Parents' Guide to


By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Teen comes into power in suspenseful alternative history.

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Author Brittany Cavallaro takes an interesting historical "what-if" and infuses it with page-turning suspense. Wondering what the U.S. would be like if it had become a monarchy instead isn't exactly new, but setting the story at roughly the halfway point between the end of the Revolutionary War and now offers a unique chance to imagine how a monarchy would have evolved along the way. The author populates her world with colorful characters, both real and fictional, and using an alternative Chicago World's Fair as the main backdrop is a nice touch. Readers who find the premise intriguing will no doubt enjoy this book. And although the writing certainly moves the story along, it doesn't provide anything more than that, or offer a compelling reason to read the book if the idea doesn't grab you.

Teens will relate to Claire and her best friend Beatrix as they chafe against rules that keep them from making their own decisions and doing what they want to do with their lives. Plot twists keep the reader, and Claire, guessing and the pages turning. The surprise ending will leave fans anxious for the rest of the story in the planned second volume. This novel is best for readers who enjoy alternative realities, letting go, and going along for the ride.

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