Title: Undercover Princess
Author: Connie Glynn
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Published: 2017 (Today!)
Source: ARC (Thanks to Penguin!)
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…
Undercover Princess is written by YouTuber Connie Glynn, aka noodlerella. I’ll admit I had never actually heard of Connie Glynn until this year. They were given out ARCs at YALC for this book, I believe but because I hadn’t heard of it before, I just grabbed a sampler instead. Penguin reached out to me about whether I’d like to review this so I said yes because it sounded as if it would be a quick and cute read. Something that I enjoy in between large fantasy books or just to get me out a slump. Unfortunately, I just found it to be ok. I loved the cover, it is honestly gorgeous and it definitely matches this cutesy story inside. I would like to mention that it isn’t all cutesy, there is a slight tinge of mystery and mayhem added to it, but for the most part, it is pretty cutesy and aimed at younger readers than myself.
In this book, we follow Lottie Pumpkin and her time at Rosewood boarding school. She worked incredibly hard to get into the school and she promised her mother she’d go there. That’s about the only reason we have for her going to this school. I’m not sure if perhaps her mother attended but I was itching to know exactly why she wanted to go to this school – was there a reason or did she just like it? At Rosewood, Lottie makes several friends and becomes best friends with Ellie Wolf, the Princess of Maradova. I honestly have no clue where this ‘Maradova’ place is/was supposed to be. All we know is that you have to fly to get there, but I have no idea where it is and I know a couple of others on Goodreads have commented on this. Also just to comment on this, seeing as it’s a 4 hour (maybe? The book does say) plane ride to Maradova, I’m suspecting it’s not anywhere surrounding England.
I found that this book happened to just be a little too young for me. For starts, the characters are 14/15 years old. I am 22. That is a 7/8 year difference. Yes, I was that age once but my experience was quite different and I found Lottie to be a little whiny. Yes, she was hard working and dedicated which is great but I also felt that she was just a little bit childish and almost obsessed with making sure to please everyone. I also thought that she was a bit selfish at times, not telling people things so that her room mate wouldn’t be taken away from her. I sympathised that she didn’t want to lose a friend but at the same time, she needed to just grow up a little.
Then there was the issue of her ‘best friend’ back home in Cornwall. For someone who has been friends with someone for such a long time, you’d expect them to keep well in contact. No, no, definitely not. The pupils at Rosewood are not allowed mobile phones, so fine, that’s ok. But have these people not heard of letters? I believe a letter is mentioned once and that’s it.
Another issue I had: the plot twist at the end. It was semi-predictable and the whole thing was just incredibly obvious. Well, for the most part it was. I became particularly frustrated at how naive Lottie was being when she received a note off someone, thinking that someone else had sent it. I really just thought ‘how can you be so stupid?’. It would seem that Lottie is very strong academically but lacks a little common sense at times.
If I’m being honest, the best thing about this book for me is the cover. I adore the cover and think it’s absolutely gorgeous but unfortunately, the story inside is just not for me and that’s disappointing as I was actually looking forward to this one. If you pick this one up, I hope you have more fun reading it than me!
You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!