Title: Paper Princess (The Royals #1)
Author: Erin Watts
Genre: High Fantasy
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Sexual Assault, and Violence. This isn’t a graphic sexual assault, but still worth noting.
“If you’re better than Easton, then by way of experience, your dad has to be spectacular.”
Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone. Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from. Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals. HE MIGHT BE RIGHT. Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees. – Excerpt from Goodreads
This book is right up my alley. Trashy plot lines, teen melodrama and fun characters. I need more of these types of reads in my life.
I’m rating this at 3.5 stars. There are certain things about the book that I couldn’t overlook to give it a higher rating but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a blast with this one. Paper Princess is trashy fun. Don’t pick up this book if you are looking for realistic characters and healthy relationships. This book isn’t even trying to portray that image. The author knows her audience and she caters to them well.
I’m going to start off by saying that I review books by comparing them in their genre. If they accomplish what they should for the category they are writing in. Does this one hold up? Yes, 100%. This book is an R-rated soap opera. This book is not a YA, it’s New Adult so expect explicit sexual content. If you are a fan of daytime soaps or past nighttime ones such as Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210 and Gossip Girl and don’t mind that the sex is amped up then this is likely going to be a guilty pleasure for you.
The characters are all trashy, the relationships are all problematic, sexist (on both sides), and completely toxic but this is a what a soap opera is. It’s not meant to be compared to reality, it’s meant to be over-the-top, crazy, bed-hopping, cheating, and so on. If you are already rolling your eyes then don’t pick up this book, no matter how many times you hear it’s amazing. It will not be for you. I grew up on soap operas and while I found the sex scenes a little much and quite silly at times, I found the story a lot of dysfunctional fun.
I can’t say the characters are likable exactly, they aren’t. In many cases they are entitled little brats to say the least. They treat each other terribly and for the first half it’s hard to say if there is going to be anything redeeming about these people. We eventually get to know Ella and the Royal boys more and the banter becomes much more fun than uncomfortable. I really liked character of Ella, she was sassy, knew what she wanted – most of the time and edgy. I found her easy to root for and loved watching her take on the most popular girl in school. Can you say, “CATFIGHTTTTT!!” The girl can definitely hold her own. I also really liked Reed’s brother Easton, he was basically the humorous, messed-up side character and I loved him for it. I’m not even sure what to say about the twins but ewww?
The book moves very fast, it would be easy to read this in one sitting – no problem. The romance between Ella and Reed was good, sexy times I suppose but I didn’t find that I was shipping them hard or anything. I didn’t feel like they were in love, I felt like they were in a very toxic and sexually driven relationship. I would’ve liked to see a few more sweet moments in between all that sexy teen angst.
I didn’t think much of the dad, he seeemed like an idiot and his girlfriend, Brooke, drove me mad.
The ending is intense! Cliffhanger much!If you pick this one up then I recommend just grabbing the series because you will NEED to read the next one right away.
One big issue for me. Where was the damn editor?!?!? I can understand a mistake or two but this is a New York Times Best Selling Book, couldn’t they at some point get someone to clean this book up a little better? There are a couple of font changes, which are unnecessary and just plain odd. There are spelling mistakes like saying “piece” instead of “peace” – like really? There are several basic grammar mistakes along the way and they are all really noticeable. It’s not enough to ruin the book but there were quite a few so I was a little surprised by it. I would be much more forgiving of an independent published author.
Do I recommend this? I think I’ve put enough emphasis on the fact that this is A SOAP OPERA so if you want a guilty pleasure this book is a great way to spend a rainy night curled up on the couch.