Finding My Prince Charming is the first book (out of three) in a series of the same title by J.S. Cooper. It begins with Lola Franklin, an American student attending classes abroad in England. In a museum, she comes across a good looking man, someone whom she'd like to get to know a little bit more. Fortunately for her, he's also looking to spend some more time with her. Not to mention, Xavier is a prince.
The characters are poorly written. Lola, in the beginning, is made to look like a standard "good" girl who doesn't take many chances. Yet, as soon as she meets Xavier, she changes her personality completely. Her character is just so unlikely. The thing I disliked most about her character is that she had no self respect. She lets Xavier treat her very poorly. Yet, for some reason that I just don't understand, she keeps on spending time with him. She agrees to go places with him even though she knows that she'll be treated poorly in return. Xavier is a completely ridiculous character as well. He has no respect for women. The class he ends up teaching is more of a spectacle than educating, a lecture which begins with him shouting "prostitutes" to a room full of people, I might add. His narration makes things even more confusing for me. It just seems like he has little reason for any of his actions and the things he does just don't make sense, or are things that ultimately make him look like a bad person (not that he needs help with that). For example, in one of his narrations, he comments to himself that he oughtn't spend more time with her. Yet, the way he gets rid of her is to suggest that she's a prostitute and continually mock her for it. This continues throughout the whole book where he continually refers to her as a prostitute or a gold digger. Because of his jealousy that she's spending time with his brother, Sebastian, he claims it's just because she's a gold digger and then he makes demands of her that she's not allowed to spend any more time with Sebastian. The whole relationship between the pair is ridiculous. Their conversations make little sense. I realise that the author is trying to give them a bit of an attitude, but the ultimate effect is that they both look like hotheads with little care for each other and I just don't understand why they still spend time with each other, or even want to. Also, I think that there's a certain hypocritical aspect to their relationship. In the beginning of the book, Lola mocks her friend Anna, whom is also visiting from America. Lola makes varying comments, looking down on Anna for wanting to go home with a man just after they met. Max, Anna's new boyfriend, is also mocked when we reach Xavier's description. Xavier reckons that Max is a predator for wanting to go home with a woman in these circumstances. Yet, when Lola and Xavier meet, we find that they have similar feelings towards each other. Lola really has no right to judge the relationship between Max and Anna when she ends up in the hotel room of Xavier before even knowing his name. The other judgemental mockery in their thoughts towards others is just gross; they're really very bitter towards others. I didn't find a single likeable character in the entire book.
The plot had a good basis; a young girl going to London and meeting a prince, falling in love and then getting married. Yet, it's been poorly devised from then on. The conversations between characters are pretty bad and many things they say to each other just seem so alien because no-one talks in that way; it's hard to describe, but it just seems like the author wanted to make them seem more educated, but it backfired and kind of just makes them seem creepy. I think the entire book is too fast paced. Lola meets Xavier and within the week, he's already planned a paparazzi incursion and that he's going to take her home to Romeria. Moving on with that point, neither of those events made any sense within the plot and the actual way those things happened were absurd. Eventually, Lola takes up a job as an assistant because she needs financial help. Yet, thinking back on it, this kind of confused me because many visas don't allow students to work. It's the type of plot that might have been great, but it was just so poorly produced. I think that with a lot of work, the book could have worked well if the characters (and conversations) were re-written, events made less ridiculous, and the pace spread out further.
Overall, it was a pretty bad book. It was ridiculously over the top with bad characters and absurd events. One star.