Book Reviews

Review: Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon

Of Princes and Promises is a charming story about appearances and love. Taking a fairy tale I knew very little about, Menon infuses new life within the St. Rosetta Academy’s walls. While I loved one of the POVs more than the other, I enjoyed Of Princes and Promises! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.

Summary

Caterina LaValle is determined to show she’s still the queen of St. Rosetta’s Academy. Sure, her crown may be slightly askew after her ex-boyfriend, Alaric, cheated on her, but she’s a LaValle. She’ll find a way to march right back in there, her hands clutching the strings to the whole puppet show. This time, she’s going to be untouchable.

Rahul Chopra knows that moment he shared with Caterina LaValle at the winter formal meant something. Surely she feels it, too. He’s a little uncertain how someone like him (socially inept to a point way past “adorkable”) could fit into her world, but he’s loved Caterina for years. He knows they’ll find a way.

When Caterina finds out Alaric is taking a supermodel to the upcoming gala, she knows she cannot arrive without the perfect date. But the thought of taking another superficial St. R’s boy exhausts her. The solution? Sweet-but-clueless Rahul Chopra and a mysterious pot of hair gel with the power to alter the wearer into whatever his heart desires.

When Rahul tries it, he transforms instantly into RC—debonair, handsome, and charming. But transformation comes with a price: As Rahul enjoys his new social standing, the line between his two personas begins to blur. Will he give up everything, including Caterina, to remain RC? Or will this unlikely pair find their way back to each other?

Review

(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: social anxiety

In Of Princes and Promises, my heart immediately went out to Rahul. Hopelessly in love, Rahul appealed to all my soft spots. Feeling like he doesn’t fit in, he is infatuated with Cat. Feeling like you’re ‘not enough’ for someone was so utterly relatable. How sometimes we wish there was just a magic spell to fit in. While I loved Rahul from the beginning, it took me a long time to get to know Cat. Motivated by jealously, she gives Rahul a makeover, almost trying to build herself a version of revenge.

I’m not going to lie, it took me a long time to warm up to Cat, just because I was instantly so empathetic towards Rahul and his own journey. How he’s trying so hard to be worthy of Cat’s love. And how that taste of fitting in, even if you have to bend a few rules and change a bit, can be so intoxicating. In many ways, his journey felt so close to questions, instances, and memories of my own. Of Princes and Promises is written in dual POV so, as readers, we can see the changing of opinions and hearts of both Rahul and Cat.

We are able to see the sides of Cat she hides from others. The ways that Rahul changes the ways Cat sees her own life. And the ways in which Rahul’s relationship with Cat allows him to see himself differently. While I ended up understanding more of Cat, I still love Rahul’s POV, especially as I think it had the most character development. If you’re interested in reading about a journey of self-acceptance, Of Princes and Promises is way more emotional than I thought it’d be. Overall, it’s an entertaining read, in a fabulous series, that explores what happens when you let your ‘glow up’ become the new you.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Find Of Princes and Promises on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.

Discussion

Do you have a favorite “Frog Prince” retelling?


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