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Prince in Disguise


Prince in Disguise

A fluffy contemporary packed with twists and turns, PRINCE IN DISGUISE follows Dusty and Dylan, two sisters from a small town in Mississippi. With Dusty being known for her beauty as a former Miss Mississippi, Dylan feels left in the shadows of her older sister, especially when she wins the hand of a Scottish laird-to-be, Ronan, through a reality TV show entitled “Prince in Disguise.” When both sisters are whisked away to Scotland film the lead-up to the wedding, Dylan meets the Jamie, the groomsman who just may be the cure to the stress that comes with all the surprises and secrets the producers throw Dylan’s way. Having to manage the spotlight and having her entire personal life revealed to the public, Dylan learns to come into her own skin and find the silver lining to the new life placed before her.

Ultimately, the factor that drew me the most to this novel was Jamie. The description of a “bookish groomsman” within the synopsis sold me from the start. When the reader gets to meet Jamie at the beginning of the novel, he lives up to his title perfectly, dropping countless literary references within his first conversation with Dylan. As a teenager reader myself, I fell in love with Jamie and his nerdy qualities. The way that he quotes poems to Dylan is so adorable that it instantly warmed my heart. In speaking about why his character knows so many poems, Jamie states, “I’ve spent rather a lot of time in libraries. I never made friends easily in school. Still don’t, as a matter of fact….I quickly found I preferred to spend my time in the library. Fictional friends never found me strange.” (Strohm, 160) Lines like these resonate with me so much in novels because I was --- I am --- that teenager that confides in fictional characters like real best friends. By seeing characters depicted as such in novels, it helps me to feel like I’m not alone in my introverted tendencies.

"PRINCE IN DISGUISE's swoon-worthy romances and intriguing plot will warm the hearts of readers all across the globe with its references to not only American culture, but English and Scottish culture, as well."

Jamie was easily my favorite character in this novel because of the banter his character and Dylan develop throughout the piece. There are so many heart-warming scenes throughout PRINCE IN DISGUISE that made me grow to love these two characters together more and more. Each moment Jamie and Dylan have together made me want to keep turning the pages until I reached the very end. This pairing is truly the one thing that made this novel a worthwhile read for me. Their romance is one that is truly blissful, guaranteed to draw in audiences like the most binge-worthy reality TV show.

Looking at this novel as a whole, my favorite aspect of its creation has to be the plot. I’m not too big into reality TV, but getting to see the behind the scenes of the way that the product is created is so interesting. Most people see reality TV as a joke because it is anything but reality. It’s simply a curated product to draw in audiences and keep people watching and buzzing. PRINCE IN DISGUISE shows the way that reality TV affects those that have to take part in its creation. The characters go through a great amount of drama and chaos in order to produce a product that is worthy of a viewer’s attention.

A big plot point in this novel is Dylan’s hesitancy to be on-screen because she wants to preserve her privacy, which is easily understandable. As a BookTuber, I am used to being on camera, but ultimately I get to control the final product. As a creator, I get to choose what goes in and what gets cut. If I’m uncomfortable with something I say on camera or I am worried it will come off wrong to viewers, I can leave that footage on the cutting room floor. When you are on reality TV, you don’t get that option. Everything is controlled by producers and camera-men that are constantly on you every waking minute of every day, looking to use your words to create gossip. This can be a very terrifying thing, especially with social media. Dusty, the star of "Prince in Disguise," is constantly critiqued and hated upon on platforms like Twitter because of some of her behaviors throughout the show. I appreciated that Strohm took the time to develop this area of the plot and shine light on aspects of reality TV that many glance over.

Similarly, on the topic of reality television, I thoroughly enjoyed how fun the plot was. Most reality TV shows are incredibly scandalous and trashy, but PRINCE IN DISGUISE doesn’t follow this pattern. The story is incredibly interesting, with plenty of surprises that leave readers gasping, emulating the vibe of reality TV in a respectable manner. Strohm doesn’t need to follow the pattern of most reality TV shows because she is able to compensate in other areas. She has likable characters, fun scenes, witty dialogue and tons of references, both in the Disney and literary worlds. If I can read a novel that was as entertaining and captivating as this one, then I will definitely be a very pleased reader.

If you’re looking for a perfect read to get you into the holiday spirit, as the story takes place over winter break, I highly recommend Stephanie Kate Strohm’s PRINCE IN DISGUISE. Its swoon-worthy romances and intriguing plot will warm the hearts of readers all across the globe with its references to not only American culture, but English and Scottish culture, as well.

Reviewed by Gabby B., Teen Board Member on January 10, 2018

Prince in Disguise
by Stephanie Kate Strohm

  • Publication Date: October 23, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Humor, Romance, Young Adult 14+
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • ISBN-10: 1484775678
  • ISBN-13: 9781484775677