Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon

  • Book Information
  • Author Information
  • Review
  • End

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trigger Warnings: negligent parents, social anxiety, allergic reaction, hospital visit, kidnapping, stalking, gaslighting

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fairytale Retelling

Publication date:  8th June, 2021

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Synopsis (taken from Storygraph)

Caterina LaValle is determined to show she’s still the queen of St. Rosetta’s Academy. Sure, her crown may be slightly askew after her ex-boyfriend, Alaric, cheated on her, but she’s a LaValle. She’ll find a way to march right back in there, her hands clutching the strings to the whole puppet show. This time, she’s going to be untouchable.

Rahul Chopra knows that moment he shared with Caterina LaValle at the winter formal meant something. Surely she feels it, too. He’s a little uncertain how someone like him (socially inept to a point way past “adorkable”) could fit into her world, but he’s loved Caterina for years. He knows they’ll find a way.

When Caterina finds out Alaric is taking a supermodel to the upcoming gala, she knows she cannot arrive without the perfect date. But the thought of taking another superficial St. R’s boy exhausts her. The solution? Sweet-but-clueless Rahul Chopra and a mysterious pot of hair gel, with the power to alter the wearer into whatever his heart desires.

When Rahul tries it, he transforms instantly into RC—debonair, handsome, and charming. But transformation comes with a price: As Rahul enjoys his new social standing, the line between his two personas begins to blur. Will he give up everything, including Caterina, to remain RC? Or will this unlikely pair find their way back to each other?

Author Bio: Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of several novelswith lots of kissing, girl power, and swoony boys. Her books have been featured in many cool places, including on The Today Show, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, NPR, Seventeen, Entertainment Weekly, and Buzzfeed. Two of her books have won the Colorado Book Award, and her Dimpleverse series was turned into a hit TV show with Netflix India. A full-time dog servant, Sandhya makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado.


**** As part of Sandhya Menon’s street team, this review is to promote the book during release week. A physical ARC was provided for an honest review. ****

First things first: it’s Of Princesa and Promises release week and every member of the review team has posted about the book so go ahead and check out their posts!

The graphic to the left was made by Latesha who can be found at bookishgirlmagic. ALSOOOO I was quite chuffed to make the tour banner at the very top of this post plus some IG variations. If you see thematically similar ones floating around instagram ehhehe that’s my work 🙂

On to the review!!!

Y’all probably know I’m a big Sandhya Menon fan since Dimple and Rishi came out. I’m slowly building up to having one full shelf dedicated to Sandhya Menon (and Lily Menon) books only and we’re DELICIOUSLY close to achieving that!!

Of Princes and Promises is the next installment in the Rosetta Academy books of YA fairytale retellings set in an elite boarding school. Each book follows a classic we all know and love; Of Curses and Kisses was Beauty and the Beast and this one is The Frog Prince. I’m obsessed with this narrative concept especially because these are technically contemporary if not for that one little pinch of magic thrown in that makes this entire series fall under the fabulism genre. Idk there’s something about a little bit of pixie dust that really makes these books so so special.

Our main characters, Caterina and Rahul, are an unlikely pair. Caterina’s the resident ice queen and Rahul’s the resident anxiety ridden personification of foot in mouth disease. They’d be absolutely wrong for each other except the vulnerable moment Caterina shared with Rahul at the winter ball made it evidently clear that Caterina’s much more than a frigid popular girl. I’m a big fan of deconstructing the mean girl trope especially because your classic 2000s tv shows and movies always made these girls so flat. Sandhya Menon does a wonderful job of giving purpose to the cold exterior personality and develops Caterina’s character by having her get more comfortable with vulnerability as she interacts more and more with Rahul.

Rahul’s SUCHHH a sweetheart. He’s such a moony little heart-eyed baby. The softest ❤ <3. It was fun to read his quick little makeover montage, especially the etiquette part because damn a good handshake and table manners are really important lol. I was also quite thrilled at the inversion of the prince>frog>prince trope. Rahul’s makeover turns him into RC who’s suave and debonair and knows how to hold himself in a crowd. Externally he checks all the boxes but his personality is very much that of a toad and I was very amused and also very pleased by that. The idea that people pleasing is not going to build long-lasting and meaningful relationships is so well conveyed through his transformation and return!

The plot mostly hinged on character development plus our well known fairytale but it didn’t feel empty like some books do when they’re character heavy. In fact I felt like the focus on characters really allowed their development to shine through. This also allowed for a clearer comprehension of the themes. You see some really flawed characters grow and you see some really wholesome folks find home in themselves. You also see people who made mistakes and continue to make mistakes. In my opinion, the characters’ ability to shine and keep your attention is what makes this book SUCH an incredible read.

Oh and the plot twist and climax scene???? CHEFS KISS. We love a little Bollywood drama :))))

Please go do yourselves a favour and give this book a purchase/request from your library! Come back and leave me your thoughts!!!

See ya :]

2 thoughts on “Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon

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