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  1. 1. Sam! It wasn’t until I finished the book that I actually realized it though. I am the younger sister, Sam and I share many of the same personality traits, I love how Nina described her when she first met Sam as “a storm of kinetic energy”. It’s how my sister would describe me, but I always just felt like a storm that wrecked things and that was how Sam felt too. She was sort of all over the place, determined in the most random ways, ready for fun, not afraid to speak her mind but had a hard time comparing herself to her sister.

    The funniest part was in the middle of the book I was SO sick of Sam, she was only concerned for herself and not considering what others were going through. I realized I did not like that side of her because it reminded me of my least favorite tendency I can have and get frustrated at myself for.

    I loved her revelation near the end in the conversation with her father, she realized she should have been Beatrice’s “most thoughtful critic, but also her fiercest champion.” The character development of Sam was my favorite and was truly a coming of age character.

    2. It was SO glamorous! In my imagination Sam and Nina walking into the wardrobe was so fun to imagine. Also, learning a new history of America and the family was so interesting.

    3. I love Teddy, and her parents are right he is the type of person America would want. But, I just can’t imagine forcing myself to love someone who I just don’t or marry my friend. I do think Beatrice following her gut and stubbornness (which is what her dad told her to do in the hospital) to marry a commoner could be beneficial for the entire country. Her dad answered the letters so the people can feel heard and having a commoner her husband could be politically a good move as well as following her heart.

    It broke my heart when her dad said that all his father heart wants is for her to marry someone she loves.

  2. 1. beatrice! not in the pleasing your parents way but i’ve ALWAYS been a goodie girl and teachers pet and my siblings used to get upset with me for that. i loved the idea of beatrice breaking out of her shell

    2. ooh! i absolutely loved the classic vibe. i really am so enthralled by royalty and the concept of royalty, so it was so fun seeing that be so practical. i loved how everything was true, like real cities and real names of past legends. i also loved the spin off, & the history twists

    3. i am 100% team TEDDY!! Idk why. i’m obsessed. Connor is fine but i agreed with the king that you fall in love, and i don’t think connor is responsible at ALL by being her guard and consistently risking her safety and reputation by not guarding, being in her bed, sneaking around i think he really let go of his “revere guard” morals and promises. i also think teddy is just so true and good for her and constantly wants what’s best

  3. 1. Beatrice, definitely. As an only child, I can relate to the expectations that parents and family have.

    2. Probably the various little details about each state, like the various dukes and duchesses and how DC was the metropolitan hub.

    3. Honestly, I don’t blame her for the choices she made. But I would probably be more honest with Teddy and her father about Connor if I was her, that is, before she found out her dad had cancer. I mean, how do you tell your dying father you don’t love the man he wants you to be with?

  4. I found myself identifying with Nina, but I’m not sure why. Maybe just being thrust into something without the “proper upbringing”

    I love this version of fictional America. The comparisons in the story with other monarchs in the world was really interesting to me.

    I would like to say I’d pick Conner over the Crown, but honestly, I’d probably play it safe, which breaks my heart for her.

  5. 1. Which character did you identify with the most?

    I think I saw parts of each of the female characters I appreciated, how B struggles finding her voice with the pressure of her duty, how N feels like she will never be enough, and how S is learning how to use her unapologetic boldness to champion those around her. I wish there hadn’t been overlap between Nina and Daphne because I had a hard time completely getting behind the female leads.

    2. What cultural details of McGee’s “new America” were your favorites?
    I hope in the sequel we get to learn even more about the history but I love the story of Aunt Margaret. I also enjoyed how she mixed in current day schools and locations and brought them through… and the subtle reminders such as the cherry pie.

    3. Knowing what you know now, what choice or choices would you make if you were Beatrice?
    I don’t want to see Beatrice sacrifice the crown for Connor even though I am completely Team Connor. He reminds me of Queen Victoria’s husband. I wish she was honest with Teddy and that we could learn more about Connor’s back story. I am hoping she will be able to find her strength as a leader/sister/friend first and have resolution with her hunky bodyguard naturally 🙂

  6. 1. Which character did you identify with the most?
    Beatrice, 100%. I’m a rule-follower. HA!

    2. What cultural details of McGee’s “new America” were your favorites?
    I loved that the states were actual countries and had their own royalty. So interesting!

    3. Knowing what you know now, what choice or choices would you make if you were Beatrice?
    Team Connor (and also Team Nina for Jeff–I need the sequel!)

  7. 1. Team Sam

    2. & 3. I’m going way off book here, but I was super confused and disappointed with the ending. It was abrupt with no closure on Connor v. Teddy, if Daphne is ever caught, Nina & Sam, Nina & Jeff. Is there a sequel to answer all of these questions?!

    Also, I was frustrated the whole time with Nina and B because they seemed to make everything unnecessarily dramatic and complicated. Nina just rolled over, and B could have been honest from the beginning.

  8. JUST finished the book and itching to discuss my feelings about it!

    1. Which character did you identify with the most?

    I would say I’m a little bit Beatrice and a little bit Nina.

    2. What cultural details of McGee’s “new America” were your favorites?

    I thought it was cool how McGee painted the picture of what America would be like if we had a monarchy. She did a fantastic job of portraying how important the monarchy’s history was for the country.

    3. Knowing what you know now, what choice or choices would you make if you were Beatrice?

    I would’ve thrown out tradition and chosen Connor. Team Connor ALL. THE. WAY!

  9. 1. Which character did you identify with the most?
    Definitely Beatrice. I identify with Beatrice’s sense of duty and wanting to do the right thing. I think I would have handled her situation the exact same way that she did; struggling with her love for Connor, but ultimately choosing family and duty over personal desire. I can’t wait to see what happens, if she is able to be with him in the end, or if she even ends up abandoning the throne.

    2. What cultural details of McGee’s “new America” were your favorites?
    All of the little details are what made this book for me. I loved reading about some of the alternate leaders, and events of America, and even the rest of the world, if monarchies were still in power. I loved also how you got a sense of the politics of it, without it going overboard or feeling “political.” I lent my book to a friend so I can’t put in the exact quote, but at one point there is a discussion of how a monarchy is so strong because they have the true good of the country in mind, and are not partisan, or out for their own interests, like politicians can be. Without getting too political, I think that is an interesting perspective. Someone below said it reminded them of the Crown, and I have to agree. I saw so many parallels between Beatrice, and Queen Elizabeth, and how she wants to do the right thing for the country. Something that I do wonder about, is besides for Nina, whose family is still well connected, we don’t get to see a lot of the perspective of the “common” people, other than that they would prefer a king over a queen, and how they are obsessed with the royal family.
    I also liked the discussion of the role of the media, which made me connect to a lot of what we see online with the royal family in the UK. I get very upset with all of these tabloid articles basically ripping apart members of the royal family, particularly it seems the Duchess of Sussex, and it really made me think of that as well.

    3. Knowing what you know now, what choice or choices would you make if you were Beatrice?
    I’d love to say I’d abandon everything for true love, but in the wake of her father’s death and everything she is dealing with, I think I would kind of “chicken out” and do my best to fill that role and stay with Teddy. I’m not sure I could handle the negative scrutiny of making any other choice. I think dream scenario though, is Sam on the throne with Teddy, and Beatrice and Connor get to be together, but that seems too simple somehow.

  10. 1. I loved this book! I don’t know that I identified with characters so much as just truly enjoyed them. Of all the characters, I actually found Teddy pretty intriguing. He parallels Beatrice in that he’s doing what is best for someone else (His family, not his country in his case) but not what his heart wants. And yet despite the circumstances, he seems to be charming and genuine with Beatrice – I think he sincerely cares about her even if he doesn’t love her. I do hope he ends up with Sam! I keep hoping the sequel twists somehow that Sam gets Teddy and the crown!

    2. I enjoyed so many of the royal details regarding protocol. As I read, I wondered how much is actually true for the British royal family. My favorite part and details where when Beatrice became queen and everyone was bowing/curtsying to her – like everyone knew this protocol in the moment. And, as mentioned before, the cherry tree and coffee details were amusing.

    3. I appreciated that the King pointed out it wasn’t so much that it was prejudice against a non-royal as it was also thinking about how hard it would be for Beatrice not only as the first female monarch AND having a “commoner” for a spouse. Loved the twist too that the king also was in love with someone else at one time. I am #teamconnor for Beatrice and #teamteddy for Sam! I want them to end up together!

    I loved this book! I stayed up until almost 3 a.m. on Saturday to finish it!

  11. 1. I’m the oldest child and definitely identify with Beatrice! My middle sister is 100% Sam, too. It was funny to me how much we relate to each of them.

    2. I loved all the fun little details about “royal America.” I especially liked hearing the different familiar cities mentioned…

    3. Team Connor for Beatrice and Teddy for Sam! I just want everyone to have their fairy tale happy ending. Dying that we have to wait for book 2!

  12. 1. Which character did you identify with the most?
    Beatrice! I’ve always been a rule follower and I’m the oldest child!

    2. What cultural details of McGee’s “new America” were your favorites?
    The coffee not tea thing was fun and the descriptions about how Mount Vernon had changed were really interesting. I actually just toured Mount Vernon last month so it was still fresh in my mind when reading this book and it was fun to imagine the changes.

    3. Knowing what you know now, what choice or choices would you make if you were Beatrice?
    Ugh if this were real life I know I’d follow protocol not my heart. But, since this is fiction and I like to escape reality a bit when reading, I’d definitely follow my heart. I’ll be very upset if Beatrice doesn’t end up with Connor!

  13. 1. Which character did you identify with the most?
    I absolutely identify with Beatrice. I’m an only child so I feel like a lot of the pressures she faces were things I have faced as well.

    2. What cultural details of McGee’s “new America” were your favorites?

    I truly loved the details about how the government worked and the facts about other royal classifications

    3. Knowing what you know now, what choice or choices would you make if you were Beatrice?
    I want her to pick Connor- but being the rule follower that I am I never would.

  14. 1. Which character did you identify with the most?

    I identified most with Sam, because growing up my family never expected much of me and just figured I would get by on my good looks but I have my own business and I’m very passionate about my brand. I think it surprised my family that I took such an interest in my independence and my business similar to Sam’s family. When I was younger I would play up this role for shock and attention also similar to Sam.

    2. What cultural details of McGee’s “new America” were your favorites?

    I was very interested in how they renamed states and the country was more divided by region. I’d love to see a map of this ‘new America’.

    3. Knowing what you know now, what choice or choices would you make if you were Beatrice?

    I think she should have been transparent from the beginning and developed her relationship with Connor. I think if she had been honest from the start the American people would have been accepting, they always loved her after all and I don’t think falling in love with your guard is really THAT salacious.

  15. 1. Definitely Beatrice! I’m an oldest child and following the rules and pleasing my parents growing up was a huge thing for me.

    2. I loved deciphering which Dukedoms and Kingdoms correlated to which states and hearing about how other countries’ histories were altered because America did not become a democracy.

    3. Well I am team Beatrice + Connor BUT knowing what we know, if I were her and had all the details I probably would have toed the party line.

  16. 1. Which character did you identify with the most? Maybe not “identify with” but I found Sam’s character to be the most intriguing and fun to follow.

    2. What cultural details of McGee’s “new America” were your favorites? I was fascinated with all the other dukes and regions of the country. I thought that was a really fun detail. I also thought the press moment in Telluride was very reminiscent of the British Royal family since they have had a similar structure with the media (or at least that’s what the Hallmark movies about their lives have led me to believe!)

    3. Knowing what you know now, what choice or choices would you make if you were Beatrice? I’m totally Team Connor because he broke her out of her shell, but I also think the pressures of the royal family would have lead me down the same path as Beatrice. It’s hard to be disloyal to your family.

  17. 1. BEATRICE. SO MUCH BEATRICE!

    2. I loved how she blended what we know of politicians in the media with Royalty. Like the tabloids about Jeff/Nina/Daphne and press conferences before the family’s vacation time. It was very cool to see how it blended and ebbed from what we consider traditional to something even more important as a royal.

    3. Oh dear God, TEAM CONNOR. That garden scene broke my heart. Leave Teddy for Sam and please follow your heart not your country, Bee! Fingers crossed that book 2 gives me much needed closure!

  18. 1) Beatrice. Eldest daughter’s club. Also, it may be because my husband and I are currently re-watching season one of The Crown, but Beatrice felt VERY Princess Elizabeth to me. I’m curious if anyone else got that vibe. I really, really enjoyed her characterization.

    2) I LOVED the world building. The alternate history, the coffee, the cherries, the government; it was so logical but clever. I don’t know if I could pick a specific detail. I thought it was a brilliant touch that since the American Revolution didn’t create a republic, it didn’t become the example to other countries and the rest of the monarchies around the world remained intact. I loved that each year new nobles were named- that felt very ‘American Dream: Royal Edition’ to me. The intro cracked me up. Some made up word like “President”. Good lord, I loved this book.

    3) I kept picturing Brant Daughtery as Connor (ANYONE ELSE?!), so I want to say #teamconnor, but honestly, I probably would have played it safe, too. I can’t wait for book two.

  19. 1. Which character did you identify with the most?

    Ugh, honestly Beatrice, Sam, and Nina!! Can I say all three. I felt connected to all of them.

    2. What cultural details of McGee’s “new America” were your favorites?

    I loved the different states bing their own countries or regions. Also, the note about only drinking coffee not tea was so funny!

    3. Knowing what you know now, what choice or choices would you make if you were Beatrice?

    I’m fully team Connor.

  20. 1. Which character did you identify with the most?
    • I don’t think I identified with her most but I began to understand how complicated Daphne was. It was very regency-era for her parents to push her onto the prince but she also used it to her advantage. She made bad choices but I also felt she was u see an incredible amount of pressure.

    2. What cultural details of McGee’s “new America” were your favorites?
    •I thought it was very I retreating to hear about the other dukes and whatnot. The idea that because America didn’t become a democratic republic the rest of the world didn’t was very intriguing. I enjoyed the tidbits of how it had a global impact. I also thought it was great having the family’s getaway be Telluride.

    3. Knowing what you know now, what choice or choices would you make if you were Beatrice?
    •I think Beatrice should’ve been honest from the start about her feelings for Conner. However, I also think she should have taken him out of her guard once she knew she had feelings. She knew what was expected and set her own trap for herself.

  21. 1. Which character did you identify with the most?
    Beatrice. 1,000000%!

    2. What cultural details of McGee’s “new America” were your favorites?
    The fact that DC was the metropolitan hub was so interesting to me! Also, the coffee!

    3. Knowing what you know now, what choice or choices would you make if you were Beatrice?
    I would like to say I would have chosen Connor but I probably would have played it safe and followed the rules!

    I adored this book! Is it too soon to read again?!

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