Did you know Freeform has a book imprint directed towards millennial readers? (VERY Hilary-Duff-on-Younger.) They’ve released a few books at this point, and one of them is Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl. It follows sixteen-year-old Bentley Royce, the younger sister of a Kardashian-esque reality TV royal family. She is surrounded by her younger brother Maybach, older sister (arguably the Kim of this family) Porsche, and momager Mercedes. The show’s been on a ratings decline and cancellation eminent. However, Bentley couldn’t be happier and she sees freedom ahead, along with the possibility of going to college sans cameras. When she starts to see that her family will crumble, she realizes that bringing the show back is the only way to save her family, even though it’s her worst nightmare. And then a car goes off a cliff for some reason?
Where do I begin? One of the biggest reasons a book can annoy me is a bad organization method and this book has just that. The book has normal chapters, then has press releases from TV networks and entertainment news sites. Along with that, every page has footnotes written by an executive producer of some sort that I still don’t understand. Footnotes in narrative books are very difficult for me, as I never seem to pick up on the number the first read through, then I have to go back and skim to attempt to find the number and read the footnote.
On top of all that, every character has no real redeeming qualities. I’m still not one hundred percent sure why Bentley wants to save her family, as she hates them. Like, a lot. Understandably so, as Mercedes and Porsche seemingly have no redeeming qualities. They are so media hungry that everything else in their life is an afterthought. This includes family members. Mercedes is the same way and the things she does for ratings are insufferable in not a funny way, but a “I want her exiled” way. Maybach, her younger brother, is gay. Now, I appreciate the representation, but the way he speaks and acts makes no sense. He is younger than 16, but he acts like a 28 year old on Fire Island. Bentley herself hates everything about her media hungry family members and that her “life” is scripted, so why would she want to save them? It doesn’t add up.
I am a reality TV fan, but not the Kardashians or Real Housewives, so maybe it’s just my taste level hurt me in reading this. I also love a good YA novel, so who knows. I would rather you read something else over this, like The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle, if you’re looking for a YA novel with a smart use of the entertainment industry. Royce Rolls is not worth it.