Beth Martin's Reviews > Royally Crushed

Royally Crushed by Niki Burnham
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Jan 13, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: read-in-2012
Read in January, 2012

I'm presuming that Royally Crushed was supposed to be ridiculous and over the top. That is, after all, given in the premise. It's quite difficult to take seriously that an American girl will somehow catch the eye of a European prince just because she happens to live in the palace with him. Yes, the premise itself seems to be full of ridiculousness, seeming to scream Don't Take This Seriously! At the same time, I did expect a certain something...more.

The Plot: Val's parents are splitting up, and Val is going to do the (totally sensible) thing of moving with her father to a foreign country. She will, of course, bitch about this endlessly because their food is dumb and German is incomprehensible and she doesn't have friends and wah wah wah. She will not be grateful for being able to experience the world or learn about a new culture. She will, however, learn about Georg, the Perfect Prince, and she will then proceed to bitch about him and how perfect he is and how TheirLoveIsSoPure even though by the end of the book, they will have known each other for a grand total of...what, one or two months?

The Heroine: Val (Valerie) is annoying. As in, "Here, let me shoot you in the face so I can stop listening to you." At first I was inclined to let this slide. After all (view spoiler)Val's going to be moving to a country that she doesn't speak the language of. It's fair to assume that yes, she's going to be a bit overwhelmed and bratty. But the thing is, it just keeps going. Val never learns anything, never grows, never even tries to be a decent human being. Instead, she bitches constantly and tries to offload all her issues onto other people. She drowns her sorrows in cigarettes and fast food, too, which is probably not the right message to be sending to today's youth.

The Hero: There's nothing wrong with Georg, other than the fact that he's probably a collective figment of all of Schwerinborg's imagination. Something in the water, you know. Because Georg is gorgeous, a fantastic soccer player, well educated with good grades, sweet, athletic in the general sense, wise beyond his years, super popular etc etc. Oh, and he's a prince. That too. And, you know, despite all of these grand attributes that would give any normal person a large head, he's in fact very down to earth and sweet and perfectly understanding and always polite. Always.

The Villain(s): Only one "villain" seemed present, which was the bitchy girl trying to Steal Val's Man. She was never much of a threat, or even much of a bitch, so I don't even know if she counts for this section.

The Other Characters: You know how sometimes, there are characters who are literally only around to show up at appropriate times and dispense wisdom or create drama so the heroine can whinge more? That was every single character other than the heroine in this piece of shite. I'm not even joking.

The Writing: The writing was pretty passable. Editing had clearly been done, there was only the very barest minimum of typos which are in every book ever. All in all, my biggest complaint was that Burnham suffers from a serious case of tell-not-show, which means that most of the important stuff actually happens off camera. Falling in love? Off camera. Chewing out the bitchy girl? Off camera. Finding out her parents are splitting up? Off camera. Being heartbroken about her boyfriend? Off camera. So really what you're left with is Val whinging about these events that happened off camera and therefore all emotional impact is lost.

Like I said, I went in expecting more than I got out of this. While compulsively readable and easy to follow, Royally Crushed never lived up to it's silly, delicious premise. The writing suffered from being too stuck in Val's head. The story suffered from a whiny heroine and a too perfect hero. It wasn't even So Bad It's Good, because it kept skirting that line and staying on the Just Plain Bad side of said line. Two stars because it was readable and I did enjoy some parts of it. Therefore, this is recommended for: younger teenage readers, probably 14 to 16.
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message 1: by Jacki (new)

Jacki I agree except I don't think anyone past age 14 would like this. Maybe an immature 15 year old. The writing and character or Val was just so immature and whiny it became annoying.


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