Being the newest princess of Genovia is WAY more complicated than she expected, but Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison is getting used to it. She gets to live in an actual palace with two fabulous poodles, a pet iguana, her very own pony, and, best of all, a loving family to help her figure things out!
And right now Olivia, having finally admitted that she likes Prince Khalil as more than just a friend, could REALLY use some advice. What is a princess supposed to do once she’s found a prince she likes? With her half-sister Mia busy enjoying her honeymoon, Olivia turns to Grandmere for help.
The third book in the middle-grade Princess Diaries spin-off series, written and illustrated by New York Times-bestselling author Meg Cabot.
The good news: I got through this book maybe within two hours.
The bad news: I am way too old for this book, and I honestly don’t know if I’m going to continue reading this series now that Mia’s babies are born and I still haven’t gotten any Michael face after three installments. Meg is really going to have to do something to hold my interest but I doubt it will be held.
So yeah, I really didn’t care too much for Royal Crush. It wasn’t that it was a bad book, but I am clearly way over its age group AND I couldn’t help but think throughout reading this book, these characters are only one year younger than Mia and Co in Book 1, but they might as well have been about ten years younger.
And yeah, thinking that they were only a year younger and that Michael was technically 18 at the start of the original series kind of gave me “Ew” thoughts about Michael and Mia because the age difference really was pretty big.
Though you couldn’t tell it with the original series (as much). Even though Mia was a grossly immature 14 year old in the first few books she was a lot mature than Olivia was about a lot of things (she certainly knew about a lot of things that Olivia seems naive about). I think in part, it’s because the book is a middle grade series so the tone is going to be different. Like, in book one of the original series Lily and Mia’s conversation is a lot more mature than Olivia’s conversations with her friends. But honestly, out of the two series I think Olivia’s conversations are a bit more realistic.
Still though, I think I prefer Mia and the original series on a whole a lot better. For one thing, Mia was a lot less of a Mary Sue than Olivia is. There is something annoyingly perfect about Olivia that rubs me the wrong way. It’s not that she’s a bad character, but at the same time…she’s just too perfect.
The plot of this one was also utterly predictable, save for Mia’s twins names. Honestly, sort of hated the names that were chosen. I know there was sentiment and all, but pretty much they were named after Mia’s parents dead significant others AND one of them Mia nor Michael never even met.
That being said, if I was about twenty years younger I think I would’ve enjoyed this more. I wouldn’t have side eyed it near as much when I read about the stupid boarding school that seems to have just royalty in it and seems even more fake in this installment than the less. I wouldn’t groan as much at how ridiculous Mary Sue like Olivia was either. Or how I could predict almost every plot twist. And seriously, the Genovia here is starting to become more and more like it was in that hideous Princess Diaries 2 movie (you know, the one where Disney’s version of JP gets with Mia when Michael dumps her to tour with his band).
Like I said, just not my age group. The thing is the first (and to a degree, the second) of these books were enjoyable enough for me to continue reading despite not being in the age group, but not this one. I think if anything, this book has me wanting a new Meg Cabot book written for adults or a new YA series.
Looking at her backlist, I noticed that it’s been years since a new YA title has been released (last one was Awaken) and while I adored her YA characters being aged up, and her newest Boy book last year, I want something new in the YA market from her. So, so, much (seriously, Meg, we need your supreme fluff in the market) Alas, when I checked to see if she had anything coming out soon I didn’t see anything listed which was sad. And with some internet sleuthing based on her answers in some interviews, I don’t think a new YA is likely from her anytime soon (major, MAJOR, bummer).
Anyway, if you have younger kids who are too young to read about the hijinks of Norman the foot stalker, I’d recommend it. It’s definitely lot more kid friendly than the original books were, yet there’s still that Meg Cabot-y quality about it that will real you again.
So yeah, not a bad book but for someone who is not in the targeted audience and grew up on the original I couldn’t help but make some cringe worthy comparisons.
Overall Rating: A B.