Hello all, and welcome back to another review. I am so excited to tell you about my experience with Evangeline’s novella King Beatrice, a beautiful coming of age story about two kids finding out who they are and their places in life. So, let’s get into it, shall we?
Okay, can we first talk about this stunning cover? It’s gorgeous, I can’t get over all the details and coloring. Every time I look at it, I just smile. The cover for any book, whether it be a cookbook, self-help, YA, anything, is always a vital aspect because, like it or not, we judge books by their covers. Evangeline’s cover does a superb job of balancing out intrigue with mystery, combing the title with the picture. We see this girl with vivid blue eyes and a flower crown, surrounded by all this foliage, but she’s called King Beatrice. Why is she a king? Of course, in this day and age everyone’s super accepting, but it’s this exact question that lures the readers into the story. Which leads me to the next important thing; the plot and the characters.
Plot wise, I enjoyed the story. It was short, sweet, and the pacing is laid out well where the reader doesn’t feel bombarded with information or confused over too little of the stuff. The idea is fresh for me, as a reader, since I rarely read coming of age books or novellas. This added interest to the story since it gives the reader a fresh perspective. What’s even better is that we’re introduced to these two characters, Alex and Beatrice, when they’re still children at twelve. This makes it a little difficult to connect with them, except through memories of my childhood and running around imagining grand adventures. This part of the novella was cute and quirky, reading along as the two children met one another; however, it doesn’t last long, and we’re soon hopping to five years in the future where they’re both seventeen, and Evangeline does this very well. I say this because one of my favorite parts about Evangeline starting the book where they’re younger is that, as we read, we picture these two kids, grown up, in high school, still messing around and being best friends. It’s a skillful way to transition from one part of the story to the next.
Speaking of characters, let’s shift this and focus to Alex and Beatrice. Both were easy characters to relate to and become invested in. I especially connected more with Beatrice as I have my own struggles with depression and anxiety. To have this connection with a character is so important for a story, and ultimately can make or break the reading experience. I wanted to know how she was doing and what would become of her. Would she be the strong King who ruled the kingdom in the woods, or would she unfortunately succumb to her depression? The text does a great job of pulling the reader along. There’s also the fact that, because this is a coming-of-age novella, it has some brilliant advice and truths that I think all of us could relate to.
“Beatrice smiled and took his hand. ‘My point is, I see you. I see how you see others. You immediately find the bad in them without giving them the chance. There are assholes, people like Brady Johnson, for example. However, I think people would surprise you if you watched them differently. Watch how their eyes light up when they speak about their passions. Watch how wide their smiles get when they see the person they love. I’d just hate for you to miss out on really wonderful experiences.'” — King Beatrice
This is something I love seeing in books, because it really shows how a character changes, or can change, through the course of the plot and the challenges they stumble on and ultimately overcome. King Beatrice is chock full of these eye opening, and heart-warming moments, so I can definitely say you won’t regret picking it up. I will say, however, that the start of the book had a few shaky moments, so let’s move onto that.
The first thing I noted that was most obvious was the third person choice. While it works for the book, the author didn’t have a firm grasp on third-person omniscient, which is what they’re going for through most of the novella. Rather; it was a more quick back and forth with third-person limited, which makes things confusing for the reader as one moment we’re following Alex, and the next we’re suddenly in the head of Beatrice. As the story progresses, I found that Evangeline seemed to shift away from this try at omniscient and stick more with limited, which improved the entire reading experience.
The second thing I noted, and this was minor, was a moment in the book where a twelve-year-old instantly diagnosed another twelve-year-old with Phantasmagoria. I understand that Alex is this super smart and somewhat advanced kid for his age, but the mere thought of this young boy just instantly coming up with it out of nowhere is very hard to get behind. It pulled me out of the immersion of the text.
With all that that being said, I really did enjoy reading King Beatrice so, if you’re also interested in checking it out, you can find your copy of the novella on Amazon! If you’re interested in learning more about the author, check out Evangelines author page. Until next time!
All the best.