**Disclaimer: I did not know that this was a Christian novel, if I had known then I would not have started reading it. I found the Christianity in the novel to be tolerable, however there were many more elements that prohibited my enjoyment of the book.**
I found so many problems with Once Upon a Prince
that I don't know where to start. I didn't like the characters, narrative and storyline. This book held the promise of an enjoyable read, but it just didn't deliver.
From the beginning of the book I encountered issues that ruined the novel for me. The book opens with Susanna being dumped by her boyfriend of twelve years with him so kindly telling her he "found the right ring, just not the right girl". I expected more of a reaction from Susanna than Hauck gave us. Personally, I found that there was not enough fight in Susanna's character. After devoting twelve years of your life to a man I believe it's a woman's prerogative to be angry and upset when told he loves someone else. Instead Susanna accepts Adam's reasoning and actually agrees with him! If there's one thing I hate in books it's pushover characters, and unfortunately Hauck gave me this in spades.
Hauck then 'cleverly' devises a way for Susanna to meet the Prince, but yet again I found myself questioning the book. Who would really divulge their heartbreak and life story to a complete stranger with a dodgy accent? No one.
So Rachel Hauck was clearly trying to create a pseudo-British Prince, I can comfortably say that NO ONE SPEAKS LIKE NATE. His ridiculous accent really annoyed me. It became very clear to me that Hauck is American as she displayed an idealised and entirely fake English accented gentleman in the form of Prince Nathaniel. Also, is Brighton Kingdom not the most ridiculous name for a country ever? It is almost as if Hauck was struggling to think of a name, so decided to look at a map of the united Kingdom for inspiration, discovered the coastal city of Brighton and whacked Kingdom on the end to make the country sound more regal.
In the novel there was an over complicated political situation between Brighton Kingdom and the neighbouring island Hessenberg, this added little to the plot and was bit of a non story that had no effect on the novel. Nate's mother, the Queen, took an instant dislike to Susanna before even meeting her, however she championed Ginny, who it was very clear was a manipulative and scheming woman. I could not comprehend this decision, clearly the Queen did not want her son abdicating, as the law would require if he were to marry a foreigner, yet the plotting against him I found unbelievable. Shouldn't a Queen should be a good judge of character? Well not in this book. The Queen favours Ginny, and it's not until considerably far into the book that she realises the error in her judgement. I found the character of the Queen to be contradicting itself, and she is another example of a character created by Hauck that I didn't like.
I adore love stories, a happy ever after and Cinderella-esque tale, however I don't believe that in conventional modern day romances an engagement comes before sex, and especially not before a first kiss. I fully appreciate that the Christian element to the novel required the chastity, however I do not believe it fitting to the time. Also, there was a serious lack of cursing in the novel, I had no problem with this, but the substitutions used, for example "by gum", were so irritating. Hauck is clearly deeply religious. I found the preaching element to the novel annoying as whole chapters were dedicated to the discussion of God and faith. The concept of offering oneself to God for Him to direct your life according to His plan is alien to me, and I believe that it was this concept that lead to what I believed to be the weak character of Susanna.
I would definitely not recommend Once Upon a Prince
, it was extremely infuriating and ridiculous. I loved the idea of a Cinderella story, but the book just did not deliver. There are so many good books such as Suddenly Royal
and To Marry a Prince
that are about royals. Maybe you enjoyed this book? I'd love to know what you thought of Once Upon a Prince
'Once Upon a Prince' by Rachel Hauck
Labels: 1 Star, Book, Chick-lit, Christian, Once Upon a Prince, Published 2013, Rachel Hauck, Religious, Review, YA, Young Adult