14 May 2015
Rating: 1.5 / 5 stars
Royally Lost is a cliche filled young adult romance that has little uniqueness and holds little interest. Both Becca and Dylan and self centered and disinterested in anything that has to do with their father, who apparently checked out of parental roles for the most part when their mother died, and their new step mommy that they both seem to hate with a passion. Their parents, by the way, might just be the most irresponsible set of guardians I have read in a long, long time. Dylan spends the trip running from one free beer to the next, or sneaking out to meet new friends at parties to do shots.
Becca is no better, quickly falling in with the young Nikolai, who happens to be an European prince who is also self centered. Nikolai, who is expected to join the military as the crown prince of his kingdom, runs away from home because he doesn't like the fact that he never has any freedom and isn't allowed to make decisions about his own life. Nikolai spots Becca and Dylan at port on one of their stops along their riverboat tour. These coincidental run ins become habit at each port, and the romance blooms extremely quickly between Becca and Nikolai to the point where he start stalking her and her boat at every port every day.
I'm all for the Cinderella story of a royal prince falling for a common girl, but Stanton's story is just laughable. The characters are all one dimensional and unlikable. The romance between Nikolai and Becca happens so quickly that it doesn't feel possible for it to be legitimate. Stanton's prose isn't able to carry to novel, either, as it is light and typical of a subpar young adult novel. Even some of the phrases that Becca uses as so out of character for a teenager starting college in a few weeks that it's actually laughable, and the vast majority of the dialogue between the three teenagers doesn't feel like anything I would ever hear in real life.
Royally Lost feels a lot like The Prince and Me, but without any of Julia Stiles's charm. And even she couldn't carry the movie the entire time. With lackluster characters, Royally Lost has no lifeline to cling to, and falls completely flat on its face. For readers who are only looking for a light YA romance for a summer beach read, this book might have a little promise. But Royally Lost was royally lost on me.