Book Club: Princess in Training and Party Princess

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: Princess in Training (The Princess Diaries #6)93726

Author: Meg Cabot

Rating: ★★★

Provided Synopsis: Princess for president!

Student body president, that is — nominated by her power-mad best friend, Lilly. This is not how Mia imagined kicking off her sophomore year, but as usual, she has bigger problems to worry about, like Geometry. And now that Mia’s one true love, Michael, is uptown at college, what’s the point of even getting up for school in the morning? But the last straw is what Lana whispers to her on the lunch line about what college boys expect of their girlfriends. . . . Really, it’s almost more than a princess in training can bear!

Review: Surprisingly, this installment of the Princess Diaries series went down much smoother than the others. There was still the problem of Lily, as she attempted to manipulate her way into the Student Council presidency through the nomination of Mia. But there was also a significant amount of growth here for Mia as she copes with a student government election, the question of whether Michael expects them to become sexually active now that he is a college student, and the repercussions of her environmental actions on the international level.

Mia has begun to open her eyes: as a princess she has a responsibility to think of how her actions and opinions will impact the Genovian people. She also realizes that the promises she makes to people in a government capacity mean something for her, and that she wants to take the responsibility. Whereas she usually obsesses over something with Michael until the last minute, this time around she told him how she felt. This is progress! This is what I have been waiting to see, if you have been following these book club discussions. This book made me look forward to the next one because there has to be more from here on out.

 

Title: Party Princess (The Princess Diaries #7) 85993

Author: Meg Cabot

Rating: ★★1/2

Provided Synopsis: Princess just want to have fun . . . And Mia does too, despite the fact that the student government over which she presides is suddenly broke. But Grandmere’s got a wacky scheme to raise the money, catapult Mia to theatrical fame, and link her romantically with an eligible teen bachelor who’s not her boyfriend. No wonder Michael seems to think she’s a psycho, or worse: not much fun. Is it possible that Mia, soon-to-be star of the stage, president of the student body, and future ruler of Genovia, doesn’t know how to party?

Review: I didn’t hate it. But is it just me, or did this feel like it could have been a novella? Mia is invited to a party at Michael’s house and she is not sure what to do or how to act because she is not a “party girl.” The student council that Mia runs is broke and she needs to find a way to gather money for the seniors graduation. Grandmere has written a musical, and has enlisted students from Mia’s school to perform it. There was a LOT of things happening in this book, though I have to ponder: did any of this advance the characters?

Mia is still not communicating completely with Michael. But she has learned that a president (or anyone in charge of a government) should pay attention to the money rather than delegating the responsibility to another. Mia sells herself short in terms of a role in Grandmere’s play, insisting that Lily “deserves” it for no other reason than she continues to be under that girl’s thumb. The grand gesture at the end was so cheesy it was cringe-worthy (although that could be my age speaking, since I am clearly not the target age-group of this series anymore). And really, did any of this need to happen to progress the story of the series?!

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Book Club: Princess in Pink

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 #5) 93731.jpg

Author: Meg Cabot

Rating: ★★

Provided Synopsis: Princess Mia is dreaming about the prom – and contending with a hotel workers’ strike – in the fifth, supremely hilarious episode of Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries. This time, Mia’s in the pink about the upcoming Albert Einstein H.S. prom, and she’s crossing her fingers that Michael will ask her to go. (They’re in love, so why wouldn’t he ask her, right?) But during Seven Minutes in Heaven at her b-day party, Mia learns that Michael is not the prom-going type. Good grief, what’s a princess to do?

To make matters worse, Grandmere has gotten a busboy fired due to a mishap with her pooch, Rommel, at a swanky restaurant, so when all of the city’s busboys go on strike, it causes a chain of events that result in Grandmere crashing at Mia’s mom’s place, her pal Lilly Moscovitz picking up a picket sign, and the prom being brought to a screeching halt.

Thankfully, staunch yet boy-wise Grandmere has a plan to change Michael’s mind and put everything back on track, making Mia the happiest “prom princess” on this side of the Atlantic – and readers more starry-eyed than Molly Ringwald in her prettiest pink frock.

Review: Time to admit something: if it were not for audiobooks, it is very likely that I would have to give-up on the Princess Diaries book club. As much as I loved these books when I was in my pre-teens and early teens, there is very little I can relate to with Mia in my current age. While I go through these stories I find myself frustrated with the immaturity of her problems and lack of communication skills.

Mia, if you want to go to the prom, then tell your boyfriend you want to go to the prom. He cannot read your mind, not matter how many times you refer to him as a genius. And please stop using the word “self-actualization,” because going to the prom is not going to help you reach your full potential.

Pros of this book:
1. The escape of Boris
2. Mia laying down the law to Lily in regards to how she will proceed with Boris from here on out
3. The baby’s name – it made me smile

Cons of this book:
1. Lily – her treatment towards her boyfriend and friend is awful
2. Mia’s obsession and research of autism — it made me cringe
3. The repetition of the words prom and self-actualization
4. The lack of communication on behalf of Mia
5. The way Mia’s father’s contract is apparently going to be reneged upon

I am going to continue on, because I figure that Mia has to grow up eventually, and I really want to be there when that happens. Have any of you read Princess in Pink years later? How are you faring with the jarring immaturity of the protagonist if you are much older than she is? Is there any hope that the next book is going to be better?

Book Club: Princess in the Spotlight and Princess in Love

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!

439275Title: Princess in the Spotlight (The Princess Diaries #2)

Author: Meg Cabot

Rating: ★★

Provided Synopsis: No one ever said being a princess was easy.

Just when Mia thought she had the whole princess thing under control, things get out of hand, fast. First there’s an unexpected announcement from her mother. Then Grandmère arranges a national primetime interview for the brand-new crown princess of Genovia. On top of that, intriguing, exasperating letters from a secret admirer begin to arrive.

Before she even has the chance to wonder who those letters are from, Mia is swept up in a whirlwind of royal intrigue the likes of which hasn’t been seen since volume I of The Princess Diaries.

Review: Once again, I was fortunate enough to listen to the audiobook version narrated by Anne Hathaway; otherwise, I am not sure that I would have been able to finish this story in my current state. Do not get me wrong — this is a fast read, and there are many moments when I found myself trying to cover up my guffawing at the circumstances as described by Mia.

I think what really gets under my skin about this series thus far are the people around Mia, particularly her so-called best friend, Lily, and her grandmother. These two women are very similar in how they seem to bulldoze over the wishes and presence of those around them. In the case of Lily, she continues to have the most pretentious attitude and to treat those around her with very little regard. It has reached the point where I am actively hoping that eventually Mia will realize she is worthy of receiving much better.

Another question I have with this book concerns continuity. When we were first introduced to Mia she had always been in love with Josh. In this second installment however, she continuously says that she has always been in love with Michael…

 

568609Title: Princess in Love (The Princess Diaries #3)

Author: Meg Cabot

Rating: ★★★

Provided Synopsis: Princess Mia may seem like the luckiest girl ever.

But the truth is, Mia spends all her time doing one of three things: preparing for her nerve-wracking entrée into Genovian society, slogging through the congestion unique to Manhattan in December, and avoiding further smooches from her hapless boyfriend, Kenny.

For Mia, being a princess and in love is not the fairy tale it’s supposed to be… or is it?

Review: For me, this is the best of the series thus far. And that is because Mia is the most relatable in the trials and tribulations she must encounter in order to tell the one she loves how she feels and discover his own feelings in return. When you are in high school there is nothing more complicated than love. There are the continuous questions in your head about whether he feels the same. There is the fear to be hurt, or to hurt someone else in return, which is why Mia makes certain decisions about Kenny. There is the confusion as multiple events mold together to create illusions that fit the dream, but also do not.

About halfway through listening to Princess in Love, I remembered the ending. But along with the ending I was also able to recall my feelings towards it when I first read this book however many years ago. It is sweet, it is magical, it was everything I wanted to read as a young girl who believed in love and wanted to experience it for herself. All these years later the ending still had the same effect on me; I could not stop smiling as things began to fall into place.

While the previous two books were difficult for me to get through without the aid of Anne Hathaway’s audiobook narration, this one brought back all the nostalgia and feelings of being in love for the first time, which is a testament to Meg Cabot’s handling of the situation. Mia never felt more relatable back then, and she has never felt more real than she does right now.

Book Club: The Princess Diaries

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) 38980

Author: Meg Cabot

Rating: ★★1/2

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?

Stay tuned…