The Princess Diaries Book Club is an ongoing collaboration with my friend Cilla and her blog, Paved with Books. We decided that we would reread this series, at our own pace, and always come back to our blogs and each other to discuss the story and how we feel about it now. If you are interested in joining us, please do!
Title: The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries #1)
Author: Meg Cabot
Provided Synopsis: Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there’s nothing worse than being a five-foor-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?
Review: Disclaimer: This post will be as much of a review of the audiobook as it is on the story.
It had been years since I first read The Princess Diaries therefore there was very little I remembered about the story beyond what was depicted in the movie. I knew it was the story of a teenage girl who learns she is the heir to a European principality. I knew that I had liked the story. What I did not remember is how much the book differs from the movie, as the story is set in New York City rather than the adaptation’s San Francisco location; or that Mia’s father is alive, rather than deceased; or that Mia’s grandmother is no where near as charming as Julie Andrews.
I could deal with all of those changes, until it came to her best friend, Lily. She bothered me the most, for while she does have an opinionated voice in the movie, she is not as difficult to tolerate as she is in the book. I quickly grew tired of her and the way she treated Mia; I grew tired of her crusades and harshly worded opinions; I especially grew aggravated at the way Mia would so often quote Lily as if her word is law.
To tell the truth, if I were to have read this book instead of listening to the audiobook, there is no way I would have finished it. Mia, and her obsession with her breasts, is no longer a relatable narrative voice to my twenty-something year old self. It was the narration of Anne Hathaway that kept me engaged with all she wrote in her diary. I do plan to continue on with this series reread though, because I do appreciate the growth already exhibited by Mia in this book, and because I am interested in seeing how the series finally reaches its recently released conclusion of a royal wedding. Will is be Michael? Or will it be to someone who looks like Chris Pine?