature of J.K. Rowling’s description of Dumbledore.
I am now re-reading the Harry Potter series and I will stand by my observations.
Yet more negativity for you all; There was a lot of characters added for the sake of it. The secondary characters interacted very little with our main protagonists and simply appeared to make it look like a school. They did not add anything to the plot and in some moments, they hindered the plot, making it slow and taking space away from what is actually happening. Connie added characters for the hell of it. Finally, there was no world building. I did not feel as though I was in the school or in Maradove. I could not distinguish between England and Russia, and all places blended into one for me.
I felt the story-telling was quite shoddy.
Despite all of this negativity, I did enjoy the story. Although I did not get to know the characters and I feel that the author tried to do too many things in one small book, it was an enjoyable read. I smiled a lot and I thought the protagonists were funny, cute, and enjoyable. There were some chapters I could not stop reading. I wanted to know more about the characters and the secrets of Rosewood Hall, unfortunately I did not always get this information.
I will continue reading this series, I have hopes that Connie’s writing style can improve and that by reading reviews, she will realise that she has some plot points to decipher.
I am intrigued to see where the relationships go with the characters as I do not think Connie has decided if Lottie and Ellie are more than friends or if certain characters are exploring their sexuality. It seems like it is a very inclusive book and I like that about it.
In all, the book is badly written but it is definitely enjoyable and the characters are delightful (when they are not frustrating). I’ve given this 3 stars, I wanted to give higher but I couldn’t due to the writing style.