Book in Review: Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl

Note: this book has nothing to do with Rolls Royce cars. Apparently.

Also, I just so happened to have this book added to my “Latest Reads” list, and it may or may not appear in future lists I create on the teen fiction/YA humorous genre… which, you all know is my favorite, and, well, I just wanna make sure everyone else reads it, too!

Now, I finished and put this book down for the last time about a month ago, so let me take a second to flip through my copy and recap before rehashing my thoughts, which, of course, will be both positive and negative in some fashion or another…

Ah, okay, yes—now I remember.

About the Book

In a nutshell, which we all know doesn’t cover the whole novel by any means… this is a teen fic comedy that follows Bentley Royce and her pop-culture famous Royce family. I mean, I would pretty much compare them to the Kardashians because it seems that they are… you know, famous for just being famous. But, the Royces are a fictitious family comprised of Bentley (whom the back of the book and Goodreads description both claim is 16, but every mention of her age in the story is 17… so, um…), the “trouble-maker” teen daughter, mother Mercedes (whom completely reminded me of Moira Rose of Schitt’s Creek… like, I could not remove the face of Catherine O’Hara from my mind every time I read of Mercedes Royce), older sister Porsche (who was meh, I guess), and younger CGB (“cute gay brother”—the book’s invention of words, not mine) Maybach. And it only took me 75% of the book’s reading to figure out that all characters were named after world-famous sports cars (completely my own blanking-out mind, though).

The Royces are all apart of a worldwide popular reality show called “Rolling with the Royces” (also, you know, uniquely much unlike “Keeping up with the Kardashians”…), and the show is just a set-up. Each family character has to play his/her own part, and every scene is completely scripted. Bentley is even given a “Bentley Bible” to keep in her room for reference so that she knows how to act in character both in and outside the show, like on social media.

Well, guess what? Bentley Royce doesn’t wanna be Bentley Royce anymore. Which sucks, seeing as how her only way out of the TV show is by going to college, a move entirely out of character for her… well, for her character. And that sucks, so what ensues throughout the book is a carefully planned way to get the show on the air for one more season (as ratings were in the toilet straight out the gate), and only one more season.

My Review

I have mixed feelings toward this novel, although I do think, all in all, they are mostly positive ones.

I was thoroughly confused from the beginning of reading, as per usual for me, though some things, I think, actually were confusing. As in, they’d be confusing for any reader, not just me. All of this came from the writing and editing styles, and you’ll understand what I mean if you take a look inside.

There are footers on a lot of pages throughout the whole book meant to serve as “producer notes” for the producer of the “Rolling with the Royces” show. Cool idea, I guess, but really odd to see on page 1 without any context for what show is even going on. Same goes for the use of e-mails and article posts as chapters—cool idea for small sections later in the book, but it threw me for a loop being used right away in the start. I mean, how am I supposed to know who ddaniels@lifespan.com and jgrunburg@lifespan.com is and why I should care about what they have to say in a virtual message before anything even happens?

And, okay, this is getting kind of picky on my part, but there were a lot of different names or references for each character used in the first narrative chapter (meaning when things are told in regular form—no e-mails or text posts), which confused me to no end. For example, Bentley is called Bentley, Bent, and B… and her brother, Maybach, is also called Bach and B. So, when they’re sitting there calling each other “B” on and on… how can you follow the convo remembering who is who? Again, I know it’s a bit picky because it doesn’t mix them up often in scenes, but it still bugged me.

This story is funny, though, and there were at least a handful of parts where I caught myself laughing out loud. The one I remember the most would be the scene with the duck—where Mercedes unleashes it, and it flaps all over a bunch of outdoor tables before falling off the side of the building. Haha. Man, you just had to be there…

I also found myself highly appreciating some of the comedic writing styles implemented in Royce Rolls. Which, by that, I mean… I thought it was funny to read lines like, “Somebody has to do something to save our family’s neck. Our neck and our show and our house–not to mention a factory full of lip gloss in Shenzhen.” and, “High Concept: Mercedes goes back to the trailer park and revives TRASHPIRATIONAL. (Possibly. It would depend on the statute of limitations on money laundering. And also if the town had a hotel now, aside from the one in the gas station where Mercedes had allegedly given birth to Porsche.)”

The comedic writing styles also remind me of… oh, I don’t know, just a little funny YA book I wrote myself, named What Now, Emma Lenford?

But, self-promo aside, I rest my case.

Kari’s Final Thoughts

(You know, like Jerry’s Final Thoughts… Jerry Springer reference, anyone?)

Royce Rolls is a book worth checking out. I’m glad I read it, and it did make me laugh. Personally, I felt a couple of hiccups in the writing and editing styles, especially in the beginning of the book, but I got over it and I think everyone else probably will, too.

Let me know, of course, if you have read this book yourself, or if you plan to now, and what you think/thought!

–Kari

P.S… Follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading/reviewing next!

One thought on “Book in Review: Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl

  1. Pingback: Another Book in Review: Ask Again Later by Jill A. Davis – Kari Lynn M.

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