Saturday, July 27, 2019

Truly Madly Royally, by Debbie Rigaud

As ambitious Zora arrives for her summer study program at the prestigious Halstead University, she knows she’s out of her element.  She’s the only attender who’s taken public transit to get there.  Her peers all come from money and it shows.  She's pretty much the only student who’s black.  Her plan is to basically lay low.  Hiding out in the library one day, she meets a nice young man named Owen, who sweeps her off her feet.  It turns out that he’s the Prince of Landerel and suddenly Zora’s potentially in over her head in publicity and attention, as everyone wants to know the Prince's new romantic partner.  But Zora has a cool head and she keeps her focus on her goals, her causes, and her people.

It’s a perfectly fine story – light and entertaining summer reading.  The royal element reminds one of a black girl’s Meg Cabot.  The empowerment pep talk that carries through the story gets a little tiring and doesn't always fit organically in the story.   Zora’s flawlessness can make her seem awfully precious and doesn't give the reader much to identify with.  Still, Rigaud does great characters.  Zora’s family and neighbors are particular stand-out.  It's a fun read.

[Disclaimer:  I received an Advanced Reviewer's Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  The book is scheduled for release on July 31st.]

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