Title: The Princess Diaries
Series: The Princess Diaries (#1)
Author: Meg Cabot
Year Published: 2020 (originally published 2001)
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Young Adult ~ Contemporary ~ Romance ~ Epistolary ~ Humour
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc through Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. The image header and the quote edits used is my own and the link in the book’s details is to the book’s Goodreads’ page. The summary is my own (well, I summarised the Goodreads description). All opinions expressed are my own.
Me, a princess? Shut up!
Mia Thermopolis is not just a teenager who hates how she looks and thinks Maths should be thrown out of the window. She’s actually Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo, Princess of Genovia!
I realise that the start of the synopsis actually comes from the movie but I’ve watched the movie(s) and read the books a bunch of times, so I’m like 90% sure that it’s only in the movies. It’s such a fun quote nonetheless. I have’t read this series in ages, I can’t even remember if I’ve read the last book or two, but I distinctly remember reading the older books over and over again.
I loved all the nostalgia the book brought back. From Mia thinking the worst thing in the world was her mom dating her Algebra teacher (and me not really understanding what that was because stuff like Geometry and Algebra was all rolled into one class for us), to Mia writing down actual dialogue between characters. Even all her homework – though I barely understood most of it – I still loved the memories it brought back for me.
I definitely didn’t feel this way back when I used to read it all the time, but Mia is so freaking dramatic. All. The. Time. Whether she’s talking about how she looks at Josh Richter and suddenly she knows what he’s having for supper because they’re that connected, to her moaning about how much homework she has; she is so so dramatic.
While I love her being dramatic and all the references which date the book (which is something I actually really love), it also makes me realise how much YA has changed? Like Mia makes remarks about the popular guy (Josh) and how she thinks she’s stupid in case Josh sexually harasses her and she doesn’t notice – I didn’t notice anything wrong with that before but now, of course, I’m like… what on earth.
And that isn’t even like, a once-off creepy thing. She mentions a fan of Lily’s radio talk show – how Lily hopes to enrage him (the fan) enough to go out and get a gun – which I think isn’t a good thing to begin with and reading it in today’s environment…
There’s other moments as well and if I carry on with the series reread (which I will probably, since I haven’t even finished the last two or so books), I’ll probably pick them all up (the iffy moments), and it might deter me from reading, but I also think it’s important? What do you think?
The book also brought back the memory of Lars, Mia’s bodyguard – whom I loved, his funny expressions and Mia’s almost friendship with him (pretty sure it’s like that). And all her other friends we don’t see at all in the movies – Tina Hakim Baba, even Boris Pelkowski. I’m glad Mia gets to make other friends.
I must say, I do prefer Lily and Clarisse’s personalities in the movies over the books. Lily is more likable (for me) in the movies because Mia seems to talk less about her and more about their friendship (which is also because there’s less of Mia’s journaling, where she talks about Lily a lot). Clarisse, in the movies, is more warm of a character. She isn’t as rude to Mia and other characters as she is in the books – which she is definitely rude.
Do you like to go back and read your old favourite books? But then also get sad because it’s not as good as you remember? As much as I do love the series, it’s hard to look over the negative things. Did you also read this series back in the day? Which do you prefer, movie or books? Tell me your thoughts down below!