By Jane McGarry
Publisher: Clean Reads
Publication Date: April 27th, 2015
Olivia Davenport’s plan is destined to fail.
She is going through with it anyway, of course. After all, it is the chance of a lifetime. The unreasonable rules of others should not stand in her way.
In her small kingdom of Stewartsland, Olivia trains with the squires and harbors a secret dream. She longs to become a knight under the command of the Master-of–Arms, who just happens to be her father. He has indulged her passion so far, but they both know a simple fact – girls may not attain knighthood. Dismayed by the constant discouragement of her ambitions, she makes an impetuous decision to disguise herself as a boy in order to sneak on a mission. The consequences are not at all what she anticipated.
When her deception is revealed, she is sent home in disgrace; however, an unexpected turn of events puts her at the center of a dangerous plot against the King. The ensuing adventure finds her grappling with mercenaries and outlaws, yet these pale in comparison to her newly awakened emotions. She finds not only her life at risk, but also her heart, when the aloof Prince Liam begins to affect her in ways she never thought possible. In the end, it is her courage and unique spirit which must guide her through the challenges she encounters both physical and emotional.
I went into this book expecting a light, fun read and got exactly what I wanted. So kudos to you, book. Olivia was an absolutely lovely protagonist and she carried the story with her spunk, initiative, and smarts. She is no swooning damsel and effectively skirted around annoying me, so she wins kudos, too. Liam also wins kudos because he is a prince and has dark, curly hair and is nice and attractive and is true to his word.
The book introduces Olivia, who would be a squire, a knight in training, if only she wasn’t a girl. She does not find that the fact that she has a vagina in any way inhibits her ability to kick ass. Others disagree. This means she is not allowed to join the rest of her class of trainees when they accompany the king on a rather suspicious trip to confer with a neighboring kingdom. Olivia, though, ignores her father’s orders to stay home, drugs her best friend, and takes his place in the king’s entourage. Now, you may be thinking that drugging your best friend is a bit heartless, and at first I thought so, too, and it might make you wonder how such a person would treat their enemies if that’s how they treat their friends, but, after several sexist remarks on Puck’s part, I was like “yeah, drug him good!”
That came out wrong. Ahem.
I loved how Olivia was a problem solver, a thinker, a contemplator. She assessed situations and logically thought her way through them. Smart chicks, especially good planners, are awesome. So are chicks who have close relationships with their siblings (or most of their siblings). Especially her youngest sister, who was quite adorable and I loved her. But I also adored how she wasn’t above being a lovesick teenage girl. She fell for Liam, she ogled him, she admired him, she admitted quite quickly that she loved him, but her brain didn’t melt out her ears and dry up for the rest of the book.
Speaking of Liam, I liked him once he got out of the castle. However, I wish that more time was spent on explaining exactly why he felt he needed to be a pretentious butt while living in the castle and why that suddenly changed once he spent some time with Olivia one on one. Because the whole “someone finally understands me” and “I’m a totally different person outside of public scrutiny” is annoying and cliche. Also, I wish that there was more dialogue between Olivia and Liam, rather than the author just saying that they connected during their conversations. As a reader, I want to be able to see the chemistry between characters, not be told about it.
Some other issues I had with the book were the lack of world building (where, exactly is Stewartsland in relation to the rest of this world? Is the Mainland one big country or a lot of smaller ones?) and the writing. I felt that sometimes the writing was stuttered and other times the terminology was inconsistent with the time period the author wanted to reflect.
Overall, Not Every Girl was a light, fun read with a satisfying ending, a great main character, and was a book that I would love a sequel to. Say, maybe, Olivia fitting into her new role in the palace while still trying to fit in sparing time. Also, more kissing.
About the author:
I live in New Jersey with my husband, two sons and an extremely spoiled cat. When I am not running around with my family or writing, I can be found curled up with a good book and said cat. It is my belief that a good book, a loyal pet and anything made of chocolate can brighten just about any day.
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Disclaimer: Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for providing the synopsis, cover photo, author information, and more. None of these belong to us. The eARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.