Snapshot Review: Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

Title: Truly Madly Royally
Author: Debbie Rigaud
Series: N/A
Pages: 304
Publisher: Point
Release Date: July 30th 2019

      “Fiercely independent and smart, Zora Emerson wants to change the world. She’s excited to be attending a prestigious summer program, even if she feels out of place among her privileged, mostly white classmates. So she’s definitely not expecting to feel a connection to Owen, who’s an actual prince of an island off the coast of England. But Owen is funny, charming…and undeniably cute. Zora can’t ignore the chemistry between them. When Owen invites Zora to be his date at his big brother’s big royal wedding, Zora is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, along with her family and friends. Everyone is talking about her, in real life and online, and while Owen is used to the scrutiny, Zora’s not sure it’s something she can live with. Can she maintain her sense of self while moving between two very different worlds? And can her feelings for Owen survive and thrive in the midst of the crazy? Find out in this charming romantic comedy that’s like The Princess Diaries for a new generation. “

“I could not be more shocked if I stuck a wet finger in a janky outlet. The guy hanging out in the library, making anonymous wisecracks through bookshelves? My realest human connection at this school was with someone who. . . is a rightful heir to some throne?”

  • Zora – Zora was such an enjoyable lead character. She’s driven, has the biggest heart, and isn’t afraid of a challenge. I loved how loyal she was and despite the fact that she didn’t always feel accepted at Halstead University during the summer program, she never tried to make herself smaller to accommodate others. Whether she’s dealing with classism or racism, she never tried to be anyone but herself.
  • Black girl at center of a lighthearted novel – This book reminded me that we really need to see more lighthearted contemporaries with Black girl leads because what kind of message is publishing sending when they put so much pressure on Black creatives to produce issues books as though the only stories worth telling are ones where Black characters suffer for the sake of readers learning a “lesson”?
  • Owen – Although Owen is a prince, he wasn’t haughty or above reproach. There is no point where his ego needs to be taken down a few notches because he is always ready to learn and knows that not everyone lives like he does.
  • The romance – I loved the romance in Truly Madly Royally so much. There were the early swoony scenes, including an incredibly adorable meet-cute; but I loved how the relationship between Zora and Owen progresses. Zora immediately challenges him and Owen works to earn her favor. Every scene between the two had loads of chemistry and I could see myself revisiting this one soon just to relive them.
  • Family – I appreciated how much this book focused on Zora’s family. I feel like we got to know her more because of how much time we spent with her and her family.
  • Community – Zora started a program for kids in her community who didn’t have anyone to walk them home. She’s incredibly invested in the program and is always looking to improve life for those in her neighborhood. What’s not to love about this girl?

  • Owen – I kind of wanted more of Owen. There was so much about him that made a reader swoon, but I wanted to see his flaws too.

  • Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud is a swoon-worthy contemporary with a lovable protagonist and features a healthy romantic relationship built on communication and mutual respect.

★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5)

8 thoughts on “Snapshot Review: Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

  1. I’m definitely interested in this one – a swoon-worthy royal romance sounds exactly like my kind of book – but I’ve read complaints about Owen not being as well-developed as he could be, which is something you also mentioned. Either way, I’m still interested, and you review made me even more excited. 🙂

    Like

  2. When I read your comment about the main character starting a program to assist children walking home from school, it dawned on me that I don’t think I’ve ever read a book in which a character does community service for the sake of it. I always seem someone who A) was ordered by a judge to do community service, B) thinks the individual he/she is helping is a dippy old person until the old person solves all their problems in one wise monologue, C) only helps during a guilt-holiday, like Christmas, or D) spends time at a big place like a soup kitchen only to be seen there and for that to tell the reader something about the character being a good person, rather than the character being invested in the community service because it’s the right thing to do.

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