Thursday, July 8, 2010

Review of The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)
Mia Thermopolis is your average urban ninth grader. Even though she lives in Greenwich Village with a single mom who is a semifamous painter, Mia still puts on her Doc Martens one at a time, and the most exciting things she ever dreams about are smacking lips with sexy senior Josh Richter, "six feet of unadulterated hotness," and passing Algebra I. Then Mia's dad comes to town, and drops a major bomb. Turns out he's not just a European politician as he's always lead her to believe, but actually the prince of a small country! And Mia, his only heir, is now considered the crown princess of Genovia! She doesn't even know how to begin to cope: "I am so NOT a princess.... You never saw anyone who looked less like a princess than I do. I mean, I have really bad hair... and... a really big mouth and no breasts and feet that look like skis." And if this news wasn't bad enough, Mia's mom has started dating her algebra teacher, the paparazzi is showing up at school, and she's in a huge fight with her best friend, Lilly. How much more can this reluctant Cinderella handle?

Offbeat Mia will automatically win the heart of every teenage girl who's ever just wanted to fit in with as little fuss as possible. Debut author Meg Cabot's writing is silly and entertaining, with tons of pop culture references that will make teens feel right at home within her pages. This is a wonderfully wacky read. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

The Princess Diaries my Meg Cabot is simply one of my all time favorite books.  Sometimes if I need to be cheered up or simply want to visit an old favorite, I pick up this book.  I realize that many people (not necessarily my blog readers) might look at this hot pink, tiara clad cover and dismiss it as an excessively fluffy read.  This is not the case.

Cabot starts the novel with a fairly unbelievable premise, and I say “unbelievable” because Genoiva isn’t a real country.  However, I think that Mia’s story is one to which many teens can relate.  The fact that it’s in diary form and ergo in first person makes Mia and her problems far more accessible.  Cabot also provides grocery lists and homework assignments so we have an even better idea of how Mia spend her days.

Mia is definitely a favorite main character of mine.  I love her because she’s intelligent, thoughtful and opinionated.  Yes, she has her imperfections like measuring her chest a bit too obsessively, but these quirks make her a unique and entertaining narrative.

If you’re embarrassed by laughing uproariously in public, you may want to confine your reading of The Princess Diaries to your own home.  This is a novel not just about Mia discovering that she’s a princess but learning how to deal with problems and people in her day-to-day life, some of which are ridiculous.  Two characters who I love because they are the perfect balance between outrageous and realistic are Grandmere and Boris Pelkowski.

This novel is definitely a fun and entertaining read, but it’s also a story about Mia maturing and learning throughout her everyday life.  It's a lot of fun, but it still leaves the reader with a good deal to think about.  I think everyone who’s even been a teenager can find a little something in this book which they’ll enjoy.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.

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