Release Date: March 7, 2017
Blurb from Goodreads: At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…
Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.
Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.
Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.
The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
The first couple of chapters of Secrets of a Reluctant Princess are pure farce, in the literary meaning and not the current derogatory meaning. Adrianna (Andy), of the unfortunate last name of “Bottom” (unfortunate because of her father’s business in plumbing supplies and his tendency to (heh) plumb the depths of those puns), becomes the “Porcelain Princess” on the Bathroom Barons reality tv series based on her family’s newly acquired wealth thanks to her father’s invention the Bowl Buddy.
Now cameras are following her around and film the result of her stylist’s decision to make her wear a too-tight skirt thus showing her beloved Wonder Woman underwear. In her attempts to get away, she ends up hiding in a hardware store and meets Kevin, who is cute and shares her interests.
But now that cameras are following her around, she finds she is suddenly friends with the popular kids, not because of who she is, but just because there are cameras following her. Harper, the first to befriend her, warns that if she wants to stay popular, she has to keep her distance from Kevin because he’s pretty much the mayor of nerdsville.
What results is Andy trying to live two lives. She tries to stay in with the popular kids because she remembers very well how school was back in Seattle when she was always the “butt” of jokes. But she really likes Kevin and is intrigued by LARPing because it appeals to her nerdy side. So she becomes Princess Andy of the LARPing world.
“Sounds dramatic,” he says. “But your heart, dare I ask is it still free for the taking?”
The way he asks it makes my toes curl in excitement, like he’s asking for himself. I give him a daring look. “No. It is not.”
He sighs in exaggerated disappointment.
“It is mine for the giving.”
When Andy is painted as a bully in one of the episodes of the show, she realizes that she has to take charge. If anyone knows what it’s like to be bullied, she does.
Secrets of a Reluctant Princess is funny and very punny (love it!) and seems like it’s just fluff while it is examining bullying and what’s acceptable and how easy it is to fall into being just like the popular kids for the sake of being left alone, but how ultimately you have to be true to yourself. The LARPing scenes were a lot of fun and definitely brought out the geek in this reader!
I liked Andy and Kevin and thought they were pretty much believable, although at the beginning I thought Andy whined a bit much, but that changed and I got over it. She shows herself to be spunky and smart and willing to put herself out there. Her internal wars were pretty understandable too. Kevin is sweet and smart and protective of those he loves. He is the epitome of nice guy.
Also, I liked the way that Griffin handled the other characters as we saw depth and believability even in the ones who seemed just antagonistic by nature.
All-in-all this is a fun, fast-paced read for the geek, the punster, and the lover of the underdog, but others will most definitely enjoy it too!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.