By Cynthia Ayala
“Meet Daisy Winters. She is an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part-time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond. While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady. However, Daisy may rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.” —Goodreads
What an unexpected delight. Royals is not usually a novel I would pick up, but something about it seemed to stir me. It was probably the way the novel stepped away from the traditional romance of a girl falling in love with a prince. It is romantic but fun all at the same time.
Daisy is not some girl who wants to be a princess, and she is not. It is her sister, who is a minor character in the novel which is engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland, dragging her sister and her family into the limelight. Moreover, Daisy is not happy about it at all. She is the average teenager who has a disgruntled ex-boyfriend and a sister who is trying to impress her new royal family. Moreover, it becomes a royal pain in the ass. There are times when Daisy comes off as selfish, but the way Hawkins tells the story makes her relatable. Daisy did not ask for this life, she likes her quiet life in the middle of nowhere Florida with her untraditional hair color, but for her new family, this is not acceptable. So Daisy is left fumbling around in a world she was not prepared for in the least, making a mistake after mistake as she tries to figure out a way to not embarrass her sister or make the front page of the tabloids.
She is such a relatable character who feels like the lesser of two sisters, and now she feels like her mistakes, and screw up, is on the radar. It is an uneasy feeling that makes her very relatable. She is a girl who feels a little lost in her life, very confused, and very insecure. So, her entire attitude in the novel, it is understandable and works to make her relatable instead of standoffish.
As far as the story goes, it is a fast read. There’s nothing complicated about the narrative as it follows this girl trying to navigate a world she is not prepared to enter. It is a very character driven novel about Daisy and Miles, both of whom are stuck in the way their lives where before this all happened and who are learning to adapt to change. So it is a story about growth and character dynamics, which Is the function of the plot. Other than the romancing the royals. Despite that, however, there’s not much conflict in the novel. There should be though. Daisy has so much resentment in her, and her sister is so strung up by stress that an eventual blowout seems like the logical outcome. However, everything, once again, gets pushed under the rug of understanding. Much of the novel puts Daisy through an unfairness, taking away the control of her own life, but no one seems to realize that or even care. That is where the story gets a little too unrealistic. There’s no confrontation, and Daisy accepts her new life and comes to understand her sister.
Overall, this was quite the enjoyable read. It is no complex, and it lacks the proper conflict and resolutions the character dynamics needed, but for a quick light read, it was quite fun. (★★★☆☆ | B)