It’s the first coronation of a female monarch of Genovia in 200 years, and Her Royal Highness, Princess Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison, is giving you the inside scoop in this newest (illustrated!) diary from New York Times–bestselling author and illustrator Meg Cabot!
Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison should be having fun. Her best friend is visiting from America, her sister’s royal coronation is only three days away (the first coronation of a female ruler in two centuries), and she’s even got a new boyfriend who is actually a very smart and charming prince!
But it’s hard to celebrate when her royal cousins are scheming to take over the throne. And with everyone running around, Olivia and her friends have been saddled with royal babysitting duties. Then, to make matters worse, Olivia’s snobby cousin Luisa insists on gossiping about her, especially about things that should be personal . . . it’s none of her business whether Prince Khalil and Olivia have kissed or not!
When did growing up royal get so complicated?!?
I really wish Meg Cabot would write stuff for her older fans again. I get that she’s trying to expand her audience. But God damn it, I have read her stuff for seventeen years and I feel like I’m at my wit’s end since she’s only published kiddie books the past few years.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think her new Princess Diaries series is bad. I’d probably enjoy it if I was like ten. But I am a grown ass woman, and even the mere thought of seeing artwork of Michael Moscovitz’s ass (it hasn’t happened and its been four books) isn’t going to keep me from reading this series anymore.
Or for that matter, getting updates on my favorite characters isn’t going to keep me reading either.
I mean, you there has to be a lot of older fans who grew up on Diaries who are reading it for the updates, right?
Okay, maybe I’m the only person.
And to be fair, I do think it is a decent middle grade book if a bit cringe-y.
Honestly, as this spinoff series has progressed it has gotten moreccringe worthy. Palace life in Genovia is essentially like Princess Diaries 2 and I hate that fucking movie for being so full of cheese. And I’m not talking about the enjoyable sort of cheese. They got rid of Michael, how can you fucking do that?
Olivia is a Mary Sue. After four books, I am just going to say it. Mia had faults. She might’ve been exasperating whiney and immature for a few books, but she seemed semi-realistic. Olivia is just too perfect to the point of me wanting to punch her stupid fictional face in.
The books have also gotten ridiculously formulaic. It’s like the series is stuck in middle Princess Diaries territory which is not a good thing.
I don’t feel a connection to any of these characters either except for the characters in the original series-who except for Grandmere (who I personally find to be OTT) are relegated to cameo appearances.
And Grandmere is severally watered down. I remember how her reaction to a certain event was in Mia’s life and it was the exact opposite of how she treated the situation with Olivia’s (yes, Cabot I remember these things I read these books way too many times in my teen years). And honestly, Mia’s dad does not seem like Mia’s dad in this series either. And neither does Mia’s mom. Or Mia. Or Michael. Or Lily. Or Tina. It’s almost as if they’ve been his with a bland gun to make Olivia and her crew seem interesting.
But Olivia and her friends at the end of the day are dull. I still cringe every time I read about her friends at “princess” school. Because hello, these are preteens not the cast of Sophia the First. And I also cringe with the various attempts to usurp the Genovian throne. Like, hasn’t this plot line with its five thousand plot holes been used like ten thousand times already?
At the end of the day, I ended this book missing the original series which was a kissing book and not afraid to use profanity.
Interesting note, any long time readers might be interested that only a year separates the age of Mia from book one from Olivia. But it might as well be four years ’cause Olivia acts like she’s about ten years old.
Overall Rating: For what it is probably a B. For me probably a C-. I don’t think I’m going to continue with this series. I don’t really see how much further it can go either. I’m just praying to the reading gods that Cabot will write another YA series again because I miss her swoon in the genre.