Her Royal Highness
by Rachel Hawkins
To Be Published May 7th, 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA contemporary
Date finished: April 26th, 2019
Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. Heartbroken and ready for a change of pace, Millie decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.
Soon, Millie is accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Here, the country is dreamy and green; the school is covered in ivy, and the students think her American-ness is adorable.
The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess.
She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland.
At first, the girls can’t stand each other, but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, but Millie knows the chances of happily-ever-afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?
My thoughts (spoiler free)
There is a lot to love about this book.
Scotland! Enemies to lovers romance! Royalty! Roommates falling in love! Harry Potter references! Fun side characters!
From the beginning, this book was very relatable to me, since I am also a nerd who wants to run away and live in Scotland. Millie, our main character, is delightfully relatable and snarky, narrating the story through her own bemused lens. Clueless about everything having to do with royals, she can come across as unaffected by those titles, even when she’s completely overwhelmed. Watching her stumble her way through royal life was a lot of fun.
Flora, her roommate (and also the princess of Scotland) at first comes across as spoiled and impulsive, though eventually we learn that there is a lot more depth to her. I did want a little more development on her end, since her growth didn’t entirely make up for some of her actions earlier. Nonetheless, she was an interesting character, and certainly kept the story exciting through her unpredictability!
This was a fun story with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments (as well as moments of extreme second-hand embarrassment). My biggest gripe with it, though, was the fact that it seemed to skirt around things.
Some of those things were small, like skipping over transition scenes that may not have been entirely necessary but sometimes resulted in a disjointed feel to the story. Certain important details simply weren’t addressed, such as Millie and Flora’s early days as roommates. As someone who has been in weird roommate situations, I wanted to know how Millie felt to not have a place that felt safe to return to every day, but this was never touched on.
Bigger aspects were even more glaring, such as the question of how Scotland would react to its princess dating a girl. While this was mentioned a little bit, it never felt resolved. I get that this is supposed to be a fluffy romance that doesn’t get into those issues, but if they’re going to be brought up I expect some kind of resolution.
That said, I did like the inclusion of tabloid and gossip blog articles about Flora and the other royals inserted sporadically into the chapters , which helped illustrate how closely their lives were being watched at all times. Even though the narration itself didn’t always get this across, those articles gave the sense of eyes constantly on these characters.
I’ll mention that I haven’t read the other book in this series, and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything huge. There were perhaps a few references to things that happened in that book that I didn’t catch, but if you want to read this one and you haven’t read the first book, you should be fine.
So if you’re looking for a fun romcom that doesn’t take itself too seriously and will definitely make you want to move to Scotland, this is your book!
*ARC PROVIDED BY EDELWEISS IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. QUOTES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.*
“Up here on the terrace at a palace with a princess under a starlit sky by an ancient volcano, like a fairy tale I never thought to imagine.”