Friday, January 24, 2014

Royally Jacked by Niki Burnham Review


"Valerie's life is pretty good. While she's not the most popular girl in school, she does have decent grades, great friends, and a potential boyfriend. All a girl could want.
Then her mother announces that (1) she's gay, and (2) she's leaving Valerie's dad for her girlfriend. Not what Valerie envisioned for her future. And just when Valerie is getting over this bombshell, her father tells her he's gotten a new job as protocol chief for the royal family of some obscure European country.
Valerie's world has come unglued. She can either stay in Virginia with her mom and her ├╝ber-organized, veggie-burger-eating girlfriend, or go with her dad, leaving everything she knows for some place she's never heard of. Valerie opts to go, and quickly discovers that it was a mistake -- until she meets the prince, and all bets are off!"

Royally Jacked totally reminds me of The Princess Diaries. It does star a Royal, but not a Princess Mia. Instead, there's a prince named Georg or something like that and it's pronounced in an odd way. Royally Jacked is hilarious, silly, and seemingly immature. That's probably why preteens are allow to read it. 

It's a very short book, with only about two hundred pages. Even though it's amazingly short, it's quite annoying, thanks to the immature, or usually whiny, main character/narrator. I'll explain more of her character later. Anyway, the book's plot is really quick and it's fairly easy to read. Most of the words in the book aren't SAT standards. In fact, nothing about this book even makes it to the SAT standards. SAT never stars fairy tales. 

There's a lot of references to the media. One includes A Knight's Tale, which stars some knights and ladies and everyone else. I had to look that movie up on Wikipedia, because I have no idea what that movie was about. It turns out I did watch it long, long ago, but I don't remember it. I do recall hating the movie.

Overused words stagger across the pages. Frequently used words like 'shallow' and...I can't think of any right now. But I think you get the point. There was quite a lot of 'shallow's, which annoyed me like crazy. 

The main character, Valerie, suffers from serious self-doubt and whiner's syndrome, among some other things. I don't get why she whines about all the stupid problems in her life. And moving on isn't the theme of this book! (I'm never giving this book to a teen. I will never recommend it to anyone). Valerie is endlessly hopeless and a shallow lady herself. I hate how she summarize everything, instead of letting the reader figure things out for themselves. 

The ending made absolutely no sense. It felt like a last minute touch-up by the author. The author was probably trying to give all of her characters a 3D personality. Didn't work really well. It only taught teenagers that it's okay to smoke.

Thank goodness this is a fantasy book. If it was labeled realistic, I would have a heart attack and a stroke in a frenzied combination. 

Rating: Two out of Five 

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