Sunday, August 30, 2015

Royally Lost, by Angie Stanton

Crown Prince Nikolai of Mondovia is itching to be free of the confines of his existence as the heir to powerless throne of a stagnant European monarchy.  Angry that he is being forced to enlist in the military instead of following his desire to improve the world, he runs away from home, seeking freedom in central Europe.  Becca from Madison, Wisconsin is enduring a forced family river cruise through the ancient cities of Europe, sure that she will perish from boredom and moping about the boy who dumped her back home.  Obviously, they meet and sparks fly.

There are all sorts of reasons to hate this book.  You can despise the whiny Becca who gives a black mark to teen cheeseheads by constantly complaining about her horrible privileged existence.  Or you can despise the paper tiger of Nikolai's parents who effortlessly are convinced of the virtue of Nikolai's plans to reform their country simply by listening to him speak.  Or you can hate the overly simple fourth-grade vocabulary that the book is written in.  Or, while your at it, you can hate the superficial tour-guide narrative of Europe (courtesy, undoubtedly of notes from the author's own trip).

But the one thing you can give the author credit for is getting the details of Dane County Airport (MSN) down correctly.  I'd have never forgiven her for screwing that up!  And you can give the book credit for at least being an interesting story (albeit written for little children or teens in remedial English classes).  I get that it's a fluffy beach read, that intends to exploit young women's fantasies about meeting a real-life prince.  I didn't expect great literature, but at least give your readers credit for being literate!

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