The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Turtleback | July 1st, 2001
Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there’s nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra. Is she ever in for a surprise.
First Mom announces that she’s dating Mia’s Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn’t have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?
Mia is fourteen, unpopular, and starting high school with her best friend Lily. Her mom is dating her algebra teacher whose class Mia is also failing. She’s just getting comfortable in school when she gets a call from her dad in Genovia informing her that she is now the princess since he can no longer have children. With her life now flipped upside down, Mia tries to hide the fact that she is now a princess while having to attend princess classes with her grandmother every day after school. When the news finally gets out, Mia has to learn who is actually there for her and who is just using her, all while trying to just to her new life.
I love the Princess Diaries movies. I grew up watching them over and over on VHS in my room way before I knew they were books, or even before I even developed my love for reading, so this review will probably be one of the very rare times where I would pick the movie over the book. Not to say that the book wasn’t good, it was just really different than what I’d remembered from the movies.
In the movie, her dad had passed away years ago and Mia finds out she’s a princess from her grandmother. In the book, her dad is alive but lives in Genovia and Mia thinks he’s just a member of Congress until he realizes he can’t have any more children and has to tell Mia that she in now the princess of Genovia.
I would also like to point out that Mia’s grandma is WAY worse in the book than in the movie.
I probably won’t read the rest of this series, but I did enjoy reading this book despite its differences from the movie. I loved Mia’s character and watching how she developed throughout the book. I also like Lily and her brother Micheal’s characters. You can tell they both really care for Mia, unlike the people who act they are friends with her to get attention.
I may like the movies better, but I will say this was a good YA/middle grade that is worth reading.