Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin
Release Date: March 7th, 2017
*ARC provided by Entangled: Teen via Netgalley for a honest review. Thanks so much to the publisher for sending me a copy!*
3.5 stars (actually)
I’m going to admit that there was really only main reason I requested this book on Netgalley – I saw the word Princess, saw the crown, saw it was contemporary – and this Book Princess was sold. I hadn’t even read the summary and knew I had to read this book, and while it took me a little while to get into this, I was super happy with my ability to be swayed by my Princess nature.
Once upon a time…
At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…
Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.
Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.
Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.
The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.
I thought this was book was a cute, interesting addition to the contemporary genre. It reminded me a bit of The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller with its celebration but also fear of being a geek – and that comparison is not a bad thing at all. I love that book, and any book that gives me feels like that will always get bumped up in my thoughts. I loved the addition of the LARPing and other geeky like things because it added a lot to the story.
I also loved the addition of the reality show. It was such a cool concept, and I was so enthralled with what was going to happen next to it. I thought it added another element to Andi’s character as well since she had to navigate who was her real friends and who was just using her – which is a real concern with a reality show. It was also interesting to see how damaging editing could be, which I’ve seen enough reality shows (and the subsequent reunions that have them all mad about the editing) to see this in action. I thought it was a super cool plot to be added in.
I did like the characters as well. They were all pretty good. I liked Kevin and his sister the best. Andi was a likeable main character, but she did make a lot – and I do mean a LOT – of stupid decisions. I would literally go, okay, well, she learned her lesson that time, she’s not going to follow her thought pattern again, right, to make another stupid decision, right? NOPE. She repeated it all over yet again. It was very frustrating, and I just wanted her to make smarter decisions.
The other characters were…eh. I liked Parker, but she had questionable choices. And the villains were a bit too characterized. Like, they were cartoon evil guys, and I couldn’t take one of the “bad” guys. I felt a LOT of what he had done throughout the novel was excused at the end and it totally ticked me off how he was given a free pass at the end for a lot of inexcusable actions.
I did really like Kevin and Andi, though! They were so cute, and I totally felt the feels for them when they were LARPing and in real life. I totally shipped them. I just wish their romance was a little bit less of a mess. It did have that good tension, though, that kept making me wonder will-they-won’t-they.
The last issue I had was the melodrama. There was soooooo much of it. Literally once one problem was solved and I thought I could take a breath, there was another huge plot twist. You’ll never be bored in this book, but it was just a lot going on.
I know I complained a lot for some of the items, but I did enjoy this book. It was a cute contemporary that had some funnies, some intriguing concepts, and some good romance. It wasn’t as fluffy as I was hoping because it got so much more real and deep than I was thinking. It gave a fantastic morale at the end about just being yourself. There were some bigger problems, though, with it. 4 crowns, and…usually this would probably be a Jasmine rating with the numbers and feelings, we’re going to have a visit from Merida instead since Andi looks a lot like her…and gets into as big of a mess as she did!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read this? Do you totally just get swayed by certain words or themes? Let’s discuss in the comments below!