Katharine McGee is This Generation's Cecily von Ziegesar... AND I'M HERE FOR IT | Review: American Royals by Katharine McGee

5:30 AM

I know, I know, but hear me out: this is one of the last of my catch-up-reviews from 2019! You've probably already heard me freaking out over the delectably stylish drama that is American Royals, but this time we're going in depth. Kind of. (Okay, probably not, but HELLO, REVIEW.)

American Royals
by Katharine McGee 

What if America had a royal family?

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America's first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling.

Nobody cares about the spare except when she's breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn't care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her.

And then there's Samantha's twin, Prince Jefferson. If he'd been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

American Royals by Katharine McGee 
Rating: ★★★★★

"Samantha, criticism is a good thing. It means you've fought for something. The only people free from censure are people who've never taken a stand."

We've already established years ago, when The Thousandth Floor was first published, that I adore the nostalgic and stylish way in which Katharine McGee tells her stories. She has a voice that's all her own, but it caters so well to people like me who grew up adoring Cecily von Ziegesar's Gossip Girl book series. American Royals is her best release yet and so, so, so very indulgent.

McGee has this charisma in her writing that is sharp with wit and drama. It is every bit as stylish as it is addictive and leaves you craving more. American Royals has this highly engrossing quality to it that makes reading fly by. Like her prior novels, McGee holds your attention for the long haul and you won't be able to put American Royals aside.

When fiction takes on a life its own, and breathes air into the 'what ifs' of our history, it can be hit or miss. McGee makes this story of American royalty toe the line between believable and still keeps it full of breathless escapism. The way it deviates from history is what makes the novel so charming, especially in our current trashfire political climate. American Royals proves to be dishy, heart-warming, fun, and at times... heartbreaking.

I loved getting to know this alternate history. I've always wondered what might have happened to the U.S. if the founding fathers had done things differently and American Royals fuels that in a dreamy manner. McGee once again writes flawed characters--some more than others--in a way that captures our attention instantly.

There are so many characters that caught my eye in this novel. At the center of American Royals are the young royalty themselves: The Washingtons; the eldest daughter and heir to the throne, Beatrice, her younger, twin, siblings, Samantha and Jefferson. Each are intriguing in their own right and all roads lead back to them.

You can't help but to root for their happiness because they are compulsively lovable.

Then, there are the almost outsiders (I.E., commoners, nobility, etc): Nina, Samantha's longtime best friend and Jefferson's love interest; Daphne, Jefferson's ambitious and morally gray ex-girlfriend, Ethan, Jefferson's best friend and the real person Daphne shares chemistry with, Teddy, Samantha's love interest who happens to catch Beatrice's eye for political reasons and Connor, Beatrice's love interest and bodyguard.

Much like with the royals, these characters each fit a specific archetype. I loved every single one of them. 

Ultimately, American Royals is a stylish teen drama that proves to be pure indulgence. The glamor alone is worth a second glance, but the true shining star of American Royals is the cast of characters and the subsequent relationships that form. It will break your heart just as easily as it will make you swoon. American Royals is truly dazzling--McGee has a ride or die fan in me!

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