Read With Me 2020 23: Book Review – American Royals by Katherine McGee

The Washingtons have ruled America for almost 250 years.

They’re gorgeous, fiercely famous and the beating heart of the most glorious royal court in the world.

But behind the glittering ballrooms, elegant gowns, and seemingly perfect public personas lie forbidden romances and scandalous secrets. Together four young women will navigate gossip, drama, and the eyes of the world upon them.

There’s everything to play for – but there can only be one queen.

This is the story of the most famous family in the world.

This is the story of the American royals.

What I Thought:

I find alternative history books hugely fun – what if The Confederacy won the US Civil War? What if Britain was invaded in WW2? In American Royals, it’s what if, at the end of the War of Independence, George Washington was invited to become King, rather than President of the new United States?

I actually won an ARC of this book from the Penguin stand at YALC 2019, and it’s one of the first books from that that I’ve read – I get behind, for shame – and it was really enjoyable.

It’s sold as part Gossip Girl, so having never seen that, the comparison was lost on me, but if they mean a type of mid-90s, glitzy teen drama, then it certainly delivered.

The book is firmly a feminine affair, focusing on the two princesses, their non-royal friend and their nemesis who is intent on marrying herself a prince. The current King’s eldest child is Princess Beatrice and – for the first time in history – she is set to take over the throne instead of it passing over her to her younger brother Jeff. As such, it’s important to the royals that Beatrice be married – cue the search for an arranged marriage to another royal family.

The problem with this? Beatrice does not want to be married to some random royal, she has other plans with someone else…

For glitz, glamour, balls and prowling suitors, this book is a winner – it put me very much in mind of The Selection, which I also enjoyed. I tend to think of myself as fairly cynical where the royal family is concerned, but it seems that I’m easily swayed by a royal plotline in my YA!

The ending of the book is suitably dramatic and leaves plenty of scope for the second book in the series, which is expected in September – I’ve added it to my TBR and, thanks to no YALC this year, seems I may have to buy it!

American Royals is published by Penguin.

You can find out more about Katherine McGee and her work on her website. Alternatively, you can connect with her on Twitter.

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5 Responses to Read With Me 2020 23: Book Review – American Royals by Katherine McGee

  1. Chantelle Hazelden says:

    I’ve never been a big fan of the history genre but this is a book that actually appeals to me (may have something to do with the front cover) thanks for sharing with #readwithme

  2. I’m just starting to try the YA genre, but I don’t think this one is right for me just now, with everything going on this last couple of weeks #readwithme

  3. This sounds like a great read – and I love a dramatic ending :o)


  4. This sounds like a fun read, but I’m not sure that I would enjoy it myself. It might be one for my daughter!

  5. Kate says:

    Something I’d totally love! Huge Gossip Girl fan #readwithme

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