Friday, April 4, 2014

Book Review: Royally Lost

Royally Lost
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Page Count: 336
Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult/New Adult - Contemporary

I have been reading a lot of dark and serious stuff lately. It seems even the fantasy novels I have been reading have had some dark edges. Its always nice to cleanse the reading palate with something totally different and when I am in the mood for something happy I always reach for a contemporary romance. I have been excited to read this one for awhile, but I had no idea I'd love it so much that I would polish it off in a span of about 24 hours. Royally Lost is the perfect read for warmer weather.

Traveling to Europe isn't really in my budget at the moment, but it is something I have wanted to do since I was a teenager. I was initially intrigued by this novel because of it's European setting. When time and money do not allow for travel, a book is always a great compromise. I loved getting to spend time in cities like Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. I was pleasantly surprised that there was also a good bit of history littering the text. Unlike one of the main characters, Becca, I love history and was super jealous of all of the tours she was going on with her family.

In addition to the setting and history, I really enjoyed the characters. I wasn't sure that Becca and I were going to be on the same page at first, but she quickly grew on me. I stopped seeing her as a whiner and started to understand that she just craved a little freedom to decide who she wanted to become. I also loved her relationship with her brother, Dylan.

I also adored Nikolai; he is certainly a literary guy worth getting to know. Nikolai is the prince of Mondovia, a small European country. He has no desire to become King, but his parents refuse to listen to his thoughts on the issue. They keep forcing him to make public appearances and begin to talk of forcing him to join the military. Nikolai just wants to be an average guy with a normal life, but that seems impossible due to his royal blood. He can't handle the pressure and strict rules so he takes off on a European adventure. Along the way, fate entwines his path with Becca's and a sweet summer romance ensues. Interestingly enough, the fast connection between these two didn't irk me the way "instalove" typically does.

In addition, I couldn't help thinking about the movie, The Prince and Me, as I was reading. There are a few similarities between Royally Lost and the film, but Stanton does a nice job of setting her story apart from the one I previously loved on the screen. There were no direct connections between these two other than the ones my mind naturally made on its own. I loved that movie as a teen so it's no surprise to me that I also loved Royally Lost. Who doesn't want their own Prince Charming?

The romance between Becca and Nikolai captivated me. I stayed up much later than I typically would during the week because I didn't want to stop reading. I loved spending time in Europe with Becca and Nikolai; I could easily see myself rereading this one. This wasn't a life altering read, but it was a highly enjoyable one for me. It's nice to have lighter reads from time to time; this one is pure fun. 

One Last Gripe: I found it difficult to believe that Nikolai never learned Becca's last name in all of their time together. There were a few frustrating moments like this one, but I chose to ignore them and not allow them to keep me from enjoying the story.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the romance; it's also a fairly chaste romance even though these characters are venturing into New Adult territory in age. The scenes with the locks made me swoon.

First Sentence: Crown Prince Nikolai forced a print-worthy smile as he exited the antiquities museum.

Favorite Characters: Becca and Nikolai

Least Favorite Character: Visar

Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?

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