Prince Charming is a Fluffy, Quick Read That Ultimately Wasn't for Me | Review: Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins

10:21 PM

Can we all take a moment to appreciate the total revamp this novel got? Both in name and cover design? Swoon.


Meet Daisy Winters. She's an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair, a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who's nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince's roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown--and the intriguing Miles--might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins 
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5-3 stars) 

Did I just read Prince Charming because (a) RACHEL HAWKINS (b) I judged a book by its cover and I am a sucker for illustrated cover designs so THIS ONE OWNED ME AT FIRST SIGHT? (c) I really, really (REEAAALLY) want to read Her Royal Highness? Yes. Fair enough? I kind of went into it blindly because I felt like maybe I'd enjoy it without knowing too much about it.

Which, in retrospect, might have been a bad decision on my part. I haven't quite sorted how I feel about Prince Charming and find myself leaning more towards indifference than any other emotion. Which isn't an insult, it just means that the novel itself wasn't my cup of tea. Plus, I've been having a massive winning streak with fictional royal family based works lately and I've had a better time connecting with those emotionally than I did with Prince Charming.

Here's the deal: I think I'd have enjoyed this novel a lot more if I was at the beginning stages of my recent "Let's binge read all the royalty fiction I can get my hands on!" kick. I liked it well enough, but not in a particularly memorable way. Rachel Hawkins' writing was fun and smooth and upbeat in the way that contemporaries need to be. BUT, I just couldn't connect with it. Like. At all.

In fact, I found myself wanting to like Prince Charming more than I did. It had so much going on for it. Romance. Coming of age stories. Set in Scotland. A fictional monarchy that had SO much potential. My issues lay in the fact that the potential just felt wasted at the end of the day and a little stilted. The development was weaker than I'd have liked. This version of Scotland felt like a Scotland that was worlds away and just... not Scotland. Which in theory is fine, considering this is fictional--but. I wasn't terribly keen on the way it was portrayed?

There was this disconnect, too, in the tropes that Hawkins relied on. I felt like it had been done in a rush and it just didn't work for my taste. Looking back on the novels I've read by her, it felt like it was written by another person entirely because it didn't strike the same cords that she does in other works. At the end of the day, the prose; the characters, the plotlines, etc all felt like they were merely an outline written by Hawkins and never fully explored. It was underwhelming.

BUT. But, but, but. There were positives. I swear! This sounds like I've just spent a good portion of my review dragging Hawkins and Prince Charming and I swear I'm not. I still love her. I'm still going to read Her Royal Highness, which, frankly, sounds more my cup of tea anyways. I genuinely liked Daisy and her family. I kind of wish we had more focus on them and that bond. I also didn't hate the main romance, although it still wasn't OTP status.

Ultimately, Prince Charming isn't something I regret reading. I definitely sat outside with a cold coffee and read it quite quickly. It was an entertaining summer read that felt like a good filler between other books I'd been reading--its fluffiness really eased my mind and that's worth noting despite any complaints. I liked the flirtatious banter we saw fairly often and found myself smiling at its highest points. While it wasn't my favourite read of the year--or Rachel Hawkins best--I did have a mostly fun time with it!

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