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Title: Undercover Princess (#1 The Rosewood Chronicles)

Author: Connie Glynn

Published: 2nd of November 2017 – Penguin

Format: Digital (eARC) – 441 pages


Hello Hello! How are you?

For the first time in MONTHS, I am back on the blog for a REVIEW!! And I’m so excited about it because I have missed blogging so much and I love writing reviews, especially for great books, which this one definitely is. I won’t be back to full-time blogging for a few months still, but I will be posting the odd review or post when I can!

Anyway! As I just mentioned, today I am bringing you a review of Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn, the first book in The Rosewood Chronicles, which is a 5-book series I will be bingeing as soon as I have the opportunity. This #UltimateBlogTour is organised by Dave and the team over at @The_WriteReads, and it is in association with Penguin! Also, can we just take a minute to appreciate how beautiful the banner is that Noly created?

So thank you so much to Dave, Penguin and the author for letting me be part of this tour, and thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

And now, without further ado, let’s get on with the review!

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS

When fairy tale obsessed Lottie Pumpkin starts at the infamous Rosewood Hall, she is not expecting to share a room with the Crown Princess of Maradova, Ellie Wolf. Due to a series of lies and coincidences, 14-year-old Lottie finds herself pretending to be the princess so that Ellie can live a more normal teenage life.

Lottie is thrust into the real world of royalty – a world filled with secrets, intrigue and betrayal. She must do everything she can to help Ellie keep her secret, but with school, the looming Maradovian ball and the mysterious new boy Jamie, she’ll soon discover that reality doesn’t always have the happily ever after you’d expect…

A thrilling world of parties, politics and bad ass princesses, this is the first book in the brand new series THE ROSEWOOD CHRONICLES.

MY REVIEW

Trigger warnings: dead & absent parents, threats, danger, insomnia due to stress. (I can’t think of any others at the minute, but let me know in the comments if there are any I can add!)

Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn is the first book in The Rosewood Chronicles, a YA contemporary series with royalty, a posh school and great characters. I’m so glad that I agreed to do a review of this book instead of my usual spotlights in the last months because this book was so fun to read, a bit nostalgic, and might actually turn into a great comfort read for me. I smiled and laughed a few times, and it just made me feel happy, and if that’s not what reading is about, then I don’t know what is!

SETTING

This book is set mostly in a posh boarding school called Rosewood Hall. I absolutely love reading books set in schools, I don’t know why, but I find it is always such a great setting, especially for YA contemporaries like this one. I really liked how Connie Glynn described this place. It was dreamy, the teachers sounding great, and I could picture the place quite easily. The only thing I will say is that I wish that there would have been a tad more details about the school, the classes, the exams, because it felt like these elements were flown over quite quickly, and I would really have enjoyed more! It would have been great to see more of the palace too, however, this “issue” didn’t bother me much at all in truth because I figured that with a 5-book series, the author will dive into more descriptions with the following books.

CHARACTERS

Lottie: Lottie is such a lovely character, kind, charming, intelligent and sweet, although she is a tad bit naïve at times, BUT, she is a 14-year-old, and I’m reading this book as a 23-year-old, so I totally enjoyed this book, it’s characters and plot for what it was, and had a fabulous time. I just really enjoyed reading about Lottie becoming “something” she had always dreamed of (I really can’t say more because SPOILERS!!!) and when I found out what was going to happen to her, I was super happy. It totally made me think of Princess Diaries and when I was a teenager, I was obsessed with those movies, and so my princess-loving teenage year was very happy and satisfied. I really loved reading about Lottie and seeing her develop, make friends and grow as a person, and I can’t wait to see more of her in the next book (which is on its way to me now as we speak, hehehe).

Ellie: As my name is also Ellie, the minute I saw her name crop up in the book, I had an immediate affinity for her. In a lot of ways, she reminded me of myself at that age, and I just loved her from the first page. She is sassy, she is upfront, she speaks her mind and stands up for what she believes in, but she is also kind and caring and I adored seeing Lottie and Ellie’s friendship develop. They are both such great friends and I think they are super sweet and compliment each other very well.

Jamie: Jamie is one of those characters that you don’t know whether to trust or not right until the very end. I was a bit sceptical of his character for ages while reading this book, but he eventually grew on me and especially once Ellie told Lottie of his past, which explained quite a few things. I did love how protective (not in a possessive way, just a caring way), he was of Ellie, and later of Lottie. I really want to know more about him, so definitely looking forward to the second instalment once I get my hands on it!

Wolfson family: We don’t get to see much of Ellie’s family, and I don’t have much to say about them yet, but what I will say is that they both seem awful and at the same time very protective, which is really weird and probably makes no sense, but I’m sure we will learn more about them soon. I think I like the mother, not sure about the father, and definitely not the grandmother, but we shall see as the series goes on.

Teachers & other students: Finally, I just wanted to mention the faculty and student members of Rosewood Hall that we also get to meet in this book. I was super suspicious of so many of the students at the start, and throughout the book because of some things that happen, but I think Binah grew on me, and I definitely like the hall mothers. I am also intrigued by the headmaster, and I hope we get to see more of him, and other teachers and students in the next book.

THEMES

Royalty: I am kind of a sucker for any book with royalty, so I could guarantee that I would enjoy this book, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. This was a unique way of portraying royalty, I mean with some elements like Partizans and Portmans which I was fascinated by. As the characters evolve through the series, I’m sure we will get to see more about these elements and how they are important to the girls and Jamie, which I am very much looking forward to.

School setting with mysteries: As I mentioned previously, I really love school settings in contemporary stories, and this one was done well, especially with the added mystery of strange messages, gifts and threats that the girls receive throughout the school year. It was fun reading about them trying to decipher the clues, who could possibly mean them harm, and I personally NEVER saw that plot twist coming. I think that the “mystery” part of the plot was really well executed and I just want to know more about the why and the ho, which I hope we will find out in Book 2.

Threats and danger: Finally, this point ties in with my previous one, because despite how cute and sweet this book is with royalty, princesses and meaningful friendships, there are also lots of threats and Lottie feels in danger quite a few times. I was just holding my breath waiting to see what happened and this book took me along for the ride and didn’t let me go until the final word. You could tell there was potentially something bad going to happen, but it never made me feel uneasy, so it is still a very cute and comforting read, despite having some darker undertones with secrets, political elements and obviously all the royal rules and regulations that Lottie has to learn.

MY THOUGHTS AND RATING

As you can probably tell from my very long thoughts thus far, I really enjoyed reading Undercover Princess.

The setting was really well done, I loved the characters (well, Ellie, Lottie and Jamie because I’m still on my guard about some of the others), and I really liked the plot. There were some twists I didn’t expect which made me want to read as quickly as I could to find out more. I think there are tons of secrets still to be uncovered and I’m so excited to read more.

As I said above, this is a book and series which I see becoming a comfort read for me. I just loved how it made me smile and laugh, how I felt that I could identify with the characters (well, my 13-year-old self could), and I just enjoyed it from start to finish because it was so fun and easy and LOVELY, even though there are darker themes of course.

I gave this book 4.5 stars and I cannot wait for my order of Princess in Practice to arrive so I can dive in straight away and find out more about Lottie, Ellie, Jamie, and all the royalty elements of the plot. This was a super fab book and I’m so glad I got to read it, so thank you again to Dave, Penguin and the author for offering me this chance.

If you love super cute YA books with realistic, kind and funny characters, a great plot that reads effortlessly and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, along with some darker twists and themes to be discovered along with a few shocking secrets and revelations, and if you love schools settings AND royalty, then pick up this book quickly because it is the perfect story for you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – CONNIE GLYNN

Connie Glynn has always loved writing and wrote her first story when she was six, with her mum at a typewriter acting as her scribe. She had a love for performing stories from a young age and attended Guildhall drama classes as a teenager. This passion for stories has never left her, and Connie recently finished a degree in film theory. It was at university that Connie started her hugely successful YouTube channel Noodlerella (named after her favourite food and favourite Disney princess).

After five years of publicly documenting her life and hobbies to an audience of 900,000 subscribers on YouTube, Connie closed the book on the Noodlerella project in a bid for more privacy and to pursue her original passions in the performing arts. Connie now writes music and fiction full-time.

Connie’s Links: TwitterGoodreadsPenguinYouTubeTumblrInstagram

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post & I hope that you will pick up this book soon.

See you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

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