Truly, Madly, Royally
Publication Date: July 30th 2019
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Fiercely independent and smart, Zora Emerson wants to change the world. She’s excited to be attending a prestigious summer program, even if she feels out of place among her privileged, mostly white classmates. So she’s definitely not expecting to feel a connection to Owen, who’s an actual prince of an island off the coast of England.
But Owen is funny, charming…and undeniably cute. Zora can’t ignore the chemistry between them. When Owen invites Zora to be his date at his big brother’s big royal wedding, Zora is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, along with her family and friends. Everyone is talking about her, in real life and online, and while Owen is used to the scrutiny, Zora’s not sure it’s something she can live with.
Can she maintain her sense of self while moving between two very different worlds? And can her feelings for Owen survive and thrive in the midst of the crazy? Find out in this charming romantic comedy that’s like The Princess Diaries for a new generation.
OH MY GOODNESS MY HEART. This book just had everything I needed which is a bit of an unoriginal comment considering anything low drama will always be on my faves list But it has to be said— I was exceedingly happy reading this and it was exactly what I needed after the month I’d had
keep in mind that I had read this really early in the month.
The story is our main character Zora is attending a prestigious school with plans to improve her community and she accidentally swaps phones with the prince… which
of course leads to them spending time with each other. Cue the media, a possible ex and the stress of not wanting to let her community down and trying to earn grants for her ‘Walk Me Home’ project.
To make this even better, there’s even a bit
or more than a bit of a nod to the royal wedding… a little sprinkle of William and Kate, and maybe some Harry and Meghan as well… *wink wink*
I actually wasn’t expecting things to happen as fast as they did—I was expecting a bit of a push and pull between Zora and Owen… a little bit of angst… some I want to but everything’s against us… and like a mentioned above, the low drama aspect/straight-forwardness of the story was a bit of surprise, but it works.
“But, Zora, honey, the press is no different than the voices in your head, telling you to doubt yourself. And you, baby, have conquered your inner critic before.
And Zora as our main character was just… amazing. An activist and advocate for her community and unapologetically herself, she was such a relatable character for me at least— a lot of her thoughts and reactions had me shaking my head in respect because why yes, I see you girl.
And her romance with Owen… what can I say, my heart was squealing. To be honest, he was damn near perfect. He recognized his privilege, gave her space when she asked for it or when he read the room and I just found it endearing how interested he was in her interest and made it a point to educate himself, especially when it came to her interest in African American history and culture.
“Zora, every day I pray my darkness didn’t take away your light.”
But what really made my heart sing with joy was how this book was saturated with black positivity. It was just community and joy and just… to read an unapologetically black book that isn’t about the struggle and allows our black main to be happy… made me happy.
I think my one and only issue that’s preventing this being perfect is Zora’s father… that enite plot line was a bit confusing? Specifically her issue with him? I saw some traits that…
I definitely recognized as a problem, but the overall thing? That and a lot of the tougher topics that were brought up weren’t really expanded on? They just kind of popped up and were briefly mentioned as a thing that happened in the past but still bothered the main character??
But other than that, there’s not much I can say about this book without being repetitive— this book is light and sweet and it ends in a way that’s to be expected— happy and with an air of a happily ever after.
YA author Debbie M. Rigaud began her writing career covering news and entertainment for magazines. She’s interviewed celebs, politicians, social figures and “real” girls. Her writing has appeared in Seventeen, CosmoGIRL!, Essence, J-14, Trace, Heart&Soul and Vibe Vixen, to name a few. Her first YA fiction writing was published in the anthology HALLWAY DIARIES (KimaniTruPress/September 2007). Her first standalone YA book–a Simon Pulse romantic comedy titled PERFECT SHOT–is due out in the Fall of 2009.