First Lines: For centuries, the famed halls of Halstead University have echoed with expansive dialogue, provocative debate, and poignant questions. Or something like that. But not at this moment.
One of my weaknesses, as far as tropes go, is a Normal Person who falls in love with A Celebrity. Whether that’s a prince/princess, an actor/singer, or even something like the president’s kid, I’m all in. So it was really no surprise that this was an instant add to my to-read list when I saw it.
Zora Emerson wants to change the world. Invited to join a prestigious summer program at a nearby Ivy League college, Zora expects to take classes related to starting and helping charities keep their funding. Sure, she feels out of place among her rich, entitled, mostly white classmates, but this is where she needs to be. And she definitely shouldn’t be feeling this connection to Owen, an actual prince of a small island off the coast of England. But he’s funny and sweet and really cute. When Zora’s invited to his brother’s wedding, she’s suddenly thrust into the spotlight…and Zora isn’t sure she’s ready to be mocked on social media and her family targeted by photographers. Can she stay true to herself through it all? Will her feelings for Owen survive?
This was cute. It was your basic rom-com story. A little bit The Prince and Me, a little bit Princess Diaries.
I liked the diversity of the story. It was kind of cool to see this post-Megan Markle royal story play out. Zora is African-American and proud of her heritage. She has no problem making people aware of their stereotypes or sharing her culture with them. It was cool to see the slang, the culture, and her story come out.
I also liked that this was just a good, clean teen romance. Most of the time, Zora’s just worried about when Owen will kiss her. It was a fast read and easy to get into and stay with.
What I didn’t like as much was that it was almost too cornball. I love a good cheesy teen love story as much as the next person (I mean, I did just mention two teen prince/princess movies I grew up watching), but this sometimes moved too quickly, felt too cliche, or just had me rolling my eyes. It wasn’t a bad story, but…sometimes I didn’t respect it the way I wanted to.
I ended up getting bored with it at times, and I didn’t feel like the ending was really building the way it should have. But there were parts that I liked, so it wasn’t a total loss. The characters were flawed and interesting, which made their roles more interesting.
It was cute, is what I’ll say. Not fantastic, but cute.