Stab Me In the Eye: Romancing the Throne by Nadine Jolie Courtney

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Scandal, secrets, and heartbreak abound in this juicy, modern girl-meets-prince story—perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jennifer E. Smith. “Maybe sisters aren’t supposed to fall for the same guy, but who can mess with chemistry? A divine romantic comedy” (Brightly.com).

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.

Source: GoodReads

Oh, boy.

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I knew going into this one, I probably wasn’t going to like it.  The reviews have been blah at best and most people I know (and trust) have hated this one and sad to say with good reason.  When I read the original premises to this book, I thought it was going to be the YA version of The Royal We but with more focus on the relationship between the two sisters in the book.

It’s not.

The Royal We is charming.  It doesn’t pretend what it isn’t.  For example, the main character is American probably in part because the writers of that book were American.  Here the protagonist in English, but doesn’t sound remotely English save for using the occasional “Mummy”.

Seriously.  There were so many Downton Abbey-see, I’m British! references here I ended up rolling my eyes way fucking too much.

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Look, you want to have a book set in the UK with a British character fine.  But do your research, I’m American and I could even tell that the author was Americanizing the shit out of these characters. That’s saying something.

Besides being what I call faux British, the book suffered from having a horrible lead whose main concern was about what outfit she was going to wear and being a prince’s girlfriend because he’s a prince.

Number one thing of having a plot dealing with a prince or a princess is that you have to make royalty approachable and relatable.  And God knows, you don’t make the main character attracted to the lead just because he’s royalty.

See, Josh Ritcher if you want to understand why this can never happen.

But apparently, Courtney  has never read The Princess Diaries-the grandaddy of all YA princess things.  Hell, even the bastardization that is the Disney version of said book even uses this principle.

But nope, this book pretty much features a social climber female version of Josh Ritcher as the lead.

Can you say ew?

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I can.

Ew.

What I really hated was how much this book enforced stereotypes.  Is it so wrong I want a girly girl main character to not be a villain like Charlotte so obviously is.  Or not shallow for that matter.

You can like pink and have a brain I know.

There’s a little movie called Legally Blonde that’s proof of that, just saying.

Anyway, I only made it through like 70 pages of this before I called it a day.  I’m telling you guys, this is the year I’m giving no fucks to DNFs.  If you suck, I’m just not going to try to force myself to read you.  It’s really a liberating feeling, BTW.

Years ago, I would’ve forced myself to finish this and I would’ve been miserable.  I have to say, I am really glad that I don’t force myself to read shit anymore.  And it makes me a happier person.

Overall Rating: DNF

More Like Royally Sucks:Royally Lost by Angie Stanton

Conspiracy Theory: Meg Cabot brought Princess Mia out of retirement because of this  book.

Because something had to fix the damage that Angie Stanton caused the princess genre in the YA-verse.

If you like books about princesses, don’t read this one.  If you like books about Europe and traveling in Europe.  Run away.  Now. And try to calm yourself down by binge watching episodes of Rick Steves on PBS.

I know that’s what I intend to do after this shit fest.

Here are the  life lessons this book has taught me.  I can’t believe that in twenty-six years I missed all of these:

1) Everything older than ten years old is lame. Because living in the past is well dumb, according to our wise, young, and hip heroine.

2) McDonalds is the best thing ever.  Those pink slime burgers are way better than kolaches and sauerkraut.

3) He’s cute!  You must be in looove.

4) Three days works for Disney couples and you too.

5) Parents are lame.  Take their money.  Lie to them.  Don’t be responsible.  They’re just lame and they should totally let you travel around with complete strangers on an unfamiliar continent.  Because family bonding time-don’t need it.

Of course there are more little life lessons, but I’m not going to spoil them all for you.  That would keep you from having the joyous experience that I had.

Also, it might keep you from going insane.

To be honest, I really was looking forward to this one.  I thought that it would be a light cute read.  But the first paragraph I’m introduced to Becca and she’s bemoaning about how lame Europe is with its stuffy history.

And at this point I wanted to smack her.

Let me tell you guys a story.  When I was in high school my history class was sponsoring a three week trip to Europe.  I begged my parents to let me go, but I didn’t get to because of financial reasons.  The point is, I was devastated.  So, I worked my butt of in college and in law school, so that when another opportunity presented itself I could study abroad.  Which I did.  I didn’t have enough money to gallivant around main Europe, but the country of Ireland was enough.  I spent my time just marvel at how old and beautiful everything was.  And I didn’t spend my time in a McDonalds-though I did go to the campus Starbucks mainly because it was the only place that had iced coffee and I only drink my coffee iced.  Long story short, I wasn’t empathetic towards Becca and her hatred towards Europe at all.

The PG version of what I wanted to do to Becca.

Honestly, Becca felt a bit like a caricature or like one of the kids on National Lampoon’s European Vacation.  She gives Americans a bad name.  She’s ignorant, rude, and downright shallow.  I don’t know how she managed to finagle her way into Northwestern-I’m betting daddy bought her in.  Because she’s not smart enough to know to keep her passport in a money belt.  Or for that matter, she thinks its a good idea to run around Europe with a stranger who has shown stalker tendencies.  And she just laughs about getting her picture blasted on the front page of the tabloids in her skivvies.

Seriously, she’s like one of those stupid girls on I Want to Marry Harry (I really don’t know how they don’t know that’s not the real prince).

Then there’s Nikolai. Like Becca gives bad names to Americans, Nikolai gives bad names to Europeans and princes in general. I wouldn’t want this guy as my prince.  Like Becca he is too stupid to live.  He’s gallivanting around Europe with just some cash and a bike and doesn’t expect to get caught.  Despite the fact he’s a prince at has to cross the border and doesn’t have a fake passport, visa, or any for of traveling documents.

Hmm, lost prince.  Border crossing.  He should be easy enough to find.

The plot overall is about that flimsy.  The title is misleading.  No one is lost.  Rather, it is a very watered down version of Roman Holiday with the genders flip flopped and neither Becca nor Nikolai being as charming as as well developed as Hepburn or Peck’s character.  Heck, even The Prince and Me  is more developed and I had a lot of issues with that movie.

If you want to read about princesses stick to The Princess Diaries.  The middle of the series may sag a little, but at least the characters are well developed and Genovia actually feels like it could be a real country while Mondovia just seems like some made up country they’d put in a half ass made for TV movie.

That’s what this book on a whole seems like.

To top off the whole shit fest, we get some awful Spanglish at the end in Costa Rica.  Considering I live in Texas and the Spanish spoken here is much more complex than merely Si and Hola it just confirms again how culturally offensive this book is.

I really don’t know how this one got the nod from Harper Teen.  The same publisher that published The Princess Diaries.  They really should know better.  And maybe they do.  Maybe they saw what a shit fest this one was and that’s why they have Meg Cabot writing again to fix this broken sub-genre.

Well, that’s my conspiracy theory and I’m sticking to it.

Overall Rating: F.  Don’t.  Just don’t.