{Review} THE ROYAL WE by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan



O P E N I N G   H O O K:

    I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
    The calls and texts are starting to pile up, relentless and suffocating. I'm afraid of what will happen if I don't give him what he wants, and I'm afraid of what will happen if I do. The TV isn't soothing my nerves, given the global hysteria over my impending wedding is the lead story on every channel. I can't lose myself in a book, because the only ones in my hotel room are dusty old historical tomes, and there are few things less reassuring right now than reading up on the spotty fidelity (and sobriety) of Nick's ancestors. And my sister is of no comfort to me. Not anymore. I'm officially in this alone. With every jolt of my cell phone, I feel more and more like the proverbial chaos theory butterfly from high school science--the one that flutters its wings in one place and causes a tsunami somewhere else. I always felt bad for that butterfly, being blamed for a meteorological mess just for doing what nature ingrains in it to do. Now I want to step on the dam thing for flapping around like a fool. Because I am that butterfly. That is, assuming I'm not the tsunami.
(Page 1, US hardcover edition)


Yesterday, I talked about what it would be like if I woke up as a member of royalty, an overnight princess. (I was touring with Meg Cabot's new novel FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCESS, which you can enter to win here!) In THE ROYAL WE by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, Rebecca "Bex" Porter literally knows what it's like to go through this!

Bex didn't go to Oxford in the hopes of nabbing herself a prince. She didn't even recognize him when she met him--and he was the first person she saw at Oxford! In fact, he wasn't even the first person she dated there, and they were friends for a long time before they dipped their toes into the murky dating waters. Bex was always more interested in discovering herself and what she wanted in life. She'd always lived in her twin sister Lacey's shadow and done whatever Lacey was interested in. Transferring to Oxford was something Bex did for herself . Now, the tables are turned, and as the omnipresent eyes of the paparazzi fall on Bex and Nick, it's Lacey being pushed into the shadows. Can the twins survive the maelstrom threatening to break their close bond, or is it already too late?

If you're a fan of wish fulfillment novels or enjoy reading the daily rags for updates on the Royal Family,  you're going to really enjoy THE ROYAL WE. I don't really follow celebrity gossip, but even I know that Princess Kate--errr, Catherine-- was born a commoner and knew William for several years before they got married. Likewise, Bex--errr, Rebecca-- knew Nicolas for a long time (and they even broke up for two years!) before they got engaged and was born a commoner -- and an American, no less. And the press will seemingly forever refer to them as Kate Middleton and Bex Porter despite their official titles... There are other parallels, too. Prince William's mother was killed in a paparazzi chase; while not dead, Nicholas' mother was destroyed by the paparazzi in other ways. Some parallels are smaller than others, and astute Royal watchers will likely recognize them all.
 
The book was a fast read, though it started to feel long by the end just because we were covering a DECADE of life. Just when I started to really feel the length, things picked up and the momentum began moving again, which worked out well for the pacing.  None of the characters were perfect, but that just made them seem more human--Not even princes! There was also a good cast of supporting characters, some more prominent than others. I liked the oddball quirkiness of Joss and her "designer" eye, and I liked the lightness that Nick's younger brother Freddie brought to the table. Some characters that I started off disliking became more nuanced by the novel's end while others became more dislikable over time.

THE ROYAL WE is a stand-alone novel, but I could see Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan writing a sequel, especially considering the open-ended finale. I definitely wanted an extra chapter or an epilogue to tie everything up! For now, everyone will have to settle for reading all the gossip rags to get details on the real-life newborn baby princess!
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C O N T E N T R A T I N G S

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG15+ ( sexual situations )
Language: PG15+ ( adult language; sexual language )
Violence: --
Other:  ( excessive drinking )
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C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I really like that everything is in silhouette and nondescript. This couple could be anyone, and it's left up to your imagination. 

I also love the way that the empty space between them is a heart, and your attention is drawn to that heart because the words "a novel" utilize the space.  

This cover certainly got my attention before anything else about it did!

  ~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: THE ROYAL WE
Author: Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Hachette // Grand Central Publishing
Received: Borrowed
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18365279-the-castle-behind-thorns
SUMMARY:

 "I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they'll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next."

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

Spanning nearly a decade, THE ROYAL WE is a richly imagined, emotionally compelling novel that examines, with warmth and wit, what truly happens after your prince has come.

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