Paper Princess (The Royals #1) by Erin Watt
Genres/Themes: YA, Romance, Sexual themes & language, drug and alcohol abuse, addiction, sexual harrassment/abuse, Rags to Riches, Infidelity, High School, Contemporary
Right off the bat, I should say that while I’ve been meaning to read this, I only really got around to picking it up because I saw a discussion by a group of teen librarians about whether they put this book in the Young Adult or Adult section. So, I had to read what was sooooo debated, and figure out why.
Well, I know why.
Summary from Goodreads:
From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.
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.
This reads like your every day romance novel. Yes, maybe not as bad since our lead still hasn’t had the full she-bang, although she does have oral sex. There is also raunchy language, an abusive relationship/environment, and god it is awful. Yet, so entertaining…
Here is the deal, Ella is a stripper to support herself through high school and then kidnapped to live with her dad’s friend and 5 horrid sons. These sons could give a rats ass about her. They call her a slut and tell everyone to stay away from her because ‘she’s got sexual diseases’. Yet, she has the hots for the biggest tyrant of them all, Reed Royal. Gag me. How can a high school boy even look as ripped as written?! For God’s sake, can we get rid of this harmful stereotype?!!?
And Ella’s ‘I like when you go caveman on me’ NO! There is a time and an effing place perhaps, but not to this extent.
This is not a healthy relationship or a good example of how to live. Even the friendships could be weird….
Honestly, the whole time I was reading this I kept thinking that it read like fanfiction which isn’t to criticize those thoughtful and wonderful writers, but sometimes the romance can be a little forced and scenes can jump real fast.
Also…. that ending. Spoiler hidden; if you want to read just highlight: Did she really just leave a drugged man on the bed? Like, there is no other reason he wouldn’t respond to her asking him questions…. and his older brother totally got her out of the house for Brooke an then didn’t even explain why he brought up Suzannah to her… Is that not suspicious as hell to Ella??? A cliffhanger, albeit forced and totally stupid…
So, will I read the next one? Probably. If I dislike it so much then why?? Because as stupid and horrid as it was, I was entertained. Like I said, it read like fanfic and I haven’t read fanfic so long I guess I’m feeling deprived…. I guess I could hop over and read some, but I’m interested to know where this train wreck is going.
Do I think this belongs in the YA or Adult section? Young Adult because she is in high school, even though all the situations seem more like college, and even teens deserve some guilty pleasure reading haha.
As for recommending this to others…. I’d feel weird recommending this to a teen really, but if people like romance with no real plot or just want to read something entertaining, then I might suggest it. Probably, after other suggestions first though.