Monday, April 20, 2015

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

"Imagine knowing everyone in your life would one day have to stop calling you by your name and honor you as their sovereign. It's impossible for that not to erect walls, even subconsciously. But with me that wasn't an issue, and I enjoyed letting Nick be- for perhaps the first time in his life- unremarkable..."

Marrying the prince and living happily ever after seems like a dream. In reality, a relationship with royalty is far more complicated. The Royal We opens on the day before the wedding between ordinary American Rebecca and Prince Nicholas, future King of Great Britain. Our main character, Rebecca, or Bex as she prefers, is being harassed by threatening messages. Her twin sister Lacey bursts in to confess to a mistake, then we flash back to the beginning.

Bex first met Nick when he opened the door for her at Oxford. She left Cornell and her family to study art. She is immediately a part of Nick's circle of friends, but they aren't very close at first. Nick and Bex bond when they run into each other early one morning. Before you know it, they start spending time together in her dorm room, eating Twinkies and Cracker Jacks and watching the American TV show Devour (It sounds like Passions meets Vampire Diaries). They become really close friends, then Bex starts to realize that she actually likes him more than that.

It seems impossible that Nick, future sovereign of Great Britain, could like her back. His ex-girlfriends, and possibly not-so-ex-girlfriends are gorgeous and put together, and everything Bex isn't. His father, Richard, is scary and withholding, and his grandmother is the reigning Queen. Yet, it turns out that he does reciprocate her feelings. Unfortunately, relationships with princes aren't easy. He isn't allowed to tell anyone about their relationship, so they can't be seen together in public. There are still cameras tracking Nick everywhere, and soon tracking Bex too. It only gets worse when Lacey moves to England, supposedly to support Bex. She takes up with Nick's brother Freddie, who never met a girl he didn't want to shag. At first, private moments are enough, but all the tabloid stories, paparazzi, and pictures with old girlfriends make Bex insecure. They are unhappy and they break up.

Bex doesn't react well. She spirals out of control, partying, drinking, and general debauchery. It culminates with her waking up in Paris with her ex-boyfriend Clive, and realizing that she has to get herself together. Bex throws herself into her job, creating a program for underprivileged children called Paint Britain. There's no more late nights out, instead real dates with respectable men. Still, deep down, Bex misses Nick. Maybe, after all this time, Nick is ready to actually be with her.

I love reading Go Fug Yourself and the Fug Girls' books. There are so many shout-outs and inside jokes that it feels like you are in a super special club. The Royal We is (of course) inspired by the courtship of Prince William and Kate Middleton. It provided a lot of insight into what such a high profile relationship must be like. (I don't think that I would be able to take all the scrutiny, but I am always up for a challenge, eligible princes!) Of course, the book is very funny, entertaining, romantic, fun, and all the good things a book like this should be, but it also has some serious moments. It made me cry a lot, but also laugh and squeal in delight. It's just a really good book, it would be a great summer read or beach book, and I hope there's a sequel, maybe with a royal baby?    

I received my copy of The Royal We from Edelweiss, courtesy of Grand Central Publishing. It's available for purchase now.

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