Disclaimer: This review is spoiler free except for the parts labelled as spoiler
Book: The Five Princes
Author: Deidrea DeWitt
Page Number: 464 Pages
Genre: Humorous Royal Fiction (Choose your ending novel)
Rating: 4/ 5 stars
“Life isn’t worth living until you find someone you can be every side of yourself with.”
I absolutely LOVED this book! It was the perfect lighthearted and jovial book that I was hoping to read! My favorite part of this book is that the reader gets to choose their own ending, which I thought was so cool!
Synopsis: “The Selection” meets “The False Prince” in this choose the ending novel where Marina’s whole life has been turned upside down after she was let in on the secret that was kept away from her: she was a princess! Yay….. or not. The thing is, Marina didn’t want to become royalty. She would rather spend her days teaching students at her uncle’s karate dojo.
As if Marina’s life couldn’t get any worse, she meets Prince Nikos and Prince Julian who want nothing to do with her, yet are supposed to teach her how to become a proper princess. Yikes….
Luckily, Marina has also met the kind King Cryus, the loyal guard Evann and the mysterious Tai to help her out and give her company.
Reluctant and stubborn, Marina finds it hard to make a decision on whether or not she wants to continue on her old life or embark on a new royal lifestyle. However, someone is set out to make sure Marina’s decision is very easy- and that she never chooses to live as a royal.
What I liked about this book:
Marina: Right from the start I knew I liked Marina. Her feisty, and sassy attitude made me crack up and drew me in from the beginning. “Huh. Maybe he was looking for the other half of his personality. The nice part that was destroyed by scowling and half-as*ed sentences.”
Her personality and witty jokes is one reason why I just could not put this book down! Fun fact: I read this entire book in just one day!
The 5 Princes: It was so hard for me to choose just one ending because I liked all of the princes! All of them had certain aspects and elements that made them unique and all the more likable. At certain times I would find myself leaning toward a certain prince and then two seconds later I would change my mind- if an author can do that to a reader, then the book is usually really well written. So hands off to Deidrea Dewitt (the author) for writing so well that I fell for each of the characters!
My ranking of the 5 characters would be:
The POVS At The End: Reading a few significant scenes from each of the Prince’s view was probably one of my favorite things about this book! It helped me connect better with each of the Princes! Also, seeing how all of Prince’s thoughts (except Evann’s) went from not caring about Marina to sharing a special bond with her, was really nice to read about! Spoiler: Nikos’s POV!!! AHHH! My heart ached for him when he expressed how lonely he was…
“For the one who puts on the biggest show, you were the one to be the most forward and honest. Not everyone deserves to know the real you. I’m not glad I met the World’s Prince. I’m glad I met Nikos.”
While this book was such a funny, lighthearted novel that I binge read in less than a day, it had a few inconsistencies or vagueness that made me tick 1 star off:
Location of Aujina: The location of Aujina was very vague and I couldn’t help but wonder which continent it was located in and which countries it was near… I really would have loved to see a map in this book! That would have added an extra special touch to this already wonderful book!
The Wealth of Marina’s Parents: Marina had said: “Dad only bought wine once a year. Mom sold hideously expensive clothes, but she rarely bought them for herself”. This implies that Marina’s family was poor. However, near the beginning Marina says: “My parents had arranged the entire thing, but Dad had business in Hong Kong and Mom had a fashion show in Milan, so neither of them had come with me”. What I was wondering is how can Marina consider her family poor when her dad has business trips to Hong Kong and her mother had a fashion show all the way in Milan? That would imply that both of them were secure in their jobs and if her dad had to travel to foreign places for his job, he obviously was paid a lot. (Spoiler: I know it's a disguise for his meetings as kings but shouldn't Marina be suspicious if they were living poorly when both of her parents (to her knowledge) had high paying jobs?) Then how was Marina never skeptical about why her parents were living a lifestyle that didn’t match their job status?
Marina not Knowing that She Was Royal: I’m a little bit confused as to how Marina was able to remain oblivious about her royal status her whole life when modern technology could have easily told her. Marina’s parents left the kingdom when they were in their teens, so everyone must have known them as the Prince and Princess of the country. So then how did they spend all those years without anyone or the media recognizing them?
Julian, Nikos and Evann: Spoiler: I wish we had gotten to read about Julian and Nikos finding out about who Evann really was! I would have really liked to read about their reactions!
“In only a couple hours I’d have to announce what I wanted — who I wanted to be. I
could walk away from everything and become the ruler of an entire country. I wouldn’t have to look for a job, I wouldn’t have to worry about physical security, and I could have the power to help a lot of people.”
Overall, this book was such a good read! It had all the good aspects that a humorous royal fiction should have! Everyone go check out this book right now and tell me which ending you chose at the end!
Disclaimer: This review is spoiler free except for the parts labelled as spoiler
Book: Two Can Keep a Secret If One is Dead
Author: Karen McManus
Page Number: 323 Pages
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
“Welcome to life in a small town. You’re only as good as the best thing your family’s done. Or the worst.”
Synopsis: Twins Ellery and Ezra recently move to a small town called Echo Ridge. This is no ordinary town… 20 years ago, Ellery’s aunt had disappeared. 5 years ago, homecoming queen Lacey Kilduff’s body was found. Both were two occurrences in which the perpetrator wasn’t caught. Then a month after Ellery moves in, another girl goes missing. Ellery, Ezra and their friends: Malcomn and Mia make it their mission to uncover the town’s secrets-and find who is behind these murders.
As soon as I picked up this book I got PLL vibes (Pretty Little Liars). The title is lyrics from the PLL theme song, the character Ezra in this book shares his name with a main PLL character and just like how “A” leaves cryptic messages for the Liars to decode, the murderer in this book leaves behind messages and little treats for the town as well.
But that’s where the similarities end.
I love the show PLL so I went into the book excited only to come out feeling disappointed. It wasn’t downright terrible but it also wasn’t a particularly well written mystery that kept me on the edge of my toes either. I hadn’t expected too much out of this book in the first place since I didn’t love “One of Us is Lying”. (I felt like the secrets of each of the characters were revealed too early and it took away the mystery.)
There were many things about Karen McManus’s second installment that made me feel disconnected from it.
Here is what I didn’t like:
The ending was unexpected for sure but very random. At the end of the book I still had so many questions and the book just felt unresolved!
My main problem with the ending is that the murderer (Peter) felt so random. It’s like the author chose anyone who we didn’t suspect at that point to be the murderer so the ending would be “unexpected”. I really would have liked to see Peter have a better motive and having a reason for killing the girls….. It would have made the ending have more resolution.
What I Did Like:
The Last Sentence: The only reason this book gets even three stars is because of the last sentence which has the perfect amount of creepy.
Spoilers: “I thought she was your mother.” *Shudders*
“We’re finally figuring out that we haven’t been normal for years and it’s time to redefine the word.”
Overall I thought this book was a nice, easy read where I could take a break from my usual heavy fantasy and read something lighter. I would recommend this book to people who love Karen McManus’s other books but I suggest going in with low expectations.