Angie Stanton's ROYALLY LOST fit the bill perfectly for my first summer read of the year. Sure, it's old news. It came out last May. But it's a new adult* filled with European history (which I was off experiencing for myself when this launched last year!), bits of family drama, but best of all, summer romance, between two very unlikely characters.
This was unputdownable. I'm sure it was a perfect storm of my longing for Prague (Budapest, I'm kind of with Becca on Budapest - it kinda sucked), royal romance, and something I could escape into while I was debilitated by the mumps (no, true story), but I found the characters unique and deeper than your typical summer book characters. The main ones, anyway. I found the family dynamic very believable and even though I couldn't connect with Becca (I'm a history fan for sure), I could connect with her plight, especially the lack of direction she felt after high school. And I cared. As always, I'm not a fan of incessant details, and this doesn't disappoint. The picture is painted adequately for you to figure out where she is and what is happening with her and around her, but not painfully drawn out to describe the detail on every door she passes (which, really, having just visited, could have been a HUGE temptation for Stanton).
A bit ironically, the only things I found lacking in this wispy, whirlwind romance were some of the details. They didn't mesh with my experiences during our trip to Budapest and Prague. I'll not expound on them so that it doesn't ruin it for you if you don't know any better, but if you have been to either city recently, or any of them along the Danube in between, be prepared to use your imagination, not your memory.
If you're planning a summer reading stint, add this to your list. I'm confident it won't disappoint.
*New Adult. This category has emerged over the last couple of years. It's post-high school, pre-real life. Think college or college aged, with the characters making choices that address that awkward stage in adulthood.
**I'm sorry for the lack of posts this year and the last part of 2014. I was diagnosed with cancer in August 2014, and despite my most earnest efforts, reading during chemotherapy didn't work, much to my disappointment. I couldn't focus my eyes or manage my nausea. I'm 75% of the way through now and have found some drugs that sure do help (feeling better than I have in over six months!). So, hopefully, I'm at least back a little. Thanks for sticking around through the drought. I really appreciate it. ♥