Firstly, a huge thank-you to Bonnier Zaffre for asking me to be a part of this blog tour and sending me out a copy of Christmas at the Palace*.
I hold my hand up, I have never read a Christmas book before. Well, at least not since picture books. I was really looking forward to giving one a go and getting fully into the Christmas spirit. And it couldn't have been at a better time. I was having a very Uni heavy time so reading something light and fun on the side was a god send.
Safe to say I adored this book. It's so sweet and cute whilst still managing to promote a brilliant message.
**Taken from the back of the book**
Not even in her wildest imaginings did Kumari ever think she'd become a princess. But having fallen for Ben - or rather Prince Benedict, sixth in line to the throne - it looks like nothing will ever go as planned again. And as Christmas rapidly approaches the distinction between family and Royalty becomes ever more apparent.
With the paparazzi holding her, her job on the line and some rather frustrating royal training, Kumari feels panic set in.
Kumari is a wonderful, if sometimes frustrating character. All I wanted her to do was be happy but it was as though she couldn't allow that for herself, which honestly I can understand. She was more concerned with those around her and dissapeointng people. I really appreciated how driven she was, with whatever she set her mind to. It was interesting to see her transition from working as a Doctor in A&E to the life of a royal. She was an excellent character to challenge certain stereotypes present both in the novel, and that are still relevant to us, now. The amount of people that assumed Dr. Senavaka was a man was laughable...but it happens! There were so many instances like this, and Kumari did not let it stand. I found myself wanting to cheer for her every time she made someone go bright red. It was rather brilliant.
Her relationship with Ben or rather Prince Benedict was a whirlwind. It was definitely insta love-y but I adored it. It was so pure and sweet, they just wanted to be happy but they had so many hoops to jump through. Ben was also a great character and I liked that he challenged Kumari just as much as she did him in regards to both beliefs but also in general. I can't think of any way to describe him that isn't just a list of unintelligible sounds.
There was a brilliant mix of relationships, both familial and friendships from every kind of angle. Kumari's parents reminded me so much of my own. How kind and caring they are, that they just want their little girl to be happy. I got a little emotional reading certain scenes with them in. However, my favourite side characters most definitely Ophelia. Oh my god I want her as a friend.
This book was a surprise to me. I knew I was going to like it, I just didn't know I was going to love it. I've already passed it to my mum to read because I know she'll love it.
The perfect book to curl up with when it's dreary outside, so do yourself a favour, pick it up.