Carina Axelsson, Royal Rebel

Usborne, 2019, ISBN 978-1474942409

Lily loves fashion and loves vlogging about it. Her Tiara Girl postings are getting more and more views. She spends lots of time thinking up each vlog, often when she should be concentrating on her school lessons, and particularly enjoys involving her pet dog and guinea pig, dressing them up to match her costumes, accessories and hairstyles. But there's a problem. Lily is not the normal teenager she longs to be. She is in fact Her Royal Highness Lillian Athena Isabella Marie, the Crown Princess of Waldenburg. She is about to turn fourteen and is being trained in the etiquette required of the future queen. It is certainly not acceptable for the crown princess to be seen to be interested in fashion, let alone vlogging about it. It's a big secret to keep, especially now that she has to contain the excitement of her first official dinner appearance, where she will be wearing a real tiara. Thankfully her best friend Leonie as ever has practical suggestions.

That's not the only complication though. Some of the boys at school have started a campaign for equal rights for boys. They object to the lack of opportunities for boys in the Queendom of Waldenburg. Lily begins to understand and to a certain extent sympathise with their views, but realises that in her position she must react carefully and appropriately. And just to make things more difficult, she's about to be interviewed for the influential magazine Teen Me, first as Tiara Girl, and then, just minutes later, as Princess Lilian. It's crucial that she's not recognised.

Royal Rebel is a light, accessible novel, written in first person diary format. Carina Axelsson is a former model who obviously understands the importance of fashion in the lives of some pre-teen and teenage girls. The glittery silver cover with its fuchsia pink writing and illustration clearly indicates the target audience, with whom it's likely to be very popular. Lily's growing social and political awareness is interesting and welcome in this context. This is the first in a series, with two sequels due out later this year.