Review

The Princess Diaries

by Meg Cabot

As the hilariously funny tale called THE PRINCESS DIARIES begins, Mia Thermopolis is just a regular high school freshman at Albert Einstein High School. Well, as regular as you can be when you live in a loft in downtown New York with your flighty artist Mom. And as regular as you can be when your best friend is Lilly, a punky and spunky militant about everything type who produces her own TV show.

As readers can guess from the title, this book takes the form of a diary, written by Mia. Over the span of a month, she relates her daily woes and embarrassments in heart breaking detail. As with most teenaged girls, Mia thinks she is hopeless, looks-wise. She's tall --- 5'9" --- and klutzy, and not so gifted in the chest department.

Then there is school. One of Mia's biggest problems is the fact she is flunking Algebra and, to make matters worse, her Mom has begun dating her teacher. Gross.

In the boy issue department, the cutest one in school has the locker next to hers, but doesn't even know Mia exists, even as his snooty girlfriend Lana, a popular cheerleader, torments her. And to top it off, Mia is developing some sort of weird crush on Michael, Lilly's computer nerd brother.

Then one day, Mia finds out she is a princess. Okay, I know that doesn't sound bad to most girls, but Mia hates the idea instantly. How does this fairytale come true? Her father is ruler of the principality of Genovia and since Mia is his only child, she is next in line to the throne. Her dad sends in the big guns to convince Mia that being a princess is what she is meant to do: her formidable grandmother comes to New York give Mia “Princess Lessons”. And as the word spreads around Albert Einstein High School that Mia is royalty, her life just gets more crazy.

The ending of THE PRINCESS DIARIES is a twisty one and will leave you jonesing for more stories of Mia and the rest of her friends. Good thing author Meg Cabot has put out a sequel, PRINCESS IN THE SPOTLIGHT.

When we last left Mia Thermopolis, 14, she had discovered that she is actually Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo of Genovia.

As the second book opens, Mia has learned some hard lessons about herself, friendship and the price of fame. As if her royal heritage didn't make her enough an outcast, Mia's dad now wants her to do an interview with a Barbara Walters-type television journalist. Both he and her peerage obsessed grandmother think it is high time their tiny country of Genovia got the sort of attention it deserved and what better way to do it then with a charming teenaged princess.

Mia's got a ton of other things on her mind though: her secret crush on her best friend's brother, anonymous emails from an unknown admirer, and some shocking news concerning her mother and Mia's algebra teacher, Mr. Gianini. And then there is the visit of Mia's hick cousin --- a hottie who is as dumb as a sack of bricks, but has all the girls swooning --- even Lilly!

In the end, Mia does the interview despite being stressed out, tired and basically a mess. What happens? You'll have to read this second in the series to find out --- but you can be sure its hysterically funny and all hell breaks loose!

Reviewed by Jennifer Abbots on July 26, 2001

The Princess Diaries
by Meg Cabot

  • Publication Date: July 26, 2001
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0380814021
  • ISBN-13: 9780380814022