Royally Lost by Angie Stanton

Royally Lost by Angie Stanton

Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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 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?

After reading the blurb I decided to give Royally Lost a go because it reminded me so much of Roman Holiday, a movie I ADORE. I’m also a sucker for fluffy contemporaries, and since I haven’t read one in ages I decided this would be healthy for me... you know, to have a good ol’ dose of romance and swoonosity. Traveling through Europe is also something I hope to do with my friends one day. We’ve made numerous plans to go sometime next year, because a couple of them are going to study in the UK, and so this made me all the more excited. When it came to reading Stanton’s book however, there were parts that were absolutely great– and then there were parts that flopped.

What I really enjoyed about this one was it looked like the author really did her research. I learned so much about the historical landmarks, and since this was a part of Europe that I haven’t been to (yet) I was really interested in learning more about it. The author really lay down some amazing descriptions and facts about the places that the characters visit, and this added a cultural richness that I’ve seen absent in several YA books about Europe. Nikolai is from a country called Mondovia, and even though it’s a made-up one, I’m glad it didn’t bother me. Because, I mean, hello? GENOVIA, anyone? Anyway, I think it could be based off of Moldova, or somewhere else in Europe, because there’s quite a few places with similar names!
What I also liked about this novel was that there was definitely enough plot to keep me interested. I wasn’t thrown into the romance completely, and glad to see that there were complications involved... not like a sugary-sweet fairy tale that only has good things going for it’s principal characters.

However, what I didn’t particularly like about the book had more to do with it’s main character, Becca. Her constant whining near drove me up a wall, it was too much at times. I mean, you’re in EUROPE. While people from Europe could possibly claim that it can be boring, not too many people get the chance to travel to the historically-rich country. I’m extremely lucky that my family and I get the chance to travel around a lot, and even I don’t complain that much about being dragged from landmark to landmark, given that I love to laze around at home doing nothing. Nikolai wasn’t perfect either, but I still think he was a much better character than she was.
Another thing that set me on edge was the insta-love. OH YES. It was only after reading the book when I realised that I’d previously DNF-ed another one of the author’s books – Rock and a Hard Place – 20-25 pages in because I couldn’t STAND the insta-love. I powered through the romance in this one. Getting together is one thing, but saying “I love you” to each other a couple days after you’ve met? CHEE-SY.

Going into this one, I knew I’d be faced with a lot of cliché’s from the contemporary genre. I mean: the cover, the blurb, and the frickin' title scream “clichéd cuteness headed your way”. How fate plays into how they constantly meet and bump into each other in Europe, which I’m sure should have a lot more people to prevent this, and how they simply can’t live without each other, how Becca immediately stands out from the group of American tourists (seriously, what does he even see in her?!) and of course, the royal-born wanting more from life than being photographed and pushed around by his parents, who desperately longs for a life of normalcy. I mean, I’m pretty good at handling clichés but when there’s just a bit too much, it makes me a little bit squeamish with the predictability of the story.

Yeah, the advice I would give when it comes to reading Royally Lost is this: definitely read this book if you’re a fan of CUTE... and I mean a heavy dollop of CUTE with every serving. If the main character’s personality doesn’t bother you, even if she is the most annoying person ever, I would say go ahead and read this for the amazing setting. I fell in love reading this book, and it wasn’t for the romance. The amazing landmarks, the gorgeous setting– heck, if Angie Stanton wrote a whole book about Europe without the irritatingly-quick love blooming and the clichés destroyed, it would be possibly one of the best-written books I’ve ever read. Okay, slight exaggeration, but you get my point. READ IT FOR THE SETTING!

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