Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud: An #OwnVoices Royalty Romance Great for Younger Readers

There’s a total dearth of diverse royalty romance in YA, and I’m so excited that Truly Madly Royally exists because it’s so well needed and just an adorable read in general.

It’s definitely good for a younger YA audience–totally appropriate for middle school up–as it’s super fluffy and cute. I think some older readers may scorn it, but I think Truly Madly Royally has the potential to get a lot of younger readers hooked onto YA.

With an adorable story, lots of light fluff, and #OwnVoices black rep (not a black pain/issue book), Truly Madly Royally brings a lot of wonderful things to the table and is something that the YA landscape needs more of–especially in libraries.

This is fluff to the extreme + a strong heroine.

And I have zero regrets.

Fluff is totally not a bad thing, and this was filled with adorable cute moments between Zora and her princely love interest Owen, as well as a lot of tropey goodness. From royalty romance to switched cell phones, this doesn’t hold back on the trope loveliness. And I relished in the experience.

This book is primarily a joy-bringer, and I love that. More serious and hard-hitting books have their place, but seeing a fluffy story, and one with a black protagonist, get published is wonderful and I hope this gets more hype.

It’s enjoyable and cute and has enough angst and plot to pull you in, but nothing to take away from the cuteness.

Owen was bland. #sorrynotsorry

I admit that the main reason why I didn’t enjoy this as much as I could have was because Owen was just not my favorite love interest. And this totally could be in part because I’m older now and I’m more picky about my love interests, but he was just so . . . cookie cutter.

I felt like for a prince he was just very basic and he didn’t have a really memorable personality or a lot of chemistry with Zora despite being a generally nice guy and a prince. I wish we got to see a little more development on his side, because ultimately I felt like the story fell flat in some ways because of him.

Zora was an incredible character though, and she had so much fire and spunk and determination, I loved it. She went after her goals and was focused and generally awesome and a great role model. She definitely has her flaws, but still has a lot of character and strength to her, which I loved.

Truly Madly Royally has a lot of lower YA appeal.

The potential Truly Madly Royally has to bring in more YA lovers is something I have a lot of faith in. I know a lot of adults might scorn this, but it really is an appealing group to middle school and I think this is a really important group to cater to with YA, which is such a huge genre.

It’s fluffy, it’s something that parents won’t gatekeep, and it brings rep to the table in familiar tropes. I think it’s a good intro and something we should be welcoming in YA to help expand the readership and get more kids into reading.

Overall, would recommend as a book to hand to younger YA readers!

If there’s one place I want to buy this, I really want libraries to stock copies of this and get them in the hands of readers. Seriously, share it.

Although it had places that didn’t hit perfectly, I think Truly Madly Royally is a well-needed addition to the YA genre and an overall adorable read.

3.5 stars

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Zora wants to change the world and a prestigious summer program at Halstead University is just a stepping stone along the way. She might feel isolated from her mostly privileged and white classmates, but then she meets Owen.

Owen is funny, charming, cute–and also a prince of an island country off the coast of England. Zora will have to sort out her sense of self in two different worlds–hers and Owen’s–and see if her feelings will survive through the chaos.

add to goodreads here

Thank you so much to I Read YA & Scholastic for sending me an early finished copy in exchange for an honest review!

What diverse royalty romance would you recommend? (Not Red, White, & Royal Blue, heh!)

6 thoughts on “Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud: An #OwnVoices Royalty Romance Great for Younger Readers

  1. Omg a diverse royalty YA!!! love it. Shame to hear the love interest isn’t too noteworthy, but still, omg!


  2. i loved this review, vicky! ever since reading rwrb ive realized i love royalty books? i’m planning on reading her royal highness soon and i def will read truly madly royally cause not only does it sound cute af but i want to support books with black main characters and black authors!


  3. This sounds so cute and I do love fluffy, trope-filled books sometimes, so I might get it despite it being a better fit for younger audiences. The one thing that does give me a pause is the love interest, Owen – you’re not the only one I’ve seen mention that he’s bland, which is obviously disappointing. Either way, I loved reading your review. 🙂


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