Where to begin? So conflicted. I wavered between a four and a four point five all through writing this review.
First of all, I adored Ledi. She's amazing and wonderful and kickass and all the good things in life.
I loved the humor, like the puns: "not Ledi-like" and the way the book starts out with emails that seem straight out of the Nigerian prince scam.
I really really loved how Thesolo is forward and modern and all those good things that "brown countries" usually don't get to be in Romancelandia.
I wasn't as big of a fan of Thabiso. He made some choices that I couldn't get behind and despite appreciating how much he loves Ledi, it was still difficult for me. I have an especial loathing for men who lie, and Thabiso didn't exactly have particularly good reasons for his lies. His assistant Liktotsi, who is there to "make sure he retains his honor", is one shining beacon in the mess, however, and Thabiso does mostly manage to redeem himself. It does help that he, as Ledi put it, looks at her with Disney prince levels of awe. To be clear, he was the reason for the wavering, although there was another aspect that made the story difficult to read for me: Ledi goes through a lot. She's not the stereotypical Cinderella found by a prince, but she is beaten up by life. A lot.
Note: not beaten, but beaten up.
I recognize the truth in her life, how difficult it is as a brown woman with no family in a STEM field, but it made the story hard to process for me. I found myself wrenching between grief and rage often, which is a testament to how well she's written and how much truth is in her story.
Gorgeously written, funny, and with a solid heart - A Princess in Theory is the first book I've read by Alyssa Cole, but it won't be the last. I'm looking forward to what's next.
From acclaimed author Alyssa Cole comes the tale of a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise . . .
Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.
Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.
The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?