Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Mess (Emma Grey, HarperCollins)
Author Emma Grey declares this gloriously soapy book an ‘unapologetic fairytale’. Grey has fun with classic fairytale elements as well as modern pop culture: indeed, the book features run-ins with royalty, a fallen-off shoe at a ball, and other completely unlikely events. Melbourne girl Tilly is in London for a PR internship on the back of her blog-writing. When she creates a royal mess at a ball thanks to an Insta-fail, she is saved by none other than Reuben Vaughan, the pop star that her teenage self adored. (Reuben just happens to be in the band first featured in Grey’s equally delightful YA debut Unrequited.) Naturally, the course of true love doesn’t run smooth for Tilly and Reuben, or any other characters, thanks to many misunderstandings and everyone’s higher motives. Under all the froth and bubbles, there’s some nice, meaty material for teenagers to dig into: Grey has created a heroine who deals with social anxiety and panic attacks. An aspiring writer, Tilly recognises her creativity is just as important as any man’s, and, as in many modern romances, this heroine is an independent woman who doesn’t need rescuing by a prince. A pleasurable escape for any teen looking for a can’t-put-downable, but not-dumbed-down read.
Lorien Kaye has been writing about books and the book industry for more than 20 years