Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Publisher: S&S BFYR
Published: June 2018
Genre: young adult, contemporary
Summary: Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.
Mini Review: Don’t read this if you’re planning a wedding, because it is literally a book about ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD GO WRONG. All the things. All of them. No but really, that aside, this book covers the 76 hours of a wedding weekend and all the growing pains that come with a giant family in flux. Charlie doesn’t know where she wants to go to college in the fall, she wants to have the perfect weekend with her family and all her siblings back in town, and hidden dramas from the past and present all culminate with her mother’s interview on the final comic strip she’s drawn for the last twenty years. If you love big casts and loud, outspoken characters, and high drama, Matson’s latest checks everything off the list. It’s nothing like her previous work and yet it still has her voice: the wholly middle class teen American girl with her everyday problems of school, friends, family, and crushes.
The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory (ARC)
Publishing: October 9
Genre: women’s fiction
Summary: Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing. After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.
So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable: he’s the brother of her former fiancé, a British spy, and he’s not above blackmail. As Thea reluctantly joins forces with Nick to find out what happened the day her fiancé disappeared, together they discover a secret that could destroy a centuries-old monarchy and change life as they know it.
Mini Review: The jacket summary is a little misleading. This implies the royal character has no interest in any of her duties and no desire in assisting her family. This implies she’s unhappy with everything about her life, and that it’s all a burden. That’s not the case, and I’m actually glad of it! The comparisons to The Royal We and Princess Diaries is enormously beneficial in this account because the characters from those novels are endearing and fun — like Thea is in this book, and unlike the jacket’s misleading snobbery.
Rant on that aside, this novel was equal amounts entertaining and frustrating. I adored Thea in every scene that did not include the love interest, Nick (mostly because I had no interest in the love interest, and on top of that it seemed a little…rushed? forced?), because she was very much a go-get-’em woman, who knows herself and her mind and what she wants. She knows her duty to the crown, and wants breaks every once in a while from it, but it was so clear she adored her family and her country that she’d never turn her back on her role. I liked the chick-lit-meets-James-Bond chase plot, even though I was incredibly frustrated by everyone involved (in summation: “Trust me, don’t trust That Person, but I can’t tell you why I need you to trust me / why I want certain information from you, I just need you to!”). I loved the Driedish history and had to stop myself from Googling things (seriously, Emory made me believe this was was a real monarchy). A quick, fun read all around.
Thank you, Edelweiss, for providing this book for review!