The Prince & The Apocalypse

Wednesday Bks. Jul. 2023. 320p. Tr $24. ISBN 9781250873040; pap. $12. ISBN 9781250873064.
Gr 9 Up–The apocalypse meets cute royal romance in this fast-moving novel. Eighteen-year-old Wren’s senior trip to London has derailed from her carefully planned itinerary, starting with a stomach virus. Then she crosses paths with Prince Theo, heir to the British throne, and helps him escape the paparazzi—and kisses him. When she later finds out the world will end in eight days due to a massive comet crashing into Earth, she calls him, hoping he can help her get home to Chicago. Theo, on the run from the palace, promises to get her home if she accompanies him to Santorini where his family has a home and plane. So begins a romp of a trip through Europe dodging passport control, hopping trains, stealing a car, rescuing a dog, and more—all while everyone is on the lookout for the rogue prince to get the reward his mother, the Queen, has promised for finding him. Wren and Theo get closer with every passing day (each chapter begins with a countdown to the comet strike), and everything seems plausible in the chaos of the end of the world. While mostly light with fun banter, the narrative, told from Wren’s perspective, hits on real issues of grief and impending loss. Theo, who lives with untreated clinical depression, has disdain for his privileged life and struggles with the expectations of his mother. Wren and Theo are white; Theo’s best friend, Will, has a boyfriend.
VERDICT Readers who like a dose of adventure with their romance will devour this page-turner (and hope for a sequel). Recommended for YA collections.

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