Sunday, April 13, 2014

Review: Almost Royalty by Courtney Hamilton

Courtney Hamilton is a Velveeta-loving attorney driven to distraction by a city that seethes with soul-sucking status seekers. When her friend Marcie formulates an impossibly detailed rating system for acceptable men--the Los Angeles Eco-Chain of Dating--Courtney goes on a self-destructive binge that doesn’t stop until she gets thrown out of group therapy for insulting a former child actress.

Courtney is mortified as she watches her best friends give up stellar careers in law and the arts to marry entertainment royalty and civilian overachievers. Worse, they expect Courtney to do the same. So they hatch plots to get her to give up her career, break her addiction to fake cheese, marry into high-orbit wealth and rule the stratosphere alongside them.

But Courtney resists. She doesn’t want to be a poster child for the Opt-Out Generation. And she certainly doesn’t want to be molded into date bait for the top rung of L.A. society. All Courtney wants is to be left alone so she can search beneath the surface for a meaningful life. But between a meddling, narcissistic mother, a self-absorbed therapist and friends trying to send her to dating re-education camps, it seems that fake cheese is the only genuine thing left in the city. Social ambition combats self-actualization in this biting tale of one woman’s search for certainty in a city full of mirages.

Rating & Review
I'm sure you can tell by my one star rating that this one really missed the mark for me. This is not a book that was made for me ... or anyone that likes having money, for that matter. I know that sounds really weird ... who doesn't like money?!? Or at least who doesn't like what money can buy ... like food and stuff. From the very first page, I got this distinct feeling that the main character in the book hated money. Or the author hates money. Someone (either within the pages or outside of them) HATES money. Now, was this written? No, it was just the feeling I got just from reading. 

I just felt a lot of hatred from this one ... the character hates her friends, her fiance, her chosen career and basically herself. She just seems really bitter and although the pages really go out of their way to say that the main character isn't jealous but every other sentence is just laced with an underlying hatred of pretty much everyone and everything around her. 

Maybe Almost Royalty isn't subliminally about hating money. Maybe it's intended to be wittily sarcastic or darkly funny. Maybe I just read the book wrong. When I got about halfway through the book, I went back to the beginning and reread the first chapter. I was just hoping that I would get a different feeling or something would click and make the rest of the novel slide into the fun chick lit genre that I had initially categorized it. Unfortunately, that click never happened. If anything, my rereading the beginning just kind of cemented my initial take. 

Now, this is just my opinion. Take it with a grain of salt. This novel is wildly popular on Goodreads right now and I'm hoping that is how it stays. I'd rather be in the minority with my negative reviews than be surrounded by a bunch of other party-poopers, like myself. 

Find Almost Royalty here:


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