"Family can be complicated. Especially when skeletons from the past pop up unexpectedly. For American Evie Gray, finding out her deceased mother had a secret identity, and not one of the caped crusader variety, was quite the surprise. Evie’s mom had a secret life before she was even born, one that involved tiaras.
In this modern day fairytale, Evie is on a path to figure out who her mom really was, while discovering for herself what the future will hold. Charged with her late mother’s letters, Evie embarks on a quest into her past. The first item on the list is to attend Oxford, her mom’s alma mater. There, Evie stumbles upon a real life prince charming, Edmund Stuart the second Prince of England, who is all too happy to be the counterpart to her damsel in distress.
Evie can’t resist her growing attraction to Edmund as they spend more time together trying to unravel the clues her mother left behind. But, when doubts arise as to whether or not Edmund could ever be with an untitled American, what really ends up unraveling is Evie’s heart. When Evie uncovers all the facts about her mom’s former life, she realizes her mom’s past can open doors she never dreamed possible, doors that can help her be with Edmund. But, with everything now unveiled, Evie starts to crack under the pressure of new family responsibilities and the realization that her perfect prince may want her for all the wrong reasons."
I receive a book in exchange for an honest review.
How many of us love books with royalty? I know I certainly do. We have a strange obsession with them, and I can't help but be fascinated with them. (I draw a line at real people, because that would be just wrong and I respect people's privacies.) And when a book comes along involving the British royals, I can't help but keep an eye out for a look of allusions towards the real British family. (I think I saw a Duchess Kate reference, but I'm not too sure about it.)
Anyway, let's dive into the book.
The Heir and the Spare has Evie as its main character and narrator. She is an American in the United Kingdom, going on a quest her mother sent her own. What she might find will most definitely change her life forever, but first of all... She has attracted the eye of the younger British prince along with a entire cloud of paparazzis. In addition to all of these happenings, Evie sounds more like a young teenager than an older teen when she internally thinks. I can't help but notice one of YABC's staff reviewer's statuses of how immature she is. (I wholeheartedly agree, but that is most definitely part of her character.)
The world building is severely underdeveloped. Even though Evie is attending Oxford University, there is not a single scene (that I can recall) where she actually attends Oxford and talks about what she sees and how she feels when she looks at that campus. The book jumps from several places, but the author doesn't go really into depth. (E.g. Paris, America...) But there are a few exceptions. One of them is London.
The plot stars on the mystery of Evie's mother. The solution is way too easy to predict, but it's fun to watch Evie (finally!) figure everything out and get her prince in the end. Though there are several moments where the plot just turns and becomes way too coincidental for me. Things just fall into Evie's lap, and I wish that she worked for it. But despite the easiness and little amount of suffering Evie had, the story is enjoyable and fun to read. Never boring, never dull.
Overall, this book is for those who love the Princess Diaries and its movies. Think of this book as a mashup between the first and second movie with a dash of Smoking!Grandma from the actual book itself. This book is totally perfect for someone who is looking for a light, very cheesy, and fluffy read that isn't too serious for the brain.
Rating: Three out of Five