Release Date: May 6th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.
Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't have...is freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.
When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?
Major disappointment. Those are the words I’d use to sum up my feelings for Royally Lost. I picked it up looking for a fun and fluffy read. Unfortunately, it just ended up making me angry. Honestly, I wasn’t even looking for something extremely good and meaningful, just a fun, summer read. It seems that that was too much to ask, though. Oh yeah, there will be mild spoilers in this review, but you know, who cares?
Let’s start with the biggest problem I had with this novel: the main character, Becca. To sum it up: she’s an ungrateful and unreasonable bitch. There, I said it. She’s on a trip through Europe with her dad, stepmom and brother. Now, I do not expect everyone to be very interested in history and culture (to be honest, I’m not all that interested in history either). But this girl was so incredibly ungrateful! Now, I live in Europe and I’ve actually been to many of the cities described in this novel. Personally, I thought they were beautiful cities and I’ve had an amazing time in all of them. Becca was priviliged to be able to go to Europe and see all that beauty, and all she did was whine about it. Because she hates anything and everything that’s “old”. She hates her parent for “dragging her to Europe”. Excuse me? She’s lucky to go on such a trip, but all she can do is say how much it sucks and how she wishes to go home. But no, the cities are so old an there’s “nothing interesting to do”. I’m sorry, but she visits some pretty big cities (Vienna, anyone?). Do you really think that there’s nothing to do there? Even if you absolutely hate all thing history and culture, there are stores and malls there. Those people need to buy clothes and coffee too. The teenagers there go out. Apparently though, no such thing exists in these old cities. Oh wait, EXCEPT for a McDonald’s, which is where Nikolai takes Bekka to prove that the cities actually are modern. Are you kidding me?
But let’s not forget the unreasonable part of Becca’s character. Because this thing happened. (mild spoilers ahead). Now, on this trip, Becca’s been avoiding her parents as much as possible, roaming the streets on her own (or rather, with Nikolai). She repeatedly lies to them about where she’s been, but still her parents give her a lot of freedom and allow her to do basically anything she wants. Then comes the time that she has to say goodbye to Nikolai, which she dreads because she “loves” him (more on that later). So her brother Dylan comes up with a plan: they’ll go backpacking through Europe with some kids he met (that Becca NEVER met, mind you). At least, that’s what they’ll tell their parents: they will then actually go their own way and go whereever they want. Then their parents refuse to let them go backpacking around Europe with some kids they NEVER met (or in Dylan’s case, knew for a single day). Becca thinks they’re being extremely unreasonable and gives her father “a murderous glare”, and then stomps away. What?? How was his reaction in ANY way unreasonable?
While we’re on the subject of her parents, I’d like to point out that this book suffers from the ever-too-convenient ‘disappearing parent’ syndrome. Basically, Becca calls off everything that would involve her actually spending time with her parents. They even let her most of the time, which is pretty cool of them. But in the moments they actually are around and in the way of a meeting between Becca and her prince, they will always conveniently go offstage. Like that time they ‘ate a bad sausage’ and stayed in their room all day, or when her father was called away because things weren’t going well at work. With the latter, it meant that they had to go back to America. Conveniently (again), though, it wasn’t possible to all go home ate the same time; they could only get two tickets for a certain flight. So what do they do? Becca’s dad and stepmom take the flight and leave their children alone in a foreign country. Let’s not forget that this happened just after they found out that Becca and Dylan wanted to go “backpacking” through Europe and were mad that they weren’t allowed to. Honestly, why didn’t these parents add one and one? Wouldn’t it have been more logical to go in pairs of parent-child? Oh wait, then Becca couldn’t have stayed with Nikolai. Stupid me. *facepalms*
Then there’s Becca’s stepmom, Vicky. Like all stepmothers in literature, Vicky is seen as an evil witch by Becca. She even remarks on how her dad married Vicky “just to fill the void (of her mother’s death)”. Uh, did it never occur to you that maybe your dad happens to love Vicky? For most of the novel, Vicky is seen as nothing more than the person who took Becca’s mother’s place. Fortunately, in the end Bekka realizes that she may not have been fair towards Vicky and she opens up to her. That is the one thing I liked about this novel, and I considered giving this an extra half star because of it. However, while writing this review I’ve become more and more angry so this book can forget its extra half star. So there!
Onto the thing that could make or break this novel: the romance. The short version: it broke the book. The long version: it was cheesy as hell instant love. The ONLY reason Becca and Nikolai ever noticed each other was because apparently they both look very good. And really, this “love” that they have by the end of the book isn’t based on much more than that. Nikolai was just a really bland character, and all we know about him is that he’s handsome and a runaway prince. That’s it. I literally couldn’t tell you any more about him or his personality. But of course, Becca loves him. Then there’s the love that Nikolai feels for Becca, which isn’t based on much more. All he knows about her is that she’s pretty, that she “loves nature” (which is what Becca told him, yet we never see any examples of it), and that she’s “funny” (spoiler alert: she isn’t.). Oh, and let’s not forget the most clichéd line ever: “You’re different from any other girl I’ve met”. This is what their love is based on, and nothing more than that. I’m sorry, I just don’t buy it.
In all, this was such a disappointment. Combining absent parents, annoying characters and instant love, Royally Lost was the exact opposite of what I was looking for. I’d hoped this was a fun read, yet it just made me angry. The verdict: no thank you.
~Thank you HarperCollins for sending me this copy~
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