The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright

heir and spare

Synopsis from GoodreadsFor American Evie Gray, finding out her deceased mother had a secret identity, and not one of the caped crusader variety, was quite the surprise. Evie’s mom had a secret life before she was even born, one that involved tiaras. In this modern day fairytale, Evie is on a path to figure out who her mom really was, while discovering for herself what the future will hold. At Oxford, Evie stumbles upon a real life prince charming, Edmund Stuart the second Prince of England, who is all too happy to be the counterpart to her damsel in distress. When Evie uncovers all the facts about her mom’s former life, she realizes her mom’s past can open doors she never dreamed possible, doors that can help her be with Edmund.

Feelings: I’d heard people say that if you liked The Princess Diaries  books/movie and the movie The Prince and Me, then you’d love this book. I like both of those other princess stories, and while I was ok-ish with this book, it certainly wasn’t flawless.

Within the first few pages, I thought I would enjoy this book. The main character loves Jane Austen, reads Anne of Green Gables, talks Doctor Who, and watches You’ve Got Mail. I could identify with Evie many times throughout the story…maybe not about dating a prince, but you know…some other, more normal things, like our interests. But that’s as far as I was able to understand Evie. 

Issues: There were far too many elements that just fell into place. There were some things that were just too easy. For the sake of being spoiler-free, I’m just going to leave it at that. Books need struggle and mountain climbing sometimes. 

Another issue I had with this book was the complete lack of character development. Evie is the same person on the first page that she was on the last, really. She’s naive, she doesn’t think things through, and she’s the source of a few stupid conflicts. If she had learned from her mistakes and changed even in the slightest, I would have been on Team Evie. She just annoyed me for most of the book. And the back and forth, push and pull between her and Edmund was a bit much. A little uncertainty is realistic, but they just kept getting into scraps solely based on lack of communication. Come on, people.

Characters: Evie was living my dream in this book. The only thing I really enjoyed about this story was imagining myself in Evie’s shoes. She shows up at Oxford and makes an instant group of great friends, does well in her classes, and meets a literal Prince Charming. Sign me up. (See what I mean by everything falling into place?) As I said before, my issue with Evie was that she didn’t listen to those around her, she just flew off the handle. She needed to stop jumping to conclusions, making rash decisions, and just LISTEN.

I don’t know how I feel about Edmund. In my head…I imagined him looking like William Moseley, which I’m in no way complaining about. As a character, though, he was pushy and immature. He needed to make up his dang mind and I wanted to tell him to grow up a large number of times. Not a great love interest and certainly not a Prince Charming. 

The friend gang was so great. I was a little thrown off by Preston at first, but I really liked him by the end. I think each of their friends brought something different and unique to the whole group. I read online that the sequel to this book focuses on Preston, so I’m really excited for that.

Final thoughts: For a debut novel, I’d fist bump Emily Albright for effort. Interesting premise, different from the books it’s being compared to, and an overall okay read. If you’re wanting a book that you don’t want to analyze for depth or complexity, just a quick good-ish read, then look no further. If it hadn’t been for me wanting to live Evie’s life, I probably wouldn’t have cared for this book at all. 

Pick this up if you liked:

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

The Price and Me movie(s)

Goodreads rating: 3.5/5 rating: 4.1/5

My rating: 3/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn


6 thoughts on “The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright

  1. I read this book a while ago and actually gave it one star – I thought the whole thing was vapid and the characters were frustrating, haha. I’m glad you liked it more than I did, though! I guess I have no interest in living Evie’s life at all so it was just a… dissatisfying story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get that! I think I gave it more credit than it deserved, but like I said…I was imagining myself in her shoes (probably doing some things differently haha). I’m sure if I read it again, I’d see a different story unfold.


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