Mean Girls Meets Bridgerton! A Must Read Diverse YA Romance
Queen Bee Book Cover Queen Bee
Amalie Howard
Teen & Young Adult Historical Romance, Teen & Young Adult Regency Romance
Joy Revolution
April 4, 2023
ebook, hardcover, audiobook

A teen girl seeking retribution against her backstabbing former best friend finds her plans slightly derailed once she catches the eye of a familiar, handsome marquess. Bestselling author Amalie Howard delivers a delightful, anti-historical Regency-era romp that’s Bridgerton meets The Count of Monte Cristo!

Lady Ela Dalvi knows the exact moment her life was forever changed—when her best friend, Poppy, betrayed her without qualm over a boy, the son of a duke. She was sent away in disgrace, her reputation ruined.

Nearly three years later, eighteen-year-old Ela is consumed with bitterness and a desire for . . . revenge. Her enemy is quickly joining the crème de la crème of high society while she withers away in the English countryside.

With an audacious plan to get even, Ela disguises herself as a mysterious heiress and infiltrates London’s elite. But when Ela reunites with the only boy she’s ever loved, she begins to question whether vengeance is still her greatest desire.

In this complicated game of real-life chess, Ela must choose her next move: Finally bring down the queen or capture the king’s heart?

“There was room for only one queen.”—Queen Bee

Amalie Howard’s newest release, Queen Bee, is Mean Girls meets Bridgerton. A whirlwind of a YA romance that combines the chess match of The Count of Monte Cristo with the affluency and shine of Regency London. Not only is Queen Bee well-crafted with a storyline that weaves between past and present timeline events, it’s also gorgeously diverse which makes diving into a world of status, lies, and reputation all even more lush.

Our heroine as we meet her is Lyra Whitley, a brand-new lady to the ton and ready to take London to its knees. It’s safe to say that if there was a song to have on repeat it would be Taylor Swift’s Vigilante Sh*t. “Lately I’ve been dressing for revenge.” You see, Lyra is a new identity for Ela Dalvi. Lyra’s goal is singular: to expose Poppy Landers as the slanderous snake she is rather than the demure lady she tries to be.

“It was time to be bold, less quiet wallflower and more fearless warrior. The kind of girl who would never let herself be used or taken advantage of. The kind of girl whom no one could touch.” —Queen Bee

Told in dual-timelines, readers quickly learn the reasons why Lyra reinvented herself. Three years prior to Lyra’s present time, Ela and Poppy are the best of friends. Ela is young and naïve to the fact that Poppy is a social climber. It’s only when her friendship with the new marquess next door threatens her friendship does Ela begin to see the real Poppy.

Queen Bee is full of chess metaphors, Machiavellian schemes, and life lessons that even most adults struggle with these days. For Lyra as she starts to lay the groundwork for her revenge, she realizes that her heart has gotten in the way of her well-thought-out plans. Taking revenge at the cost of others isn’t something she had included in her schemes.

“We were limited by many things, but rules could be bent, structures could be unbuilt, society dismantled from the inside. Women held more power than we knew.”—Queen Bee

It’s Lyra/Ela’s romance with Keston, Lord Ridley, that truly won me over, as well as her friendships that made Ela’s character shine the brightest. Between the lessons that Ela must experience in order to learn (highly relatable content if you ask me), the diversity and inclusivity of all the characters, and the lessons that are so beautifully taught Queen Bee is a phenomenal new YA Historical Romance.