I read the first book in the series American Royals last year and enjoyed it enough that the second one made my reading list.
It didn't have the same feel as the first, but unlike other reviewers who have the noted the same thing, I'm not so sure it was a bad thing. Yes it was a little frustrating at first to find that everything had turned upside down since the last book, but by the end of the story I realised what the author was trying to do and appreciated it.
The end of the first book completely changed the lives of two of the main female characters, so it's right that their stories reflected that change in some way. The maturing of their characters and the subsequent changes that it had on the people around them felt real; the fact that love isn't always instant and that it isn't always based in lust is an important part of reality that is often brushed over by popular culture so it was refreshing to see a YA novel portray it so unabashedly.
Beatrice, Samantha and Nina all got what felt like happy but realistic endings for their stories, ones that didn't place key emphasis on who they ended up with (although that did obviously play a part) but cared more about who they had become as young women. Daphne's story had a slightly different edge to it, and while I did feel slightly vindicated by her self-realisation, I would have liked to have seen some fireworks surrounding her and how she acted at the end.
I also feel like Connor's character was underutilised in this second installment. To take him from the heights of the first novel to the barren wasteland of the second was jarring for a large portion of the novel. This wasn't helped by the fact that the writing felt a little slow in the middle. I got really into the ending, but it took me a few days longer than normal to get there (I can normally get through a book like this in 2-3 evenings around family life, but this one took me 10).
All in all, I wasn't blown away by the sequel, but I appreciated the underlying messages and certainly didn't dislike it as much as I've seen other reviewers online did.
Is America ready for its first queen?
Power is intoxicating. Like first love, it can leave you breathless. Princess Beatrice was born with it. Princess Samantha was born with less. Some, like Nina Gonzalez, are pulled into it. And a few will claw their way in. Ahem, we're looking at you Daphne Deighton.
As America adjusts to the idea of a queen on the throne, Beatrice grapples with everything she lost when she gained the ultimate crown. Samantha is busy living up to her "party princess" persona...and maybe adding a party prince by her side. Nina is trying to avoid the palace--and Prince Jefferson--at all costs. And a dangerous secret threatens to undo all of Daphne's carefully laid "marry Prince Jefferson" plans.
A new reign has begun....
You can buy the book here now. It was published by Penguin.