Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl
Published May 2017 by Bloomsbury Publishing
RRP AUD $15.99
Sixteen-year-old Bentley Royce is the wild child of a super-glam reality TV dynasty. She has it all – designer clothes, a fancy school and an actual Bentley to drive around in. Her ambitious mum Mercedes has dragged the family from trailer park to Hollywood stardom. But Bentley wants out – she wants to go to college, escape her own storyline, be NORMAL – but Royces don’t do normal (or college).
Rolling with the Royces is running out of ways to keep viewers hooked and suddenly the show is threatened with cancellation. Bentley faces an impossible choice. Without the show, she could live the college dream – but her family would crumble (they are already twenty million dollars in debt). Bentley Royce has a mission. She must use her brains to save the show; if she saves the show, she can save her family – and she’ll do whatever it takes…
So before starting the book, I’d sat down and admired the cover art and read a little bit about the book on the blurb. I’d read Margaret’s co-authored book, Beautiful Creatures, but didn’t really finish the series. I remember enjoying the writing style of Beautiful Creatures, even if the story itself didn’t really capture my interest. But, I was really intrigued by the book’s blurb, I hadn’t really read anything quite like it before, and I was willing to give it a go. The whole book screamed Kardashian, and it also showed the ins and outs of reality TV and the lengths that people go through just to stay relevant. To be honest, the book felt more like a mockery of reality TV, instead of a deep story, I guess?
The author’s voice was fun to read, there was a definite dry wit to her writing, and it was easy to read. I wasn’t rushing to finish this book, and it didn’t really make me want to sit down for an extended period of time and devour it, but when I opened it, I enjoyed reading. I was very confused about the romance parts of the story, I honestly didn’t know what to expect, everything just came as a surprise.
Overall, I think it was a bit odd, but in a good way I suppose. I remember thinking what just happened?? after reading the first article. The format of the book itself was intriguing, there were footnotes, articles, and Tweets, and it was written in a way that showed both sides of ‘reality’ TV celebrity which was interesting!
If we’re comparing this book to anything, I wouldn’t compare it to any other book I’ve read (because I haven’t really read anything like this!), but I would definitely compare it to what little bits I know about Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Each character in the book seemed to be a mixture of a Kardashian member, with the exception of Bach Royce (or maybe he is? I don’t know enough about the Kardashians to call this one ). The ‘momager’ in the book, Mercedes Royce, was definitely a Kris Jenner. The main fame-chaser, Porsche Royce, was 100% a Kim Kardashian clone, but also had the ‘Lippie’ line of Kylie Jenner, and our protagonist, Bentley Royce seems to be a Kylie Jenner on the outside, but her own character on the inside. Bentley Royce (what a name!) was an interesting character, I loved how she had different aspirations to what you would normally think a celebrity would have. Her character development was pretty good, and I liked how family-oriented she was, and the sacrifices she was willing to make for her family were admirable. But, I didn’t like how easily the producers pushed her down in the beginning, and I remember thinking that I wanted her to be stronger and just make her own character instead of just playing by a script.
But yeah, definitely an interesting read, but I think the enjoyment would depend on whether the reader likes watching reality TV or not. If you get bored or don’t like reality TV, then I probably wouldn’t recommend this book, just because it’s so central on that.
I received a review copy from the publisher
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Margaret Stohl is the #1 New York Times best-selling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series. Growing up in the shadow of Hollywood, Margaret spent her adolescence crank-calling Harrison Ford, living across the hall from a John Waters starlet, and waving to Starline Tours buses as they stopped to take pictures of her P.E. class at Mulholland Hall, where she first met Bentley Royce. These are and are not her stories.