#aww2019 · 2019 Reviews · children · contemporary fiction · romance

Book Review: Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Mess by Emma Grey

Title: Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Messtilly maguire small

Author: Emma Grey

Published: December 17th 2018

Publisher: Harper Collins AU

Pages: 304

Genres:  Children (12+)

RRP: $19.99

Rating: 3.5 stars


Aspiring writer, 18-year-old Tilly Maguire, is a totally reformed ex-superfan of British boyband singer, Reuben Vaughan. Yeah, she was going to marry him when she was thirteen, but that fangirl phase is way in her past now, along with an unfortunate side ponytail and a weird obsession with galaxy leggings – ugh. Cringe!

When her writing wins Tilly a six-week internship at a top London PR firm, she doesn’t expect to stumble from a long-haul flight straight into an A-list debacle of her own making, but these things happen. She proves to the entire world that jet lag and social media definitely don’t mix.

Obviously, Tilly didn’t intend to get tangled in a ridiculous scandal involving the British royal family. She’s not the attention-seeking type! She’s just a socially awkward introvert, with a galloping case of anxiety made even worse after a high-profile run-in with the very last person she ever imagined she’d meet for real.

Not on her gap year, anyway.

And not like this!


What a gorgeous cover and book title to match! Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Mess is a book for the teen based market, perfect for readers aged 12+. Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Mess is light and fluffy in the right places. It revolves around the colourful life of eighteen year old intern Tilly Maguire, a Melbourne gal based at a top London PR company.

Tilly Maguire is a young Australian girl who longs to be a writer. When Tilly is given a lucrative six week internship based at a prestigious PR firm in London, her world changes. One of her first assignments results in an exchange with Reuben Vaughan, who is in a band Tilly has worshipped throughout her teenage years. We watch on as Tilly navigates her new world of celebrity crushes, drama, publicity, gossip, rumour and innuendo. It is a tough gig, especially being so far from home, but Tilly receives support from the unlikeliest of sources. Tilly will go where she can never gone before in her professional and personal life, but it will bring her personal satisfaction.

Marketed to the teen readers market, Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Mess is a book that has broad appeal. It contains plenty of gushing fairytale like moments, but at the same time, Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Mess provides a good sketch of life as a teenage girl in today’s society. I am probably not the ideal target age or audience for this book, but after my previous read being extremely heavy in emotion, it was nice to turn to a fairly light novel, which offered plenty of entertainment value.

If you are a fan of motion pictures such as The Cinderella Story, The Princess Diaries, What a Girl Wants and many more of this genre type, I am certain Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Mess will be sure to appeal. This book taps into the fantasies of many teens, such as new careers, romance, glamour and the celebrity world. I think the author, Emma Grey, is aware of these workable elements and has inserted them within her appealing novel, which is actually an offshoot of her previous novel Unrequited.

Emma Grey is a mother to not just one, but two teen daughters. This means that she implicitly knows what makes teen minds tick. She is in touch with the dreams, fantasies and hopes of a typical teenage girl living in modern times. I think this shines through her novel. There is a real here and now feel to Tilly Maguire. Grey launches into the influence of social media. She also takes a glimpse into some mental health issues that may plague our teens. These points include self doubt, confidence, anxiety and resiliency. Grey seems to have it covered, so her book is both relevant and relatable.

In terms of the plot, it was easy going for me, with a few surprises and dramatic moments along the way. Grey is also in tune with the emotions of her characters and this is expressed well within the storyline event, as well as the dialogue. The main character Tilly’s internal dialogue seemed authentic. I was able to fully immerse myself in her character. The love angle is played well by Grey and I am confident readers will enjoy soaking themselves in what this angle of the book has to offer. Reuben was a great male lead, Grey seems to nail his characterisation, along with the supporting cast.

What presented to me initially as a standard fairytale like teen romance novel proved to be much more. Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Mess was a great romantic drama that ultimately helps our teens to accept, rather than doubt themselves – especially when they have the world at their feet!

Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Mess by Emma Grey was published on 17th December 2018 by Harper Collins Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

*I wish to thank Harper Collins Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Mess is book #36 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge 

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Tilly Maguire and the Royal Wedding Mess by Emma Grey

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