Evie Gray is an American freshman at Oxford University with a few unusual twists to her life story.
Before Evie’s mother died years before, she mapped out her daughter’s life and transmitted instructions to her in the form of letters that are delivered each year on her birthday, guiding her in the fulfillment of her ultimate destiny. Of course there are bumps along the way, principally in connection with the first boy she falls for at Oxford, who just happens to be Prince Edmund, in line for the English throne. In this debut novel inspired by the recent royal wedding, Albright gives her readers an engaging and plausible glimpse into the lives of well-connected college students. When Evie eventually realizes who Edmund is, she determines that she will not allow his royal status to interfere with her genuine feelings for him. Evie is a fun and funny undergrad, a little immature for her age, who makes all the blunders and suffers all the embarrassment any teen can identify with. The up-to-the-minute dialogue may quickly become anachronistic (“Ew, creeptastic much?” comments Evie on finding out that her bitchy rival Jax has hired a PI to delve into her past), and the English students’ speech in particular frequently feels only superficially English.
Still, the magic of falling in love (some hot kissing scenes) and the challenges of difficult moral decisions are well-portrayed and have timeless appeal. (Fiction. 14-18)