Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Review Diaries

(Books I-VII, because they are the only ones I have and I haven’t gone to the library to find the rest yet. (there are 10 total))

Katie spied my bright pink collection of Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries and asked to borrow one. So naturally I ended up re-reading them myself. I LOVE these books. I’m assuming that most of you out there have seen the Disney movies (the first one follows the general plot of the first book. The second one fails- funny side note: in the later books (published after the movies came out) Mia references movies made about her life, but with crazy differences (like Julie Andrews as her Grandmother, instead of the smoking, drinking, tattooed eye-liner, whip-cracker of a grandmother she ‘really has’), obviously meaning the Disney movies!

Anyway, the books are all written in journal form- the first catastrophe of the book being not that she is a princess, but that her mother is going out on a date with her Algebra teacher (the class she’s failing)! A little while later her dad (not dead!) informs her that she is, in fact, Princess and sole heir to the Principality of Genovia! Then follows the makeover, her best friend, Lilly, being unsupportive, Grandmere forcing her to attend princess lessons, and, of course, crushing on Josh Richter- the hottest boy in school. In the end though, Michael, Lilly’s older brother, swoops in to save the day.

The rest of the series follows along, each time she gets into a slightly different scrape, freaks out, handles the situation badly, and finally figures everything out by the end. In the second book, she has a hideously embarrassing press conference that alienates all of her friends. In the third book, she finds herself with a boyfriend (finally!), just not the one she wants... By the fourth book she gets to go to Genovia and meet her future subjects (and horribly alienate them). In the fifth, she spends the entire book trying to come up with ways to convince her boyfriend (not telling WHO) that Prom is NOT stupid. In the sixth, Lilly forces her to run for Student Council President, and the seventh includes a musical written by Grandmere...

By the seventh book, having read them pretty much non-stop all in a row, I was REALLY annoyed with Mia. In a way, she makes the same stupid mistakes and assumptions in every book, and you kind of want to just smack her. At the same time, the books cover very little time- so she really hasn’t had much time to grow and learn. She’s still just a freshman (though eventually she moves to 10th grade) trying to handle everything that is thrown at her. And I’m totally excited to go to the library and (hopefully) finish the series. (Unless, you know, somebody feels like donating them to me...)

I highly recommend these books to every teenage (and post-teenage) girl out there. Having grown up with ‘teen’ movies and books staring actors in their mid-twenties, and knowing what other books are in the teen section (I point you again to Gossip Girl and the Clique books), The Princess Diaries is refreshingly, well, TEEN. Mia and her friends are immature. Guess what- they’re all 14-17 year olds. Of COURSE they’re immature. The topic of sex does come up in later books, and let’s face it- that’s about the time when the topic of sex comes up for most teens! But it’s not a series based on intrigue, lies, drugs, parties, plots, revenge, betrayal, and who’s sleeping with whose boyfriend. It’s an up-beat, happily ever after series about a girl finding out she’s a Princess AND trying to pass Algebra. Go read it. ^_^

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