Okay okay! I havent lost the plot, seriously! Give me a chance to explain why a 40+ woman is going to feature The Princess Diaries as one of her all time favourite book series. You will see, I assure you. Just in case you don’t, the comment section is there for you to vent out in abundance – no offense shall be taken (only recorded 😉 )
Title: The Princess Diaries
Author: Meg Cabot
Publication: Harper Collins
Meg Cabot is an American writer who initially started out as a Jill of all trades and experimented with being an illustrator, a manager of a 700 bed dormitory, etc till she decided that she could only be happy writing novels. Today she has 50 novels to her credit for both adults and children, many of which topped the #1 bestseller lists. Her claim to fame would be The Princess Diaries series which has also been developed into two movies by Disney.
Mia Thermopolis is a typical teenager living in New York with typical teenager woes. Like she is flunking algebra, is flat chested, of more than average height and has no nails on account of having chewn them off. She also does not have a date for the upcoming cultural dance though she has a developed a crush on the school jock who doesn’t know she exists and dates the most popular girl in school who is nasty to Mia.
Wait I forgot to mention her mother is dating her algebra teacher.
Her father recently has a bout of testicular cancer and can no longer have children.
And lastly he is the reigning prince of Genovia – a small principality somewhere near Monaco, perhaps!!!
This last bit is what got the goat actually. Mia is unable to comprehend how until now this fact was kept from her. And she most certainly doesn’t want to be the next in line to the throne. How abnormal can life get? Seriously.
“Lilly says I have an overactive imagination and a pathological need to invent drama in my life.” ― Meg Cabot,
This series starts from the time Mia is told about being the heir apparent and how she now needs to lead her life. She has to undertake grooming lessons from her grandmother who is a bully and a tyrannical eccentric. In the first book Mia simply does not take well to being told she is a Princess and spends the entire book trying to hide the fact from everyone in school.
“I’m not going to tell anybody, not even Lilly. Lilly would NOT understand. NOBODY would understand. Because nobody I know has ever been in this situation before. Nobody ever went to bed one night as one person and then woke up the next morning to find out that she was somebody completely different.” ― Meg Cabot,
The truth comes out in an outlandish manner and then all hell breaks loose. It’s no fun to go to school with a bodyguard in tow but that’s exactly what she needs to do. She is ostracised by her school mates and has a tough time finding a friend to have lunch with. Eventually all works out in the end!
The subsequent books chronicle her growing years which are full of important decisions, crushes, finding true love, losing a BFF to gain another and then the ultimate heartbreak. All through this she sails with great equanimity, aided and abetted by her loyal troupe consisting of her mother, Mr Gianni, her father, her grandmother and her cat Fat Louise.
Lasting Impression on me:
Alright so it doesn’t sound pretty exciting as a tale when put like that. But the bit I fell in love with is that this entire series is from Mia’s perspective and she pours her heart out into a diary where she records it all. It’s this journaling that forms a crux of the story and is so well done that I wanted to start writing one. All along Mia wrestles with the trolls of under confidence and low self-esteem and even looks to Marx, Jung and Freud for guidance. Her self-analysis are humourous and will keep you in splits.
I missed out on being a part of a “gang” in school and through this book I lived some of it. Some of my demons were exorcised when Mia went through similar turmoil. Teenage politics I tell you can be more complicated and dangerous than grown up politics.
I really liked the way Cabot has verified the teen anguish in this series and made them seem so fuzzy and warm, that you want a bear hug while reading this book. I also love her portrayal of the relationship Mia has with her cat Fat Louise. Reading this series made me fall in love with the idea of having a cat for a pet 😉
No it’s not an all five-star for this series; more like a 4**** and I wouldn’t exactly recommend it as an intellectual read. This is a fun and easy read for someone who missed out on the fun of school as she was too busy being serious and studious. Read it to feel normal.
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I am on a no-book-buying pact as I am pretty much broke; not to mention that I am running out of space as well!! But incase anyone wants to trade their books or send me gifts, please do check out my Wishlist on Amazon & Want to read on Goodreads.
For the uninitiated, AtoZ challenge is a blogging challenge wherein one has to write on every alphabet from A to Z and post on all days of April, except Sundays. Usually its better to devise a theme as it makes it easy to write the posts. Plus readers have a reason to stay hooked too.
The A to Z Challenge is created by Arlee Bird of Tossing it Out
and co-hosted by
Alex J. Cavanaugh of Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jeremy Hawkins of Hollywood Nuts
John Holton of The Sound of One Hand Typing
J Lenni Dorner of Blog of J. Lenni Dorner
Some of my previous posts you might be interested in catching up on