American Royals

American Royals by Katharine McGee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if Washington had accepted a throne instead of a presidency? There’s a historical rumor that he was offered an American throne, and this book takes full advantage of that alternate history, from several perspectives. Beatrice, the first female heir to the throne, would love to be a regular 21st century American teen, but she must always purport herself as a confident, modest, and rule abiding young woman. Her younger sister Sam, in contrast, breaks every rule she can. Sam’s best friend, Nina, tries to keep her friendship with the royals a secret while she attends college. While their lives aren’t easy, and privacy is practically non-existent, each women’s secret romantic forays affect all their lives and their relationships with each other.

I really enjoyed this book. There were several POVs, and each one delved into the characters’ psyches and myriad life issues. There was a lot of romance and some relationship triangles, but they weren’t the usual stupid love triangles where one party strings others along. Everyone in a relationship with a royal had an agenda, and I liked the contrast between the one who was honest with their feelings and the one who was there simply for power.

I enjoyed the sisters’ complicated relationship, and Nina’s and Sam’s friendship. Every relationship was complex and multilayered, some honest, and others much less so. There were so many secrets and the manipulative power seeking character made an excellent and somewhat sympathetic villain.

This book isn’t about plot. It’s all about amazingly deep character portrayals and their complex relationships. It’s about family and friendship over power, and the threat of public media that always hangs over a public person’s life. As with most monarchy books, it’s also about a royal’s constricted options in life, and their inability to have freedom of choice in matters of love.

What I liked most about this book, was how real the characters felt – all their personalities, emotions, and life choices. The historical monarchy tidbits were a nice touch. And all those women’s rights moments that Beatrice, the first female heir to the throne, had to face, were so realistic and relevant.

I really enjoyed this book, but I’m glad that our country chose a democracy over a monarchy. Looking forward to reading the sequel.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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