Princess in Practice: The Rosewood Chronicles review

Building on the success of Undercover Princess, author Connie Glynn smashes it out of the park with a sequel fit for a princess.

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Although, I am very tempted to make this a very spoiler heavy review; I am going to make this as a spoiler free as possible (but it won’t be spoiler free in regards to events which occurred in the first book) because it’s only my own excitement and need to talk about the book, which is making me want to go spoiler heavy!

If you haven’t read the first book in this series Undercover Princess then I’ll be honest this review and Princess in Practice won’t make a whole lot of sense. If you’ve just read the first book and you want to recap a little or if you are thinking of starting this series you can read my review of Undercover Princess here.

I’ll start by initially saying that although the first book in this series has a special part in my heart (partly because I’ve been a fan of Connie Glynn for a few years now); this book definitely took it to the next level with me and I am now fully invested in this series.

Without further ado though let’s proceed with this review…

Blurb 

Lottie and Ellie are back! 

Head back to Rosewood Hall with your two favourite princesses in the sequel to Undercover Princess!

———-

As they return to Rosewood after the dramatic events of their first year, Lottie and Ellie are hoping for a peaceful term.

But strange things are happening at Rosewood. Pupils are being poisoned. 

Is the threat of secret organisation Leviathan growing closer? 

Lottie and Ellie are determined to find the culprit; but danger could be closer than they think…

Credit: Penguin

Judging a book by its cover (cover review) 

Princess in Practice

For anyone who is even just mildly obsessed with pastels or princesses then this cover is a dream come true. I love that it keeps up the same colour palette as the cover for Undercover Princess and I personally love that the beautiful shade of pink is the main focus. The gold writing for both the series name The Rosewood Chronicles and the author gives an instant regal flair to the cover, demonstrating that, yes,  this is a book highly concerned with royalty. The title itself (and I may be reading too much into this) Princess in Practice not only is very demonstrative of the theme of this book – this is definitely Lottie’s story about settling into her new role as Portman and through trial and error realising where she belongs and truly becoming a princess; but the two different writing styles remind me a lot of Ellie and Lottie. Ellie is a bit more bold like the font for the word princess whereas the word practice is in a fancier, more elegant script more characteristic of Lottie.

Based on her physical descriptions in the series, I believe the girl on the cover of the novel is Lottie with her tiara glistening on her head with Rosewood Hall visible right on her heart. And I can’t think of a more fitting image to sum up this novel to be honest.

Review 

To prepare for this review I went back and read my review of the first book in the series, which did not help me with keeping this review spoiler free, as I just want to yell in this review about which of my assumptions are true. Instead, I’ll say this, if you are looking for a novel targeted at children and young adults that explores a wide range of different sexualities in a matter of fact way then this is for you.

It is refreshing to see the characters not be tormented over their sexualities and reacting well to finding out other characters sexualities  – for the audience this is aimed at this is definitely a decision I agree with and helps them to negotiate how they should handle such situations. However, I think it might also be valuable to show a character not react well and then learn and grow from their mistake, but honestly this is something that could be easily explored in other parts of the series and I don’t expect this series to cover everything (that’s too much of a burden for any series to bear).

I’m glad as well that Lottie’s relationship with Ollie is explored further in this book and I hope to see more of Ollie in the future. Binah, one of my favourite characters from the first book, makes more of an appearance, which I was delighted about. Essentially, the second instalment does what a sequel should do and expand upon the world it’s created.  Princess in Practice does this brilliantly, building on the momentum of the first book, instead of suffering from sequel syndrome. I think a large way the book gets away with this is making the journey of certain characters trying to find themselves a central part of the book.

I wish to the bottom of my heart this series would have existed for me growing up (before I over analysed everything) and the representation in this book made my heart burst, especially as it’s targeted to a younger audience. It’s that charm that means I can forgive the momentum of the book being slightly too rapid at points, and some things not being as fleshed out as I would like. I would though love to have a series that shows events entirely from Binah or Anastasia’s perspective throughout the books.

Overall, Connie grows on the first book, not only going from strength to strength with her writing, but further creating a magical land of royalty, intrigue and mystery that I couldn’t help but to lose myself in. I will definitely continue to read this series and can’t wait to see the future that is in store for its characters.

Also, for anyone wondering I did the official online quiz and I got Ivy house though in a version online I got Conch (there’s also helpfully an information page at the back of Princess in Practice with information about each house).

Rating

4/5 – ‘Building on the success of Undercover Princess, author Connie Glynn smashes it out of the park with a sequel fit for a princess.’

4 star review

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

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Undercover Princess: Rosewood Chronicles Review

A book review of Connie Glynn (aka Noodlerella)’s debut novel, Undercover Princess (part of the Rosewood Chronicles series).

Yes I am as upset as you the book is crumpled in the main image. Welcome to my life. 

Lottie Pumpkin is an ordinary girl who longs to be a princess, attending Rosewood Hall on a scholarship.

Ellie Wolf is a princess who longs to be ordinary, attending Rosewood Hall to avoid her royal duties in the kingdom of Maradova.

When fate puts the two fourteen-year-olds in the same dorm, it seems like a natural solution to swap identities: after all, everyone mistakenly believes Lottie to be the princess anyway.

But someone’s on to their secret, and at Rosewood nothing is ever as it seems…

Warning some spoiler throughout but no major plot spoilers. 

Connie Glynn aka Noodlerella was probably one of the first Youtubers I started watching. First of all, she has mad cosplay skills, and second of all she did amazing impressions. Plus, I had serious envy over her travelling and Disney trip hauls. I’ve even met her at MCM London Comic Con but I was so nervous that I just blushed, attempted to make conversation, bought on of her prints, and then regretted not getting a photograph (also, if you’re wondering she was very nice).

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Hello I want to say a little word about the book tour 🌹 This weekend saw my very first book tour and the first, for me, of any kind of venture of that sort. Firstly I'm utterly thrilled that my very first tour was for Undercover Princess, a book I've poured my soul into and cannot wait for everyone to read. Yet what really made this tour so special was how utterly wonderful you all were who came along. You were all so enthusiastic and asked such wonderful and intelligent questions, I was so proud of you all. The launch of Undercover Princess has been so positive and the feedback I've received so very heartwarming. Thank you not only to everyone who came along to the tour but everyone who sent a word of encouragement or enthusiasm. One final thank you to my incredible team at penguin and my amazing manager who have made this a really joyful time for not only me, but hopefully all of you as well. Thank you thank you thank you, from the bottom of my heart and I hope you enjoy the book. I can't wait to share more with you soon 🌹🌹

A post shared by Connie Glynn (@connieglynn) on

The book appears to be mainly targeted for teenagers, as I’m assuming that is Connie’s main audience. On Amazon the age range suggested for the book is between 10-17 years old. I’d argue that for me at least the novel definitely hits more towards the lower range of that age scale in terms of tone. In fact, it has been the longest time since I’ve read anything that was not conclusively marketed at adults, so it was quite refreshing and made me want to get back into reading YA (Young Adult) fiction again.

While the book I admit started a bit slow for me; once I got into the book it was very much a page turner. Lottie and Ellie’s friendship was the driving force of the novel, and if I was not mistaken (mild, maybe spoiler alert) there was hints that the spark between them might be on the romantic side. There are at least hints if Ellie’s furious remarks about not liking boys or being into them are anything to go on that maybe her sexual preferences lay elsewhere. To be honest, if Lottie does turn out to be a bisexual protagonist (it has made conclusive she likes men at least in the first novel) that would be amazing and would really make the series stand out for me.

Another thing that really concreted the novel was the beautiful descriptions of Rosewood Hall or any surrounding for that matter. Everything was just magical, and you can really feel yourself in the surroundings and part of the action. The same could be said for the writing. For me though I definitely could see how it was written by someone in our generation by the numerous references to other things, such as evil Stepmothers, numerous explicit Cinderella references, references to Harry Potter by that the school houses (though this is common within British schools, especially Boarding Schools so I don’t really think Harry Potter has complete domain of that), as well as the way the boarding school is depicted.

Although, when I was younger I would have been completely taken in by the romance of the boarding school, now that I’m older and a bit more cynical- I see some of the more flaws in the system, such as the elitism of the subjects chosen, and the overwhelming pressure to perform.

Nevertheless, I want to make it clear that the story has definite charm, and I will be reading the next book in the series. I love the different Houses and would love to know what house I would be in (I also love that there is a quiz to determine what house students are in before arriving, a bit less magical than a Sorting Hat but brilliant).

The houses for those of you who don’t know are as follows:

There is the Ivy House (colour purple) who stand for the Righteous part of the school motto. The other houses are the Conch House (colour red) who stand for the Resolute part of the school motto. Finally, there is the Stratus house who stand for the Resourceful part of the school motto.

 

Stratus pin badge!!! Really hope these go up for sale at some point. 

I’m not really sure which house I would be put into but I suspect probably either Ivy  or Stratus depending on my mood. As I either like to observe everything or try to do what is right (even if I don’t always succeed). I’m waiting for someone to make up a Rosewood Hall house quiz, so I can know for sure (I would do it but it would be ridiculously bad).

I am also excited to see where some of the unresolved plot points are going to go with this novel. Especially, in regards to a certain friendship Lottie has been neglecting. There was also a scene that I think was brushed off to easily within the novel, but was actually depicted as something really quite predatory (though they did get a good smack), and should have been exposed as such a bit more. I don’t really want to say anymore and give the plot away, but if you have read the novel let me know your thoughts.

If you’re looking for a book for someone around 10-14 they’ll probably love this as a Christmas present, and bonus it has no idolisation of any particular body types, like a lot of teenage romances I read growing up seemed to have (you know what I mean, they think they’re bodies just ‘normal’, but it’s revealed they are incredibly attractive, etc.).

Overall, this is a charming little read, and Connie can certainly write. Here’s hoping that the next instalment carries on the mystery, pumps up the romance, and ties up the plot points mentioned in the first novel. Like, the cover of the novel, it is a story firmly rooted in being a magical, beautiful getaway. This novel is definitely one for when you want to drift away from reality for a little bit.

P.S. Apologises for not mentioning a lot about the other characters; I’m trying really hard to avoid spoilers. 

April

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