Undercover Princess: Rosewood Chronicles Review

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

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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).

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 (@noodlerella) 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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Mini Lush Haul/Review: August 2017

(For some reason it looks like the bath bomb has a hair embedded in it- it didn’t- it must of been part of one of the flowers!)

I have watched (though ironically not read) a lot of Lush hauls in my time so I know the market is a little bit oversaturated but I still thought why not add my own Lush haul to the mix? Plus, you know then my content for two posts straight will be exclusively about bath stuff.

Right, so first let’s start with a bit about Lush as a company, since you know in regards to both clothing and cosmetics (etc.) I like to give any information about the company that I have found. In regards to being cruelty free Lush do not buy any raw materials that have been tested on animals. However, due to the new REACH chemical legislation Lush are not completely cruelty free because: ‘If a supplier gets involved in animal testing due to the unavoidable requirements of meeting the requirements of REACH legislation, we have to ‘accept’ this’. Their products however are all vegetarian, with a lot being vegan, and a lot of people still include them on cruelty free lists because of the dedication they have put towards being cruelty free over the years, and the strength of their other policies. Therefore, Lush is one of those I’m going to call “middle ground” companies  (like makeup brands where the ‘parent’ company is not cruelty free but the brand you are buying for is), where it’s up to you if you want to buy from them or not. Personally, I am trying to make my beauty routine completely cruelty free at the moment (which, I’m going to write a post about soon) and am not sure where I lie on this debate. I have seen Lush’s history of fighting against animal testing and how they continuously protest against what is happening, and the fact that their ingredients are vegetarian (and vegan at times) does appeal to me. I’d love however to hear everyone’s thoughts- in my mind though I don’t have an issue with anyone who uses Lush, and considers themselves cruelty free. If anyone’s interested I’ve also labelled whether the ingredients for each product are vegetarian or vegan.

Now on the haul. First of all if I’m being honest, I got this haul in July (not August- I thought the title would be confusing otherwise) because I was really stressed, and just needed a little treat. I thought some Lush stuff, and a nice bath would help. Which it did, but I was still stressed (dissertation pressure), though it definitely took the edge off.

“DON’T LOOK AT ME” Face Mask 

Don't Look at Me Fresh Face Mask(Apologises for my awful nails.) 

Don't Look At Me Mask

So I bought this because I wanted a face mask that wasn’t so “heavy duty”. I try to drink a lot of the old H20, and at the point I was being really consistent so spot wise I was doing ok. I was looking then for something to just brighten my skin and give it a good glow. So I had a little chat with one of the lovely customer assistants, and she recommended I try the “DON’T LOOK AT ME” face mask. This face mask then is one of their ‘fresh’ ones so you have to keep it in the fridge, and it doesn’t last as long as their other ones (like Mask of Magnaminty for example). I have to say I’m not sure if brightening is the mask’s primary effect but it definitely cleans a lot of the gunk out of your face. I used it recently, as my skin was feeling a bit oily (a product of not eating right and my face getting angry at me), and it did a great job at clearing out my t-zone.

The Mask(With the mask on.) 

Martin Mask(Martin also tried the mask. He was not happy about picture time. Or probably how unevenly I spread it on his face.) 

Face After(After the mask. Sorry there’s no before, I did take one but I was a bit vain and didn’t include it because it was really unflattering! I will make to take ones in future try on’s though.)

The one downside of this mask though is that is smells so overwhelmingly of lemon (and something else I can’t quite put my finger on) and I have to admit it puts me off buying it again. I’d rather buy a different “heavy duty” mask (as I do think this is not so much a “light duty” mask) that doesn’t overwhelm my nostrils as much (ironic I know when talking about Lush products).

Price: £7.25/75g 

Rating: 3/5 

This product is VEGAN. 

“Bunny Moon” Jelly Face Mask 

Bunny Moon

So I’m going to be honest I bought this because when I prodded the sample it wiggled. Also, honey is one of my favourite smells so I had to pick the one that smelled like honey up. Basically, how it works is you grab some of the jelly, work it into a paste with your hands and then apply the paste onto your face. I found it a little annoying to work with at times, but once you get used to it’s mostly fine. Plus, your skin will feels so soft afterwards (I put this on generally after the “DON’T LOOK AT ME” mask to get a bit of hydration back into my skin). The only other downside of this mask is that because of the paste texture I find it a bit hard to wash off, as it seems to want to combine with water more than anything. I’d definitely be interested in trying some more of these out, especially as they all appear to have different effects.

Price: £6.95 each.

Rating: 3/5

For more about the other jelly face masks in the range click here

This product is NOT VEGAN. It is however VEGETARIAN. 

Now on to the bath bombs…

“Titsy Tosty” Bath Bomb 

Titsy Tosty

Ok, so this bath bomb is just so pretty. It’d make such a great themed Valentine’s day present. However, the lovely shop assistant who served me at the till at Lush told me that these are going to be out of circulation soon. Something, which I found confirmed on the Lush website. You may still be able to find these in some stores however I’m assuming. I can’t remember the price of the bath bomb, however, and since it’s no longer online I can’t check. I do think though that it’s just about their average price so somewhere in the four pounds range. I also got some awesome video footage (check me out) of this as it dissolved in my bath, which will be on my Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog and on my Instagram story on my main account @aprilisthecruellestmonth. I would put it on here but I need to upgrade my plan in order to include video footage, and unfortunately I’m not financially able to at the moment. Overall, this bath bomb is for you if you don’t mind having a bath full of dead flowers in order to get that vintage, Tumblr-esque vibe going on (they also get stuck in the drain afterwards which means you have to fish them out). I did though feel quite soft afterwards, which is always a bonus.

Titsy Tosty 2

Rating: 3/5 

This product is VEGAN. (Update: Found it for $6.95 on the American website so my according to Google this made it £5.39, but I genuinely don’t remember it being that pricey). 

“Dragon’s Egg” Bath Bomb

Dragon's Egg 1

Ok, so it said in the description that there was popping candy in this bath bomb so it makes popping noises as it settles into your bath. I don’t know if it was just that my extractor fan in my bathroom was loud, but no noise did I hear my bath bomb make. It did make the bath water go orange though, and a lot more ORANGE than the photograph is making it seem- the lighting in the bathroom was just terrible. Overall, it was a nice bath bomb I was just hoping for more colours and magic based on the description, and it fell a little flat for me.

Dragon's Egg 2

Orange Water(My bath water with the bomb in there.) 

Price: £3.95 each

Rating: 2/5 (see it’s finally not 3/5!)  

This product is VEGAN. 

“Metamorphosis” Bath Bomb

So this was a purchase for the Martin in my life, as I know he would not be happy if he didn’t get a present in my little splurge. I thought it looked a bit like a dragon’s egg so thought he’d appreciate it because he is obsessed with Game of Thrones. Plus, he’s definitely more into the darker, and cool tone palette than bright tones. However, there is no rating for this product because he is yet to try it out, and I have no pictures because I’ve just moved and have not unpacked enough yet (still!) to be able to attempt to find it!

Price: £4.25 each. 

Rating: Unclassified (because Martin is yet to try it out, so here is yet another incomplete review!) 

This product is VEGAN. 

So that’s the end of my little Lush haul. Let me know if you’ve been enjoying these little review/ haul type posts about bath products, or if there any posts you’d like to see more of. For anyone who enjoys my feminist reading journey series news of that will be coming very soon so until next time!