Book Review: Romancing the Throne

Romancing the Throne
Published By: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Page Count: 400
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Young Adult - Contemporary

Charlotte (aka Lotte) and Elizabeth (aka Libby) are as close as two sisters can possibly be. They have been best friends as long as they can remember as the year separating them in age seems miniscule. While the girls have vastly different personalities, they have always been constant companions and best friends. Their lives have been a roller coaster since their mother's shoe company took off and thrust them out of their comfortable middle class life into the upper echelon of British society. The girls appreciate the privileges that come with wealth, but they are not always equipped to handle the pressures of being among the elite and famous all the time. To make matters worse, some view the sisters as lower because they come from new money and don't have a title. Lotte and Libby are determined to wage war against the archaic social structure of the upper class.

Lotte, the younger sister, is the fun one who is more concerned with fashion and shopping than her grades and future. Lotte desperately wants to be accepted by old money clique at her exclusive boarding school, Sussex Park. As she begins her Year 12 (aka junior year for us Americans), she has finally found her niche. She is good friends with India who runs with an elite crowd full of wealthy entitled teens including Prince Edward, the future king of Great Britain. Not only is Edward's status the stuff of fairy tales for a girl of Lotte's background, but he's also handsome and friendly. Lotte is besotted and the two strike up an unlikely romance. 

While Lotte is navigating the social currents and learning what it means to date a prince, her sister Libby is in crisis mode. A scandal is rocking her boarding school and threatens to derail her chances at getting into a top university. Libby must transfer schools in order to avoid being collateral damage in an incident she had no part in. The logical thing is for her to transfer to Sussex Park for her last year. Lotte is thrilled that she will have her sister around on a daily basis once again after being apart during the school year. She vows to help shy, quiet Libby shake off her timid nature and leave her books behind in order to live a little. Lotte wants Libby to fit in with her group of friends and immediately begins to help her sister with makeup tips, shopping trips, and encouragement. Before long, Libby, while still staying true to herself and her academic goals, becomes part of Lotte's circle.

Things take a turn when Lotte breaks up with Edward after feeling neglected and later learns that he has feelings for Libby. The sisters tight bond begins to unravel quickly and neither is sure it can be saved. Lotte feels betrayed and isn't sure that Libby can ever earn her forgiveness. I dislike love triangles and this one was particularly brutal since it pitted the sisters against one another. Lotte even realizes that she and Edward weren't truly compatible, but it doesn't stop her from punishing Libby at every turn. I understood why Lotte was so angry and I didn't condone Libby's actions, but I think they both could have handled things a lot better.

One of my biggest complaints about this novel is that its only told from Lotte's perspective. I don't always like dual narrators, but I feel in this novel it would have been beneficial to get Libby's perspective as well. Lotte is difficult to like at times; I felt like she was selfish and immature. She cares more about appearances than I ever have. I connected more to Libby and wish that I had gotten to spend more time with her instead of locked into Lotte's viewpoint as she wallowed in her hurt feelings. I felt bad for her, I truly did, but I also got to a point where I wanted her to move on much quicker than she arrived at that conclusion.

It is blatantly obvious that Kate and Pippa were the inspiration for these sisters. While I don't think the sister ever battled it out over Prince William, I could see elements of their personalities and lives make appearances in Lotte, Libby, and Edward. It was intriguing to see how such iconic figures in our world inspired these fictional beings. I did love watching the positive aspects of Lotte and Libby's relationship unfold. In the end, the bond between these two is one of the highlight's of this novel. I also loved the interactions the girls had with their parents and Nana.

I wanted this to be in the same vein as Anna and the French Kiss, but it fell short. I didn't find it as addicting to read as Anna's story, but I will say it did bring England to live in the same way that Stephanie Perkins brought Paris alive for me. I'm seriously craving a trip to the UK after reading this one.

One Last Gripe: This one was difficult to rate. There were moments when it could have been a 3, 4, or 5 rating. Some parts I loved and some parts made me frustrated. The first half of the novel took a lot of effort on my part, but the second half was well worth the wait.

Favorite Thing About This Book: The setting
P.S. - I also love that the author loves Harry Potter and is a fellow Ravenclaw!

First Sentence: My serve has been my secret weapon ever since I mastered it at Wimbledon junior tennis camp two years ago.

Favorite Character: Libby

Least Favorite Character: Flossie

Scandal, secrets, and heartbreak abound in this juicy, modern girl-meets-prince story—perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jennifer E. Smith.

For the first time ever, the Weston sisters are at the same boarding school. After an administration scandal at Libby’s all-girls school threatens her chances at a top university, she decides to join Charlotte at posh and picturesque Sussex Park. Social-climbing Charlotte considers it her sisterly duty to bring Libby into her circle: Britain’s young elites, glamorous teens who vacation in Hong Kong and the South of France and are just as comfortable at a polo match as they are at a party.

It’s a social circle that just so happens to include handsome seventeen-year-old Prince Edward, heir to Britain’s throne.

If there are any rules of sisterhood, “Don’t fall for the same guy” should be one of them. But sometimes chemistry—even love—grows where you least expect it. In the end, there may be a price to pay for romancing the throne...and more than one path to happily ever after.