I have been having a really difficult and upsetting time lately, so I decided that I needed to read something that would just make me laugh. Enter Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series. I read these for the first time a few years ago at my sister’s suggestion. She insisted that the books were better than the movie (which were ok) and she was right again. Also as the reviews for the series gone on, there will be slight spoilers.
Mia Thermopolis is an extremely awkward freshman with communication issues. At the beginning of the series her mom gives her a journal because she feels that Mia is holding in her real feelings too much and will explode if she doesn’t get them out. It‘s pretty easy to understand why Mia might be upset, her mother did just announce that she was dating Mia’s algebra teacher Mr. Gianni, the man whose class she just happens to be flunking. Add to that her unsupportive best friend Lily, her bully Lana, and her unrequited crush on Lana’s boyfriend, Josh, and you can see why Mia has just about as much stress as she can handle. Unfortunately for Mia, there is one other thing that she needs to know—she is a princess.
You see, her father rules Genovia, a small European principality next to Monaco, and when he survived testicular cancer, Mia had no idea that his inability to produce an heir would have any consequences for her. But now she is thrust into the spotlight and must endure princess lessons with her Grandmere, a sidecar swilling, chain-smoking nightmare. Her friends have turned on her and fame-seekers seem to follow her around. All of that and she still doesn’t have a date to the Cultural Diversity Dance.
To be honest, this series is not groundbreaking or anything, but it is entertaining. Mia is a neurotic mess and so are the people around her. One of the biggest differences between the books and the movies is Mia’s Grandmere. I would have killed to see Julie Andrews play someone so horrible. Anyways, while not perfect this is the beginning of a fun series that I know I will read again, hopefully under less stressful circumstances.