Publishing Info: September 19, 2000 by HarperCollins
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 1, 2014
Related Posts: Size 12 and Ready to Rock (Heather Wells #4), The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)
She's just a New York City girl living with her artist mom...
News Flash: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that's why a limo meets her at the airport!)
Downer: Dad can't have any more kids. (So no heir to the throne.)
Shock of the Century: Like it or not, Mia Thermopolis is prime princess material.
Mia must take princess lessons from her dreaded grandmére, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne.
Well, her father can lecture her until he's royal-blue in the face about her princessly duty--no way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind. But what's a girl to do when her name is Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo?
I finally read Meg Cabot YA! YAYYYY! I actually fell in love with Meg when I started borrowing the Heather Wells series from my sister and gobbled up all of her adult books — this was before I had even given YA a second glance — so it took me a while to finally get around to it. Of course I really enjoyed The Princess Diaries movie, but I knew I had to read the books and wow. I knew that the movie and the book were different, but they are VERY different indeed! That was a nice thing for me because sometimes it’s hard to read a book if I know the plot too well from the movie/TV show (like when I read Darkly Dreaming Dexter and was bored because the show was so much more captivating) so it was really nice to have a really different story line than the movie!
For those of you who haven’t read the books and have only seen the movie, here are some of the BIG differences really quickly:
Mia’s dad is a BIG part of the books as opposed to the movie where they’ve — erm — killed him off
- Her grandmother is not NEARLY as nice and as lovely as Julie Andrews. She’s a tough old broad but she’s also not created to be a monster either, which is nice.
- The book is in NEW YORK CITY, not San Francisco. Big difference there!
- Michael Moscovitz is more of a nerdy type but described as physically hunky (or at least moreso than the actor who portrayed him. Sorry, Robert Schwartzman) and Mia and Michael have a way more laid-back relationship and more personal already than they do in the movie.
- Cultural Diversity Dance vs beach parties
- No new cars, no foot pop, no fear of public speaking, no big ball at the end (I’m guessing that may be later books?), Mia is a vegetarian
- Lily’s show, Mia’s mom dating a teacher, and the super sweet loft all still exist
Okay, that wasn’t really quick at all, but you can see how different the book is already from the movie! I adored the movie adaptation, but it’s clear that I really need to read this series seeing as how the movie is not an accurate portrayal of the books (not like that’s the main reason but you know what I mean).
So how about I actually talk about the book? Well, I really enjoyed Mia’s character. I like that the book starts off with her as a freshman in high school because it gives the series so much room to grow, however, sometimes her voice felt a bit young. I wonder if that’s because I’m used to Meg’s adult books which incorporate the same kind of humor but obviously this is in a more adolescent way so it wasn’t quite as appealing to me. She was just a riot, though, and I was probably a lot like her as a teenager, personality-wise.
I really enjoyed Mia’s reactions to everything. It all felt very real and she handled it like the average teenager would, I think! She can’t handle the details of her parents romantic lives (who can, really) and she doesn’t even want to think about dealing with princess-type things because she’s already unpopular and doesn’t want to become a social outcast. Meanwhile, she still has to worry about grades and her current crush.
The book was a lot of fun, but I didn’t quite fall in love with it. I’m not sure if that was because I had expectations — whether from the movie or my experience with Meg’s adult books — but it was adorable and I definitely want to read the rest of the series! I look forward to watching Mia’s character grow and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for her!
I listened to the audio for this and it was narrated by Anne Hathaway, so that was a cool movie connection! I actually don’t know if the audio was recorded first or the movie was produced first, but either way, so much fun to have the same voice for Mia! Anne does a great job with the character too. She’s a great voice performer as well as actor so her tone, inflection, pauses… everything was spot on as I would have pictured Mia saying them!
“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Mia // Character Obsessions: Vegetarianism, avoiding princess lessons, her friends, Josh.
Book Mia is actually pretty different than Movie Mia and it’s hard to say which I liked more! I feel like Mia in the books is a lot more opinionated and she’s not portrayed to be as… well… what’s the best way to put this? Loserish. Movie Mia is a lot more “invisible”, actively picked on, and physically awkward. Sure, she still has a lot of those same qualities in the book, but it’s not as played out and I think she has a better time fitting in even though she has no desire to (and the popular kids don’t really have a desire to include her but she doesn’t seem as awkward).
Michael // Character Obsessions: Math, school, computers, music.
I know how much my good friend Tee from YA Crush loves Michael Moscovitz from the books so I was so excited to really get to know him better! He’s definitely different from Movie Michael too. Much more school-oriented, helps Mia with her Algebra (which, I forgot to mention, she is failing miserably), and is a lot more… personable. I definitely started to crush on him and helloooo, it’s like the whole good-friend-turned-boyfriend thing. You KNOW I’m a sucker for that.
Kept Me Hooked On: Meg Cabot. It was SO good to finally get into her YA books. I sort of did this backwards, reading her adult books when I was younger and YA when I was older, but hey. It’s never too late!
Left Me Wanting More: Maturity. I know Mia’s only fourteen in this book and maybe it’s just that I AM already familiar with Meg’s adult books, but I think I wanted a bit more of a mature voice. Not a lot. Just a bit.
It was so much fun to actually read THE PRINCESS DIARIES for the first time! Definitely continuing on with the series and the audio was a lot of fun with Anne Hathaway narrating too!
(Click the cover to see my review!)