Review: The Royal We – Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Posted 27 August, 2015 by Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews in Reviews / 24 Comments

Review: The Royal We – Heather Cocks and Jessica MorganThe Royal We by Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan
Published by Grand Central Publishing on 7 April 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 454
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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Reading Challenges: 2015 New Release Challenge, Summer COYER 2015
One StarOne StarOne Star

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

The Royal We was a cute story, but the blurred lines between real and fictional royals made it less enjoyable to me… even the timelines were pretty close.

My The Royal We review:

I’ve been a fan of the fuggirls for a long time, their blog is funny and witty and sometimes quite sarcastic. I was expecting that when I picked up The Royal We, but I only partly got that. I felt like reading one of those darned tabloids at times, and I don’t enjoy tabloids at all. And the tabloids have been a big problem for royalty for a long time. The paparazzi were definitely a big problem for Bex and Nick as well, and it felt like instead of completely going against that, this story rather tried to make the tabloids and the people working for them, digging up dirt, and sometimes outright lying OK. I can’t imagine how hard it is to live in the spotlight like royals do from the day they are born, without asking for it in any way. I don’t think it’s right for the paps to go after musicians or actors or other celebrities either, but people who are just born into a family have even less agency to do something about the people following their every move, and it made me a little mad to see how hard things were for Bex and Nick because of this.

While there were quite a few funny scenes in The Royal We, they were somehow overshadowed for me because it also felt like too much of a fanfiction based on actual people. And that made me uncomfortable in many instances. That being said, the sarcastic wit of the authors definitely did shine through, and especially the secondary characters were amazing! I think this was in part because they felt more genuine to me, and their way of acting both with Bex and with Nick made them endearing and complex.

The Royal We is not among my favorite reads for this year, but I have seen many, many positive reviews of it so far, so I’m definitely in the minority. If you like reading about European royals, and the lengths to which they sometimes have to go in order to avoid the paparazzi, you may very well fall in love with this story.

Some of my favorite The Royal We quotes:

I feel more and more like the proverbial chaos theory butterfly from high school science – the one that flutters its wing in one place and causes a tsunami somewhere else. I always felt bad for that butterfly, being blamed for a meteorological mess just for dong what nature ingrains in it to do.

The headline writes itself, and so does the karmic warning: Be careful what you pointedly don’t wish for, because one day you might find yourself getting armpit Botox to avoid headlines like The Duchess of Sweatshire.

[…]Richard was saying into the microphone. His speaking voice is not the rich baritone I always expect; it’s higher, thinner, a touch raspy. The Queen Mum once told me she thinks his tantrums as a young boy made it that way forever. I love her.

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

About Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

Lexxie is a grad student in English Language and Literature, an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

24 responses to “Review: The Royal We – Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

  1. Aww, it’s too bad it seemed to close to real life, Lexxie. After reading the synopsis, I was interested. But after reading your review, I think I might skip this one. I think it might seem to insider-ish and I’m with you on paparazzi making people’s lives crazy. And it really isn’t fair to those who just happen to be born into a certain family. I think it’s interesting that the authors seemingly chose to justify paparazzi behavior when this fictional family was so similar to a real family and that family had such a traumatic event happen involving paparazzi… Anyway, great review, my dear!
    **BIG HUGS**
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…That’s What HE Said #36 ~ Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #15My Profile

    • Yeah, paparazzi definitely make people’s lives difficult! I always felt so bad for the Norwegian princess when I was growing up – we’re the same age – because she was photographed for her first day of school, or when she was cleaning her horse after riding, or when she was having coffee with a guy when she was a little older. I never could imagine how hard it must have been for her to grow up like that, and then, even as an adult, and pretty far back in the succession for the throne, they still won’t leave her alone – even if she’s moved to NYC to get away from hit all.
      And yes, that traumatic event involving paparazzi 🙁 I’m not sure if they exactly justified it, but it seemed to me like the take was ‘this is just how it is – deal with it’, and I don’t think anyone should actually have to deal with it.
      *BIG HUGS* my dear!

  2. Oooh, I haven’t seen this book in a while! I remember weeks back when everyone was basically reviewing this left and right. I’m not too sure I want to read this, though, seeing as how it feels more fanfiction. That makes me feel like the overall premise and story and characters feel shallow? Which is not really my type of read 🙁
    Faye la Patata recently posted…Review: Shadows by Paula WestonMy Profile

  3. Hmm, I don’t think I would enjoy the blurred timelines between fiction and reality either. I do understand why it would be more difficult to develop MCs if they’re based on real people, but still, if the MC is shallow, then that takes away a lot of the pleasure of reading a book. The reader needs to connect with the MC and see them as a real person.

    • Ÿeah, it’s really those who are just born into a family that is already famous I feel the most sorry for. They have not done anything to try to become famous, and their lives are lived in the spotlight anyway.
      I’ve read many raving reviews for this one, though, so many people enjoyed it more than I did.

  4. This was one of my concerns with this novel: “they were somehow overshadowed for me because it also felt like too much of a fanfiction based on actual people.”

    I mean, the book sounds adorable, and it is awesome to see a real live commoner-turns-princess story happen, but I am also tired of people butting into the real lives of people to have some of the glitter rub off onto them.

    I have been back and forth on this one. I’m not sure if I will end up picking it up, but it keeps drawing me back in.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette: August Wrap UpMy Profile

    • I agree, real live commonor turning princess is a delightful premise, and if it had been all made up – say in a made-up country, and with characters who didn’t bear as many similarities to actual royalty, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Because it is kind of a real-life fairy tale.
      I hope you’ll enjoy it even more than I did if you end up reading it, Lyn 🙂

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