Review: Undercover Princess* | Connie Glynn

Undercover Princess | Connie Glynn
Published: 2nd November 2017 by Penguin
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I'm going to start this review bluntly by saying that whilst part of me loved this book and was taken back to my childhood, the other part was not really a fan. It's not that its a bad book, in fact its rather good especially for a debut but there were just some things which really let it down and therefore lowered my rating.

Undercover Princess written by Connie Glynn tells the story of two girls. One, Lottie is an ordinary girl who's always longed to be a princess, the other, Ellie, is a princess. The two get roomed together at the slightly mystical Rosewood school and hijinks ensue. Sounds like an intriguing plot right? Well it is but for some reason I didn't fully connect with it.

I think my overall issue with this book is the pacing. I found the first half particularly slow and it took me a couple of sittings to really get into it; the second half was much faster but at points reached warp speed and I felt like I'd be spun round with no idea what had just happened! Whilst it was good because a lot was happening, it felt like too much was happening all at once and there wasn't really any time to explain anything. 

Another issue I have is with  the two main girls themselves. I loved the majority of things about them and found them likeable and witty but I have some faults. Firstly, they're 14 but act 20! The girls are meant to be young and I get some teens are wise beyond their years but it's just a bit much. I think it would have been better to make them just a little bit older and therefore more believable- I've never known a 14 year old who'd be so ready to give up everything to help a friend they met a week ago. I also wish that Ellie was more badass! So much emphasis is placed on how she's the lost cause, rebel princess but the only shocking things we see her do are breaking into places a few times and having a messy room for a day which doesn't really scream rule-breaker to me.

Whilst I love the friendship between Lottie and Ellie, I'm confused as to whether its more of a relationship with the "sparks" that fly when they touch hands and the odd things they do together. If it is I think that's great, unique representation in a princess story but if not its just a bit curious... 

Of course this is the first book in The Rosewood Chronicles series and I think there's so much room to grow and develop. I fully understand that the first book has to be about world building but I just feel that there's a bit much in this. Some parts seemed unnecessary (Bina's gift which never came to mean anything??) and led to plot holes. I'm sure we'll find out all the answers in future books but I just feel that too many things were woven in at once which, making it overwhelming and losing its direction a bit.

Despite these things, I did enjoy reading Undercover Princess and I will most likely read the next book in the series which I think will make or break it for me. When I was younger and didn't think into things too much, I would've adored this book but my 21 year old overthinking brain just can't skim over the flaws. 

Despite not being Connie's YouTube audience, the audience for this book should definitely be middle grade. I think younger children will eat this book and the series up. It's sweet and mystical and certainly motivation for girls (and boys) to be kind and strong in the face of adversity and I look forward to seeing where Connie goes with the series.

*This book was sent to me by Penguin for review purposes. All views and opinions are my own*