So…Paper Princess. You guys. There was so much buzz surrounding this series that I wasn’t sure I was going to read it. But bookTube, once again, lassoed me in and I found myself drawn into its web. I didn’t want to go it alone, and luckily my buddy Shanna graciously agreed to read it with me. I’m just going to throw it out there – this series is very problematic to the point where I almost feel like the authors are purposefully exaggerating tropes and situations that aren’t very beloved in the reading world. I’m also going to throw this out there – I don’t care. I’m not usually one given to the whole ‘guilty pleasures’ frame of mind when it comes to books, but I can totally see why people say that when it comes to this series. Lastly, don’t let my three star rating scare you away. I am trash for The Royals and already have the second book under my belt. And for the record, so does Shanna. We can’t wait to continue this series!
*Please note that as this is a discussion post, there will be spoilers.
Paper Princess by Erin Watt | The Royals #1
Young Adult (for a more mature audience, IMO)
Publication Date | April 4th 2016
| Spoilers Galore Book Discussion |
Were you at all suspicious of Callum when he showed up and offered Ella money to come live with his family and pay her to go to school, and then pay for her college?
Shanna: I was immediately suspicious of him, then when he showed up at her work later in the day? I was so thrown (though I knew it was him from the get go. I think that our introduction to him was made to shock us, and it worked.) But for me it was the deal that they struck that really got me intrigued about Callum. Because that was a deal that no one could turn down.
Angie Elle: So suspicious. But he did seem quite heartbroken about the loss of his best friend, so I was also hoping he was genuine.
It was a pretty sweet deal for a girl who had nothing. But she had to be wondering ‘at what price?’
The Royal boys lay down the law quite quickly once Ella is in their home. What did you think of them from the beginning? And was there one that stood out among the rest for you? Did that change as the book went on?
Shanna: So I thought exactly as Ella, that they were spoilt little rich boys who were scared of having their lives changed by this new girl. I think at first they thought that Ella was going to be taking something from them, for me at first it was the attention of their father. Of course as the book progressed I learned that they were spoiled rich boys, but their dislike of Ella was for varying reasons. I have to admit that the Royal that drew me in at first were the twins, there was just something about one twin having a steady girlfriend and the other being a slut. I just wanted to learn more about them, and I was disappointed when the book ended and I couldn’t say that i knew much more about them. But looking forward to more of them in the upcoming books for sure.
Angie Elle: I thought they were incredibly spoiled, and also hurting from the loss of their mother. As much as their father tried to be a solid presence in their lives, it was clear he had no idea how to go about it. And they blamed him for so much, I’m not sure there was anything he could do.
Easton stood out to me from the beginning. There was just something so charming about him. I think there is a lot hiding behind that seemingly carefree smile and demeanor of his.
What did you think of Callum’s relationship with Brooke?
Shanna: So I’m coming from a whole other viewpoint, for me I feel the same way about my dad dating one year after my mom passed. It made me want to climb but a wall. But I have to say when Callum explains to Ella his relationship with Maria, it has opened my eyes to my own situation. That said, I can’t trust a single person in this series, so while if he is telling the truth about what happened, I feel for him, I am so skeptical that his story might be more lies, that I don’t have a firm handle on this particular situation.
Angie Elle: I thought it was the stereotypical rich man, gorgeous younger woman scenario. And to a degree, I still think it is. He was just ‘relating’ with her with no intention of it ever going anywhere. Callum is a desperate man emotionally, but he doesn’t know that he is or how to remedy it. His wife’s death was so unexpected and rocked the entire family. And he is just too blind to see that getting rid of that shallow relationship could only have a positive effect on his family, no matter how minute.
I was thrown though at how quickly Brooke turned on Ella. One minute it seemed like she was an allie, the next she clearly viewed Ella as an enemy. Up until she really turned on Ella, I was able to forgive Brooke’s slip about Ella stripping as carelessness. It’s clear now she viewed Ella as competition not long after Ella’s arrival.
The Royals did some cruel things to Ella. Do you think they should be forgiven?
Shanna: They did and I think the forgiveness should come, but i think that it came a little too easy for the things that were said. But then again I have never been a position anyway close to Ella’s. And when she said that shame was a privilege that she did not have, it broke my heart. She is such a survivor that I want her to be able get out of there without being tarnished by the Royals and their bullshit. But when they eventually got passed all that was happening I think Ella really found some real relationships with the brothers, or at least so it seemed till that last chapter.
Angie Elle: From a real person’s standpoint – heck no. I mean, yeah, forgive, but for God’s sake, don’t forget and then crawl into bed with one of them. Just graduate and go to a college far far away that none of them are at and move on! From a reader standpoint, I am eating this up. But like you, I think it’s way too soon. A lot of things were too soon in this book. There’s an entire insta-theme going on here.
The truce – what was your first impression of it?
Shanna: I was actually really afraid of the truce, I thought the Royals were actually going to try to betray Ella somehow because it just seemed to come out of nowhere. After all that had happened I wasn’t positive that Daniel wasn’t part of their plan. I believe that there is so much to unpack about this family that it honestly requires some level of patience. And I am so happy that I don’t have to wait for releases of this series because I don’t think I would be able to be patient through all of this.
Angie Elle: LOL! That’s why I waited to read this. I heard the cliffies in this one were really bad, and I am just not good with them. I was afraid of the truce, but I thought that no matter what was going on, Ella and Easton would eventually move into a friendship, even if it was a bit tenuous. There was just something about them that clicked right away for me. But I think that had more to do with Easton than either one of them; I think with his personality, Easton would click with anyone.
What do you think of Ella and Reed’s relationship?
Angie Elle: This is where I unload a heap of thoughts – I have so much to say about this. Like – why Reed? I didn’t feel like there was anymore chemistry with Reed and Ella than there were with Ella and any of the other Royals. I feel like it came out of nowhere and can’t help but wonder if there was buildup I somehow missed. Why Reed and not Easton? What set Reed apart for her? I don’t feel like that was fleshed out in this installment. Also, the hot and cold from Reed, man. Not only do I hate that, but there was no buildup! In one scene, he would be like ‘Ella, I’m just not good for you. We can’t do this.’ And then he’d walk out at the end of the chapter. THEN – at the very beginning of the next chapter, he’d be crawling into bed with her. WHERE IS THE BUILIDUP?
Shanna: So for me I can see why they would be drawn to each other. Reed is the leader, he is clearly the one who the other 3 who live in the house taken their cues from. That helps to explain why the moment he decided to give into his attraction for her, everyone followed. I have to say that for me there was a build-up but I think that it was way more subtle, and because we are seeing the book from Ella’s POV, it makes it harder to actually see the buildup. It was clear that Reed had been keeping a close eye on Ella, and had been trying to fight his feelings. But of course Ella has so much going on that she doesn’t see it at first, or Reed’s face just always looks like he’s pissed off. But I do think that Ella can help the Royals, especially Reed and Easton. She sees the world so differently from all of them, I think that this could help them to see all their circumstances differently. They can’t buy her. She really cares about them, and wants to help them, which I think is something new for all the Royals.
Angie Elle: You’re selling me way more than the book did! I wish I’d seen what you did.
What do you think of Callum?
Shanna: I guess for me Callum was the second main character in this book, and for me he is a central character of series. I think he has suffered two huge losses in his life, and not that far apart. I believe that he is grieving both for the loss of his wife and the loss of his best friend. Worst still, he has been forced to become a parent to his boys who he doesn’t know but who know that he has never been there for him. And then Ella gets thrown in the mix, and I think that she then becomes his perceived saving grace. He wants to do right by her, so much that he can’t see that he might be going about this all wrong.
Angie Elle: Well, first of all I think while he is a smart and successful man, he’s ten kinds of an idiot. What kind of man brings a teenage girl into his house with his five sons and leaves them pretty much unsupervised? And really, not even unsupervised. It was like he was allowing his sons to supervise her with his ‘Oh, Ella. I was really hoping they’d warm up to you once you got here’ ways. He essentially threw her to the wolves.
We’ve talked about the people we knew from the start weren’t on Ella’s side, but there was one person she met who was a fast allie for Ella, and that was Val. What do you think of her?
Angie Elle: I am cautiously optimistic about Val. I think she has been a good friend to Ella so far, but there is something off about her, and I think it’s Tam. Where is he? Why haven’t we seen him yet? Something is up there, and I want to know what it is!
Shanna: Yeah I love her spunk, and how much she appears to care about Ella, and not care that everyone seems to hate her. But this book has so many twists, that I still can’t trust that Jordan didn’t put her cousin up to this so I’m withholding full judgement on her. But she is one of my fave characters in the book so far.
So, umm…what did you think about the ending?
Angie Elle: I don’t for one second believe what I am seeing. Brooke clearly has the upper hand in some way, and again, I want to know what it is! So what did I think about the ending? In short – give me the next book now! It makes me glad I didn’t jump on board when this series was released, that’s for damn sure.
Shanna: TORN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s the only word that I can use to describe how I felt at the end. Those last few pages broke me. I am glad I don’t have to wait to find out what really happened. And I agree there must be something to it, but seeing this scene from Ella’s POV was devastating.
Angie Elle: I think it’s safe to say we’ll be reading Broken Prince!
| Angie’s Rating |
| Shanna’s Rating |