Published by Simon Pulse on 01 January 2013
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
First Line(s): I hate John Conroy!
One of my favorite places to visit when I travel to London is the National Portrait Gallery for one its free and two it contains one of my favorite statues. I always like to approach it from the same angle looking down a long hallway
So then it just appears slowly revealing all its detail until finally you are right up close looking at Queen Victoria with her beloved Prince Albert dressed in medieval clothes.
I don’t know why I love this statue so much but I’m always drawn to it when I am there. I also love reading what I can about Queen Victoria and her life so I was very excited to read Carolyn Meyer’s Victoria Rebels which chronicles Victoria’s early life until a few years after her marriage to Albert. Despite my love of Queen Victoria, I found this story hard to get into. The voice seemed to be quite juvenile and I was annoyed by all the underlines and exclamation points. Although, as they are both common in Victoria’s own diaries I tried to do my best to deal with them. They are historical accurate after all. Just as portions of the text come directly from Victoria’s own writings so Meyer’s really did her research.
I wanted to love this book but there was just something about it that always felt a little distant even though it was meant to read as if Victoria was telling you her story via a chat or in her diary. I normally enjoy this sort of conversational telling but I found this one easy to put down and kept hoping that my meh feelings for the book would change by the end. I thought a lot of time was spent on mundane things in Victoria’s youth and in the beginning when she was just 9 she came across as far older than that. But then when she was in her late teens and 20s she seemed younger than she should be.
For me, there was nothing new in this story and so maybe that is why it didn’t connect with me. I often felt that everything within its pages had been said before in more compelling ways. As with the movie The Young Victoria. I was also disappointed that this story didn’t make any mention of the assassination attempt on Victoria in 1840 during her first pregnancy. To me it just seemed like there was too many events that were glossed over or not mentioned and then a lot of time on things that weren’t as important. Which then bogged down the story.
While Victoria Rebels didn’t quite work for me I think it will be a good read for younger readers looking for an introduction into this fascinating royals life. But I think that older readers and those who already know a little about Queen Victoria will enjoy watching The Young Victoria more. They both cover roughly the same time period and with the movie I don’t feel as though things are overly simplified.