Julie's Reviews > The Princess Diaries

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
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May 31, 12

bookshelves: fiction, young-adult, 2009, from-library, audio
Recommended to Julie by: Shannon, saw it on the shelf, saw the movie
Recommended for: teens
Read in March, 2009, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** I'd been meaning to get around to reading this for a while, and when I saw that the library had the whole series in audio format (and that it was read by Anne Hathaway) I thought: audio + half hour drive to college = good idea.

I was really surprised, having seen the movie, that the book only covered about a third of what the movie did. I mean, I expected lots of differences, but I did not expect that Mia wouldn't even get to Genovia in book 1. I found it interesting that Mia's father agreed to let her finish out high school in NY.

The characters were mostly likable, but the biggest issue for me is that Mia is INCREDIBLY WHINY. I know she's a ninth grader and it probably does seem like the end of the world to her, mostly for the amount of embarassing situations she could get in because of her princess status, but she seems to have a) no sense of duty to her new position, and b) very little concept of how much good she could do using her new position. I was amused by the arrangement Mia made to get money donated to Greenpeace in exchange for her cooperating with princess lessons; but other than that she spent the entire book being VERY, very whiny.

Also, Mia is dense. Yes, we are all dense at that age, but I think I might be past the age where I can read this with a lot of understanding. She should have picked up on Michael Moscovitz's feelings much sooner, and in addition I think she was misinterpreting some of Josh Richter's motivations. I think he's a tool, but I don't think the ENTIRE situation at the dance was exactly as she saw it. I think that Josh did sincerely admire her to some extent - he seemed impressed with her not drinking because she wanted to take care of her body, etc.

Anyway, while Mia got on my nerves quite frequently, I was ok with the book overall and I want to see how the story develops. I'm shocked how many books there are and I want to follow Mia's story as she assumes her position as Princess of Genovia.

A word on the audio: Anne Hathaway does, of course, a lovely job. I just have the same issue as always, where the reader doesn't say things in the same way I would in my head. It's also frustrating how slowly they have to read, because I could have read the actual book in much less time. Oh well - it's the price I pay for getting to multi-task on the way to school.
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