The Unofficial Princess Diaries Binge Read: Where Mia Gets a Tad Bit OCD

Last month, I remembered why I loved this series.  This month, I remembered some of the problems I had with it.  It didn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy readings books 4, 4 1/2, 4 2/3, and 5.  But it did remind me of the issues I had with it.

Never before has the world seen such a princess.

Nor have her own subjects, for that matter. Mia’s royal introduction to Genovia has mixed results: while her fashion sense is widely applauded, her position on the installation of public parking meters is met with resistance.

But the politics of bureaucracy are nothing next to Mia’s real troubles. Between canceled dates with her long—sought—after royal consort, a second semester of the dreaded Algebra, more princess lessons from Grandmère as a result of the Genovian parking—meter thing, and the inability to stop gnawing on her fingernails, isn’t there anything Mia is good at besides inheriting an unwanted royal title?

Source: GoodReads

Groans.

Do I have to?

If I was reviewing books when Princess in Waiting came out, I’d probably give up on The Princess Diaries series.  This is my least favorite book in the series and I really think it was a waste of space-if you would’ve added some of Valentine Princess to it I think it would’ve been a stronger book.

The good thing about this particular installment, was I sort of knew what I was getting into when I reread it, so I didn’t absolutely hate it (at least as much).

I didn’t like it either.

I think the biggest problem with Princess in Waiting  is that it takes so long to get started.  It’s like the audience is waiting for the actual book to begin and gets stuck on Meg Cabot Airlines reading some stupid day planner.

That’s what it really felt like to me.

I could care less what happens in Genovia.

It’s a fictional country that really bad movies take place in, that’s all I need to know.

When the actual book starts-meaning, when Mia returns home to New York-there’s really not a plot.  Just obsession over Mia’s first date with Michael and then possibly having to cancel said date.

It’s really a big let down after Princess in Love.

I don’t think it’s as bad as I thought it was, because there were a few parts of it that were tolerable.

Like Lilly.

She was actually rationale in this book.  Which surprised me, because in most books I really can’t stand her.

I also liked the fact that Tina had a bit of a story in this book too.  It’s nice seeing supporting characters get a starring role for once.

So, props on that.

Still though, I really didn’t care for this one.

Overall Grade: D. I think this was a very, very, weak installment.  Probably my least favorite in the series.  However, it wasn’t a total wash.

 

Valentine’s Day means flowers, chocolates, and all-out romance.

That is, it usually means those things. But when you’re Princess Mia, nothing happens the way it’s supposed to. For one thing, Grandmère seems determined to prove that boy (or Michael, as he is commonly known) isn’t the right one for the crown princess of Genovia. And Mia isn’t having much luck proving otherwise, since Michael has a history of being decidedly against any kind of exploitative commercialization (Valentine’s Day, as it is commonly known).

Boris can declare his love openly to Lilly, and even Kenny comes through with a paltry Whitman’s Sampler. So why can’t Michael give in to Cupid and tell Mia he loves her—preferably with something wrapped in red or pink and accompanied by roses—in time to prove he’s Mia’s true prince?

Source: GoodReads

This novella really captures what I liked about the early years of this series the best, the zany humor and immaturity that you see only in Mia’s freshman year.  Sure, you begin to see that annoying neurosis that followed the series on from book four to Mia’s intervention in book nine, but it’s muted in this novella.

I love how Valentine’s Day is treated in this book and how the romance is handled in a fairly realistic way.  That was the biggest plus about this book.

What I didn’t like was that Lilly acted is a fairly unrealistic way towards Boris, which I think was done solely for foreshadowing purposes (this was published after  book five, so I think Cabot was trying to hammer the point that Loris was dead in the water).

This is overall, a really cute book.  While there are some hints and innuendos over what happens in future books, it’s not required reading.

Overal Rating: B+ enjoyable fluff.

 

 

 

What on earth is that princess up to now?

Most princesses would prefer to spend their spring breaks in Gstaad, or some other equally unpronounceable European hot spot.

Not this one, though. Hammer in hand, Princess Mia embarks on an epic adventure for one so admittedly unhandy: along with her cohorts from school, she’s off to build houses for the less fortunate. It doesn’t take Mia long to realize that helping others—while an unimpeachably noble pastime—is very hard work. Will her giving spirit prevail? Will the house collapse due to royally clumsy construction? And most importantly, will Michael stop working long enough to kiss her?

Source: GoodReads

This installment isn’t much, and really doesn’t pertain to the over all series (I’m wondering if it’s even been reprinted recently).

The nice thing about it, besides the fact that it’s profits went to a wonderful cause, is that it’s a novella you’re not required to read.

I hate it when novellas are super important to the book-case in point, Sweet Sixteen Princess.  True, authors  will recap for us what went on but you’ll still inevitably buy the novella.

The plot of Project Princess is pretty simple, Mia is building houses for a Habitat Humanity type group during Spring Break with her friends and chaos insures.

Probably the most significant thing to happen in this one is that Boris barfs a lot.

I really did enjoy seeing my last glimpse of happy Loris.  I know a lot of people don’t like this couple, based on what happens in book five, but they are fun to read about while they last.  Michael and Mia are cute too, but a bit overly mushy.  Loris is just sort of humorous together.  And I really miss seeing that with Toris-even they they are much more suited together (i.e. Tina would never let Boris attempt suicide with a globe).

For huge Princess Diaries fans, I recommend this one, if you’re sort of a fair weather fan, it would be okay to skip.

Overall Rating: A solid B.

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.

Following up the brief Volume IV and a Half and introducing a new addition to Mia’s family, this knee-slapping fifth volume makes the series glitter brighter than ever, placing yet another jewel in Cabot’s crown.

Source: GoodReads

What I Remembered:

 Really hating Lilly in this installment and not really feeling Toris.

What I Got:

Really hating Lilly.  Finding Toris a lot more tolerable and believable.  And finding Mia almost as intolerable as Lilly in this installment.

In fact, if I wanted to, I could have a drinking game every time Lilly or Mia annoyed me.  I get that they’re fourteen/fifteen year old girls, but both of them need a good swift kick in the pants to reality.

To be fair though, I did enjoy Princess in Pink a lot more than I remembered.

I had some nice things going for it.

For one, it had an actual plot (unlike Princess in Waiting) and their was some slight character development in this book.

I think the best thing about this one was Michael.  Sometimes I really wonder how he tolerates Mia so much though, because her neurosis is full blown in this one.

He really must be the master of zen.

The supporting characters though really carried this novel, save for Grandmere.  I think this is the point where she starts developing into almost a caricature of sorts.  But you could argue that about all the characters to a certain degree.  Especially Lilly and Mia.

I keep complaining about them…I guess I should discuss them.

Lilly is just a horrible person.  It’s a conclusion I came to a long time ago with these books, though she does have an entertaining moment or two when she’s not stuffing her tongue down some random guy’s throat. In this book, we don’t see those entertaining quirks since she’s mostly sticking her throat down some guy’s throat.

Add to it, that Mia is sort of  slut slamming her friend at the end with this little gem:

Tina just called.  She is kvelling over getting to go to the prom.  It is, she says, like a dream come true.  I told her I couldn’t agree more.  She asked me how I thought we’d come to be so lucky.

I told her: Because we are both kind and pure of heart (237).

Look, I get Lilly was really stupid in this installment.  But as her best friend Mia shouldn’t quasi dis her to Tina with that stupid pure of heart trash.  Then again, this is the girl that obsesses about her virginity to the point where she calls it her precious gift.

And plus, it’s just prom.

I think this is me being no longer fifteen.  Maybe I could’ve agreed with Mia back then-maybe not.

Despite my grievances with two of the characters, I did find this installment to be a huge improvement over Princess in Waiting.  It’s fun and light, and actually has a plot.

Overall Rating: A solid B.

 

Objective Binge For Next Month:

  • Princess in Training (book 6): I remember it mainly being a bridge book, more than anything else.  It might surprise me or it might be a recap of book four (shudders).
  • The Princess Present (book 6 1/2):It’s a cute novella that heavily borrows from “The Gift of the Magi”.
  • Party Princess (book 7): Sexy dancing. And Grandmere does broadway. Oh, and JP.
  • Sweet Sixteen Princess (book 7 1/2): The last novella-chronologically speaking, in the series.  This one is actually pretty important to the series.

 

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