Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn (Young adult, 10E/10E)

 2nd November 2017, Penguin, 348 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Summary from Penguin
When fairy tale obsessed Lottie Pumpkin starts at the infamous Rosewood Hall, she is not expecting to share a room with the Crown Princess of Maradova, Ellie Wolf. Due to a series of lies and coincidences, 14-year-old Lottie finds herself pretending to be the princess so that Ellie can live a more normal teenage life. 

Lottie is thrust into the real world of royalty - a world filled with secrets, intrigue and betrayal. She must do everything she can to help Ellie keep her secret, but with school, the looming Maradovian ball and the mysterious new boy Jamie, she'll soon discover that reality doesn't always have the happily ever after you'd expect...

A thrilling world of parties, politics and bad ass princesses, this is the first book in the brand new series THE ROSEWOOD CHRONICLES.

Nayu's thoughts 
Best princess decoy story EVER!!  I've read quite a few as it's a fun type of story. A lot of the ones I read get quite dark, but not Lottie's tale. There are some extremely serious moments, and I kept anticipating when the story would go in a direction I wasn't keen on but it never happened! Lottie truly is perfect to pretend to be a princess for a royal who hates everythin traditional. I saw myself reflected in Lottie, having grown up with loving Disney Princesses, and at times, like Lottie, being naive about the reality of the world we live in. Lottie has inner spunk when she needs it, her personal mantras are inspiring, and she tries so hard at her new job. 

I loved how certain classic fairytale elements wound themselves into this story of love. There was oodles (I used this term before learning about Connie's identity) of aspects of boarding school woven in (rivalry, midnight shenanigans, friendly matrons), plenty of drama and high jinx that constantly surprised me. The viewpoint is mostly from Lottie's view, with occasional shifts that made sense.  I loved how well Lottie fitted in her role-it's a serious one but she lets herself be swept away by it all because it's all that she's daydreamed about. 

What I found refreshing was that romance wasn't an overt theme, so I didn't have to put up with Lottie mooning over someone. That's not to say romance doesn't exist, it does, in an extremely subtle way that I'm surprised I picked up on who Lottie falls for, and I sincerely hope Lottie realises and is able to enjoy that precious link with the one she loves but doesn't know it. The subtlty of that romance strongly counters the fake Disney-fied romance she thinks she has for a different character, but I will be surprised if my suspicions are proved entirely wrong before the final book in this trilogy. I'm sad I have to wait a year for the next book, but I'm eager to see what trouble Lottie and Ellie find themselves in next! This tale fulfils all my dreams of a princess decoy book, is truly magical, very touching, charming, and overall an incredible read. Definitely one for the reread shelf!

Added after I wrote the main part of the review - I had no idea until I googled Connie's details that she's the Youtuber Noodlerella! Wow. I don't follow her yet but I've seen a few of her videos many months ago - will have to check out her out again! 

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