Friday, February 1, 2013

A Return to Chick-Lit

I used to be a chick-lit reader. It was fun, escapist, and just what I needed following years of college and graduate school. Now, I tend toward psychological suspense, dystopian futures, and really good fiction, having eschewed my chick-lit reading to my early twenties. And yet, in the midst of my busy and ridiculous schedule this week, I opted to read, not the new Chevy Stevens ARC that’s been sitting next to my bed for a week, and not the fun new Nicola Upson that features my all-time favorite director Alfred Hitchcock as a character, but a book I grabbed from my pile on a whim, The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne—a definite chick-lit novel.

Maybe it’s because I’m over thinking about serious things (I’ve been dealing with political book signings for the past couple of months and am so ready for the last one to come and go), or maybe it’s because I’m in the midst of planning my wedding and I just wanted to have a light-hearted moment, but whatever the reason, I put off the books I’ve been excited about and picked-up a cheap thrill.

The basic plot of this light read follows London garden designer Amy, as she meets Leo, the man of her dreams at a costume party, starts to fall just a little bit in love, and then finds out he’s a prince—one with a super model mother, playboy brother, debonair father, and who happens to be fourth in line for the throne. When circumstances change putting Leo‘s father into the ruling position with Leo right behind him, Amy’s already shaky self-esteem and past family embarrassment lead her into a downward spiral of nerves and mishaps, that just may take her away from her own shining prince.

Predictable—highly. Silly—absolutely. Was the main point of conflict ridiculous—yes. Still, for some reason I still found it enjoyable. Maybe it’s the wedding thing, and the romance (and craziness) of all that comes with falling in love and getting married, but this book was actually fun to read. It’s not exceptional writing, the peripheral characters are poorly developed, and the main character gets a bit annoying with her constant bouts of self-consciousness, but it moves along quickly and for the most part amusingly.

I wouldn’t go around recommending this to everyone. In two months I might even regret writing this piece, but for now if anyone is looking for a no-brainer that is relatively fun, give The Runaway Princess a look. Hopefully, it will give you that chance to breathe, before delving back into the real world and all its madness. Now it’s time to pick-up that new Chevy Stevens suspense.

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