DISCLAIMER: THE WRITE READS AND Penguin PROVIDED ME A digital copy OF THE NOVEL THE Rosewood chronicles #1: undercover princess BY connie glynn IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.
The Rosewood Chronicles #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 441 Pages
Publishing: 2nd November 2017
When fairy tale obsessed Lottie Pumpkin starts at the infamous Rosewood Hall, she is not expecting to share a room with the Crown Princess of Maradova, Ellie Wolf. Due to a series of lies and coincidences, 14-year-old Lottie finds herself pretending to be the princess so that Ellie can live a more normal teenage life.
Lottie is thrust into the real world of royalty – a world filled with secrets, intrigue and betrayal. She must do everything she can to help Ellie keep her secret, but with school, the looming Maradovian ball and the mysterious new boy Jamie, she’ll soon discover that reality doesn’t always have the happily ever after you’d expect…
A thrilling world of parties, politics and bad ass princesses, this is the first book in the brand new series THE ROSEWOOD CHRONICLES.
About the Author
Connie Glynn has always loved writing and wrote her first story when she was six, with her mum at a typewriter acting as her scribe. She had a love for performing stories from a young age and attended Guildhall drama classes as a teenager. This passion for stories has never left her, and Connie recently finished a degree in film theory. It was at university that Connie started her hugely successful YouTube channel Noodlerella (named after her favourite food and favourite Disney princess). After five years of publicly documenting her life and hobbies to an audience of 900,000 subscribers on YouTube, Connie closed the book on the Noodlerella project in a bid for more privacy and to pursue her original passions in the performing arts. Connie now writes music and fiction full- time. Follow Connie on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr @ConnieGlynn
My Thoughts on the Undercover Princess
I have seen the formula before. Apart from the obvious fairy tale narrative, Undercover Princess follows a similar pattern to a young adult fantasy series about The Boy Who Lived. Knowing this is a double-edged sword. On one hand, I confess myself impressed with how the plot unraveled. On the other, I can’t help but think of that other text when I see a similarity that sticks out like a sore thumb. Here’s my breakdown of the novel.
Being orphans and having mysterious backgrounds
Our main character Lottie lost her mother at a young age. There is little information about her father but it is evident, her mother contributed so much to how Lottie chooses to perceive the world. She celebrates the memories she made with her mother, their storytellings, the lessons she picked up from them. Her mother or her memory is one of Lottie’s sources of confidence and strength.
We also know of a character who, although doesn’t have any memories of his parents but has flashes of recollection of the night they died, is empowered by stories of them, particularly his father.
Both had to live with foster parents or guardians who refuse to treat them well and constantly remind them how grateful they must be for having what they don’t deserve.
Invited to enter an exclusive school
Lottie has been given a special slot in Rosewood Hall because of her outstanding feat. The process of getting into the prestigious school required her to have outstanding grades worthy of a bursary.
The house system of Rosewood Hall also looks fascinating. I read that living in a house is quite common in England so that’s enlightening. Conch, Ivy, and Stratus are the main divisions of the school; each house represents a virtue that the school values. This means that our heroine gets to participate in house tournaments -sounds familiar?
Penchant for Going out at Night
Perhaps going out at night is a necessary spice in a dormitory life that even in a novel about princes and princesses, one cannot help but sneak out at night, way beyond the curfew, just to investigate something. Are teenagers these days really this adventurous? I’m not sure but as it is her first day at school I thought for Lottie, it isn’t brave but reckless. (I’m an old boring dinosaur so…)
Having three main inseparable characters
Lottie is that naive heroine, Ellie the adventurous one, and Jaime the level-headed. Their fates have been entangled that one exists to support the other (I’m pretty sure Jamie’s relationship with Lottie will improve. It has a good foundation). You have one character who’s a real royalty, one who tries her best to be one, and one who is in between.
Anywhere these three go, they are surrounded by gossip, good or bad.
Wolf in sheep’s clothing
The icing on the cake in the novel is the revelation of who the antagonist of the first novel is. We meet this character in the earlier chapters-nondescript in the beginning, blending in the background with the other royalty, and Lottie finds the enemy within her social circle all along. She has had a series of close calls with this person but since there’s a more sinister-looking other character, this person isn’t on the radar. It puts a different spin to the idiom.
Speaking of the idiom, Ellie Wolf is another wolf in sheep’s clothing for another reason (read the book to figure out why).
It may appear unfair that I have reduced a well-written book into this list of similarities but I cannot deny that I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I still want to read more about the Partizans and Binah. The twins, Lola and Micky are so hilarious even without trying. I also like the whole princess or royalty training that Lottie has to go through. Given a chance, I’d probably read the second book to learn more about the mysteries in Rosewood Hall.