Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Royal We | BBRBF Book Club + Outfit

Recently, Kristina of Eccentric Owl and Sara Lily of In a Nutshell created a blogger book club and I was pumped to participate as it combines two of my favorite hobbies; fashion blogging and reading!

Kicking it off is The Royal We, by  Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. A nice little romance novel inspired by the most notable royal couple of our generation. The main character, Bex, travels from America to spend a year abroad at Oxford where she meets and falls in love with Nick. Who just happens to be a prince. The remaining five million pages of the book are the detailed events that occur when the heir to the British throne becomes involved with a common American girl.

I've never been that interested in the real royal couple except for a strange coincidence that happens to parallel something in my own life (some of you know what I'm talking about). Despite that, I love fairytales, light, happy stories, and delving into "what if" scenarios. So, I was definitely excited to read this book.

Unfortunately, right from the beginning I could tell this book wasn't for me. I like to get to know my characters the same way I get to know real people, slowly and through their actions and choices. But, in this book there was a lot of being told who people were instead. This lead to a lot of flat characters that could have been really personal and dynamic. In the beginning, Nick was any random prince from any early Disney movie and I could only see Bex as the "Cool Girl" or the anti-Manic Pixie Dream Girl. For context, the "Cool Girl" is laid-back, quick witted, eats and drinks like a guy but has a perfect body, likes sports/ cars/ video games, etc, and is the dream of most guys. Think Andi in How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days or Ellie in That Awkward Moment. I only point this out because Bex could have been a more realistic character. In part one of the book all of her "flaws" are traits that push her into that "Cool Girl" spectrum and it was annoying to have her presented that way. I even had a hard time believing Bex or her twin Lacey could have gotten into schools like Cornell and Oxford because real academic intelligence was never displayed by either character. That being said, this particular downfall improved over the course of the book and by the end I was more engaged and affectionate towards the characters. Except Lacey who seems to only exist as a tool to move the story along.

What was good in this book was the exceptional world building and clever writing style. While the characters didn't wow me, I felt completely immersed in this world of British royalty and paparazzi without having any frame of reference from the start. The colorful friend group was a high point and helped to guide the readers through this alien world by giving us a safe, relatable touchstone to come back to. I could easily put myself in any club or palace that was described in the book and found the writing to move quickly and smoothly despite the length of the novel.

On a scale of Total Pile to Masterpiece, I'd give this book a solid Not a Complete Waste of Time.

Shirt: Kohl's | Skirt: Thrifted | Scarf: Thrifted | Shoes: Thrifted | Lips: Colourpop's Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Succulent

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