Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: Victoria Rebels - Carolyn Meyer

Victoria Rebels by Carolyn Meyer
Genre: YA, historical fiction
Published on January 1, 2013
Published by Paula Wiseman Books
Pages: 265
Read From: 3.24.13 - 3.25.13

Even as a young girl, Princess Victoria knew that one day she will be queen of England. No one speaks this truth, but everyone knows it, just as everyone gossips about who will make a suitable husband for the future monarch. At seventeen, most princesses are at least paired, if not married. But not Victoria. 

Victoria is at odds with her strict and controlling mother, who writes her hurtful letters whenever Victoria displeases her. She deeply resents the presence of her mother's adviser, Sir John Conroy, and his boundless ambition. She is troubled by her mother's ill feeling toward King William and his family. Isolated and lonely, her days dull and tedious, Victoria feels trapped. Is this what life will be like when she is queen? 
Then, at her seventeenth birthday party, Victoria meets Albert. Prince Albert is not only extraordinarily handsome but clever and charming. Could he be her future consort?


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? Surprisingly, yes, though if it weren’t a historical fiction novel I probably wouldn’t like it. But it’s a clear indication of what the book will be about, and the character impersonator is in a profile, which I don’t usually mind.

Characters: At first, the Reader is presented with a picture of young Victoria which we can easily sympathize with. Here’s a girl who grew up with seemingly everything, being a princess, and yet she virtually led the life of a prisoner, as Sir Conroy and her mother continually kept her under their thumb. But as the story progresses, Victoria became a little less sympathetic in my view, for though she largely had youth an inexperience to blame her mistakes on, she turned a blind eye to good advice and was often unduly mean to Albert. Sir Conroy is very easy to hate, as is Victoria’s mother. I wish I could have gotten to know Albert better. The Young Victoria isn’t the most historically accurate movie ever made, that is definitely true, but I did like how attached I became to Albert in it, and in Victoria Rebels, I just didn’t get that.

The Romance: Victoria and Albert’s romantic attachment is very swift, and really only dealt with at the end of the book, so there is, in fact, very little romance. For once, I actually lamented it. I was looking forward to learning more about Victoria and Albert’s relationship.

Plot: How Victoria became queen makes for a rather interesting plot. While not history’s most exciting ascension-to-the-throne story, I still find it engaging, and Carolyn Meyer brings it to life. It’s difficult, at first, to sort out how everyone is related to Victoria (I still don’t wholly understand her family tree), but after a while it makes sense, and you’re able to sit back and enjoy the story. The plot isn’t, perhaps, as detailed as I would like - it covers events of several years, - but I still found it a fascinating look into Victoria’s early reign.

Believability: While I know a great deal about the Victorian era itself, I actually don’t know a great deal about Queen Victoria. But as always, I have faith in this Author’s research, and she yet again provides a very interesting and informative historical note at the end of the book.

Writing Style: While I usually detest copious CAPITALIZATION and words underlined instead of italicized, I didn’t mind it so much in this book, because it made it feel like it was written in the form of a journal, even though that isn’t the format the book adopts.

Content: None.

Conclusion: Rather abrupt, and I do rather wish that the book had covered more events after she and Albert were married. It was, in my opinion, a little too short. But all in all, it’s a worthwhile and fast read.

Recommended Audience: Girl-read, fourteen-and-up, good for those who want to know more about Queen Victoria.

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