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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that American Royals is a romance that imagines what an American royal family would be like. Similar to author Katharine McGee's popular Thousandth Floor series, it's about a group of older teens in the highest, most glamorous levels of society. For a romance, the sexy stuff is pretty mild: mostly a lot of swooning kisses, with a couple of instances of implied sex. No body parts are described. Alcohol consumption at parties is glamorized, although excess is rare. A few teens who are months short of legal age drink at parties. One character plans to sedate another in order to take compromising pictures for blackmail, with severe consequences. There's minor violence (a character remembers a teacher smacking her on the hands with a ruler in the past; splattered blood from an illness is described), and strong language ("sluts," "bitch") is rare. There are mostly positive messages about responsible leadership, trying to make things better, and not letting obligation or tradition stand in the way of personal happiness but instead working to change things for the better.
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What's the story?
AMERICAN ROYALS tells what it might be like if George Washington had said yes to the crown. Now, 200+ years and umpteen generations later, the United States of America continues to be ruled by the House of Washington. Oldest daughter Beatrice, 21, will someday inherit the throne from her father, King George IV. Groomed for the role of queen from a young age, Beatrice has mastered controlling her emotions and perfect behavior in public. But as her parents start to pressure her to marry (a member of the American nobility, of course), Beatrice finds herself falling for a commoner. Meanwhile, younger sister Samantha grows tired of always playing second fiddle, all the more so when the guy she really likes is a top candidate for Beatrice's prince consort. Samantha's twin brother Jefferson recently broke up with Daphne, his girlfriend of several years. Daphne's a picture-perfect candidate for princess, but her ambition knows no bounds, and she's not about to give up on Jeff yet.
Is it any good?
Glittering parties, fabulous clothes, unimaginable wealth, and swoon-worthy love interests are all here to captivate fans of romance and royalty. Author Katharine McGee has built a believable world with the intriguing premise that, since its creation by revolution, the U.S. has been ruled by George Washington and his descendants in an unbroken line of American Royals. And as in her popular Thousandth Floor series, McGee makes it easy to keep track of who's who and keeps the pages turning by switching among several points of view.
Unlike her earlier series, though, there's much, much less intrigue and mystery beyond the usual romantic will-they-or-won't-they suspense. That makes this new series better suited for romance fans only. Most of the content is pretty mild, but readers need to be mature enough to take the glamorization of wealth and celebrity in stride. The cliffhanger ending of this installment is by no means the end of the story, and fans will be glad that a second installment is promised for the fall of 2020.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it would be like if American Royals were real. How would our government, and our daily lives, be different? Is this a realistic vision of what that would be like?
What are some of your favorite romantic stories? How does this one compare? Why do we love romances so much?
If you could become a royal, would you want to? Why? How much would you be willing to sacrifice for all the privileges and glamour? What about the obligations and responsibilities, as well as the constant scrutiny?
- Author: Katharine McGee
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Random House
- Publication date: September 3, 2019
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
- Number of pages: 448
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: April 23, 2020
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