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The Princess Diaries #1

The Princess Diaries

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Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there's nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra.

Is she ever in for a surprise.

First mom announces that she's dating Mia's Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn't have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?

283 pages, Library Binding

First published May 30, 2000

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About the author

Meg Cabot

288 books33.6k followers
Librarian note: AKA Jenny Carroll (1-800-Where-R-You series), AKA Patricia Cabot (historical romance novels).

Meg Cabot was born on February 1, 1967, during the Chinese astrological year of the Fire Horse, a notoriously unlucky sign. Fortunately she grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, where few people were aware of the stigma of being a fire horse -- at least until Meg became a teenager, when she flunked freshman Algebra twice, then decided to cut her own bangs. After six years as an undergrad at Indiana University, Meg moved to New York City (in the middle of a sanitation worker strike) to pursue a career as an illustrator, at which she failed miserably, forcing her to turn to her favorite hobby--writing novels--for emotional succor. She worked various jobs to pay the rent, including a decade-long stint as the assistant manager of a 700 bed freshmen dormitory at NYU, a position she still occasionally misses.

She is now the author of nearly fifty books for both adults and teens, selling fifteen million copies worldwide, many of which have been #1 New York Times bestsellers, most notably The Princess Diaries series, which is currently being published in over 38 countries, and was made into two hit movies by Disney. In addition, Meg wrote the Mediator and 1-800-Where-R-You? series (on which the television series, Missing, was based), two All-American Girl books, Teen Idol, Avalon High, How to Be Popular, Pants on Fire, Jinx, a series of novels written entirely in email format (Boy Next Door, Boy Meets Girl, and Every Boy's Got One), a mystery series (Size 12 Is Not Fat/ Size 14 Is Not Fat Either/Big Boned), and a chick-lit series called Queen of Babble.

Meg is now writing a new children's series called Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls. Her new paranormal series, Abandon, debuts in Summer of 2011.

Meg currently divides her time between Key West, Indiana, and New York City with a primary cat (one-eyed Henrietta), various back-up cats, and her husband, who doesn't know he married a fire horse. Please don't tell him.


Series:
* Airhead
* The Princess Diaries
* Mediator

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5 stars
77,250 (30%)
4 stars
78,083 (31%)
3 stars
68,716 (27%)
2 stars
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1 star
6,486 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,660 reviews
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,221 reviews2,164 followers
August 15, 2008
If you've seen the movie version, this book takes up about the first third or maybe half of the movie (from what I remember), but don't let that fool you into thinking nothing much happens in this book.

Mia Thermopolis lives in Manhattan with her artist mother Helen, going to a private school called Albert Einstein High and spending the summers with her father and his mother at her chateau in France. She knows they're rich, but she thinks her dad is just a politician. At school she's unpopular and has "triangular" hair; her best friend Lilly has her own tv show and is trying to expose the racism of the Chinese owners of the deli across the road for discounting Asian students 5 cents; she's in love with the most popular boy at school, Josh, who doesn't even seem to know she's alive; she's failing Algebra; and her mum is going out with her teacher Mr Gianini.

Life is already a bit of a strain and when her dad tells her he's the crown prince of Genovia and, since his testicular cancer has left him unable to have more children, Mia is now the heir to the throne, it becomes even more unbearable.

She's seriously not happy about the news, but makes a compromise with her Dad: that she'll keep going to school like normal, but would spend the summers in Genovia doing the princess thing. She wasn't expecting her formidable grandmother to come to New York to give her princess lessons, and she wasn't expecting the same grandmother to leak the story to the press. Now she's suddenly popular but it's the last thing she wants.

Mia is effortlessly engaging, her voice and personality coming through strongly in her diary entries. She's funny without meaning to be, insightful without realising it, reveals more than she intends, and so allows the reader to not only really get to know her but also see what's going on more clearly than she does, as she's blinded by her own interests, passions and opinions. It's actually very cleverly written, and very funny.

The grandmother is a scary character - Julie Andrews really toned the character down for the movie - she wears a purple turban, smokes a lot, drinks her favourite cocktail all the time, and comes across as somewhat harsh and even cruel. She certainly intimidates her son, Phillipe, and anyone else who crosses her path. She may have met her match with Mia - and I can see that as Mia slowly grows, matures and, yes, transforms, she'll probably have a softening effect on her grandmother as well. She's certainly got an interesting past, but we only get hints of it at this stage.

Essentially, what saves this book from being just another YA journal-style teenage girl gushathon is Mia's liveliness, her spirit, her humour and, well, her. She's a wonderful protagonist and a good role model - not that she doesn't make some pretty silly mistakes and choices along the way. She's also a familiar character, and reminds me that what's considered "ordinary" usually disguises something pretty extraordinary. Plus, I love her summing-up of Marx's contradictions of capitalism; despite the fluffy pink cover, this is no Gossip Girls kind of book - Mia's not into having the latest crap: she's a conscientious worrier, and wants to join Greenpeace to save the whales. She's a bit of a dag, really, and that makes her infinitely likeable, even loveable.
Profile Image for emma.
1,825 reviews48.6k followers
July 16, 2018
THIS BOOK IS A MODERN CLASSIC.

Honestly, I read this book in middle school and I still like it. Can you believe that? This book is so good that it makes current brilliant cool me agree with twelve-year-old me, who loved Justin Bieber and thought Aeropostale graphic tees were the height of fashion. It's miraculous. Also I'm amazing. (Just thought I'd clarify that in case my previous statement hadn't made it clear.)

Anyway this is so so so so fun and surprisingly woke for having been written 18 years ago. I truly enjoyed it and now have suckered myself into rereading this whole series, which is like seriously a thousand books long.

But wait I just realized Mia is 14 years old???? My god. WAIT A DRUNKEN EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD KISSED HER. I may have to deduct a half-star and/or take back that whole "woke" comment from a paragraph ago.

Whatever.

Bottom line: Is there anything better than rereading a dumb book you loved when you were dumb and being like "oh wow this is actually crazy fun"??????
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
916 reviews13.9k followers
September 2, 2019
This book was entirely a blast from the past, and reading it was like rewatching the movie because the two are so similar and nostalgic. Obviously, this book focuses on such melodramatic and cheesy plot points, but the reason it was so fun was because of Mia's sass and exasperation with her entire situation. I wish this book would have focused more on her transition to princess life rather than trying to continue on as normal and keeping it a secret, but I think that will be a lot more unpacked in the future books of the series, which I'm definitely interested in reading because they're so lighthearted and fun and it makes me feel 12 again when I read these. Obviously there are some lines that wouldn't fly if this book were published today, but overall this book held up over the decades and I think it was a ton of fun for young readers and as an adult.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
March 22, 2022
The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries #1), Meg Cabot

Meggin Patricia Cabot is a prolific American novelist. She has written and published over fifty novels of young adult and adult fiction, and is best known for her young adult series Princess Diaries.

Mia Thermopolis is an average urban ninth grader living in Greenwich Village with her single, liberal mother and semi-famous painter, Helen Thermopolis. She begins keeping a journal after her mother begins dating her Algebra teacher, Mr. Gianni, whose subject Mia is currently failing. Mia has a crush on Josh Richter, the boyfriend of popular cheerleader Lana Weinberger, who often makes fun of her, though she also unknowingly harbors feelings for Michael, the brother of her best friend Lilly Moscovitz. ... 'You're not Mia Thermopolis any more, honey,' Dad said. 'You're Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo. Princess of Genovia.'

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و یکم ماه مارس سال2014میلادی

عنوان: خ‍اطرات‌ یک پ‍رن‍سس؛ نویسنده: م‍ِگ‌ ک‍اب‍وت‌ (مگین پاتریشیا کابوت)؛ مترجم: ک‍ی‍م‍ی‍ا ک‍اظم‍ی‌؛ تهران، ورجاوند؛ سال1384؛ در248ص؛ شابک9647656920؛ شابک9789647656924؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

در این داستان «میا ترموپولیس» دختری خجالتی و کم‌رو هست، که همسالانش او را کوچک می‌شمارند؛ زیرا او خواستار نجات محیط زیست و پشتیبانی از حیوانات است، او شخصیتی احساساتی، شوخ طبع، و خیرخواه به شمار می‌آید؛ همه چیز در زندگی «میا ترموپولیس» عادی است تا اینکه روزی درمی‌یابد او پرنسس «جنویا» است، بدین ترتیب، زندگی ایشان دگرگون می‌شود و.....؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 01/01/1401میلادی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Jessica.
261 reviews3,561 followers
June 10, 2015
I first read this series YEARS ago but thought it was time for a reread with A Royal Wedding coming out this summer! I simply loved it! I thought maybe since I'm so much older I wouldn't like it as much, and that maybe I'd get annoyed even.. (Freshman Mia can be a little dramatic) but I didn't! It was perfect! Excited to continue reading on until the new book comes out! In some ways, I actually feel like I connect better with Mia now then I did before, not because I'm a princess secretly or because I'm having boy problems.. But I never realized before how much Mia talks about being a vegetarian and animal rights and stuff! It was pretty awesome! I also love her mom and Fat Louie :D
Profile Image for Dawn.
5 reviews
March 31, 2008
I never got around to reading this when I was the protagonist Mia's age, and since the book and movie series became so popular, I recently decided to take a trip back to childhood and finally read this book. It was a quick read, thankfully, but I didn't find it nearly as endearing as the movie version (which is substantially different from the novel). The book seemed awfully light on plot and substance. Character development was minimal, and as a result, most of the characters (including Mia) weren't as likable or relatable as they could have been. Mia's melodrama became tiresome, as did her best friend's ego.

The story continues with the rest of the series, so it probably improves, but the first book didn't make me eager to read the second. This may be my age talking, but I suspect I wouldn't have been interested as a young teen either. Overall, I was underwhelmed. The movie was touching, but the book...not as much.
Profile Image for Shannon A.
674 reviews530 followers
July 22, 2015
Honestly, this book was a complete surprise for me! I had never read it (I know, I know) and I loved it!! So smart and clever and totally kick butt feminist. This book was so ahead of its time when it was first published. I don't know but I would guess there was backlash lol - I can't wait to pick up the next one and I definitely recommend the audiobooks as well. Anne Hathaway narrates the first three and she does an amazing job! :) I could try and nitpick and find something to critique but I honestly don't want to - this was a great book.
Profile Image for human.
640 reviews987 followers
August 12, 2021
(2.5/5)

If I'm being perfectly honest here, I only really decided to listen to this because I was:
a.) bored doing math homework
b.) looking for something light and fun
c.) told that this was narrated by Anne Hathaway.
And if we're going by those standards, then this book did not disappoint at all.

Going into this, I wasn't expecting much. Almost everyone knows the plot of The Princess Diaries, especially considering that it was turned into a pair of movies a while ago. When Mia learns that she's the heir to a small European nation, she's not looking forward to everything that entails.

The book follows Mia as she learns to navigate friendships, royalty, first crushes, and just about every other formulaic plotline you can imagine for a coming-of-age novel targeted at teenage girls, post-2000.

There's a fair amount of drama, and Mia is basically your average not-like-other-grills protagonist. There were definitely some passages that made me look twice (and would totally not fly if this book were published today), but overall, it was quick and enjoyable, and I can definitely see why people consider this a guilty pleasure.
Profile Image for ✶Rachelle✶ .
266 reviews123 followers
June 11, 2018
4 stars

This was way funnier than I thought it would be. Mia is hysterical, and Meg Cabot's writing style is right up my alley. I'm looking forward to reading the gazillion other books that are in this series!

Profile Image for C.B. Cook.
Author 6 books198 followers
February 2, 2016
Unfortunately, I couldn't finish this. I got ten pages in and I could not handle Mia's obsession with kissing and the size of her chest and half a dozen other disgusting things. I'll stick to the movies, thank you very much.
Profile Image for ATheReader- check my bio.
199 reviews59 followers
January 24, 2021
(January 6th-10th 2021)
So I think it is clear that I love this book. I am obsessed with the main character and the story that unfolds. I love the movie and I adore the audio book. This is such a great royal contemporary series and it is my comfort book. I don't review this book because it would detract from my experience but I have listened to the audiobook a total of 4 times in less than a year.

(September 9th 2020)
Yes I’ve read this 3 times on audiobook.
Yes I just bought the box set so I can read them all at once.
No I don’t regret it.
Yes I’m reading them starting NOW!

(July 24th and 22nd 2020) The audiobook is narrated by Anne Hathaway so I really enjoyed it. (which is why I listened to it twice)
Profile Image for Namratha.
1,073 reviews234 followers
July 4, 2020
Twenty years down the road, and my first foray into the world of YA Lit via Meg Cabot’s spectacularly fun series still has my heart. Staying home, trying to stay safe amidst a pandemic while stressing incessantly demanded a return to happier times.
And Mia Thermapolis’ shenanigans seemed ideal.
So here’s my old review (tweaked a bit after my 2020 reading):

Say hello to fourteen-year old Mia Thermopolis and her innumerable teenage woes:
1) She is the tallest girl in her class, has feet like skis, mouse-brown/dishwater blonde hair that is triangular in shape and a chest line that is flatter than a surfboard.
2) She is a child of wedlock, the result of a short-lived college romance between the dapper Phillipe Renaldo of Genovia (a fictional country in Europe located between France and Italy) and the avant-garde, free-spirited artist Helen Thermapolis of Greenwich village.
3) Her mother is currently dating her algebra teacher.
4) She gets bullied and ridiculed on a regular basis by her high-school nemesis, Lana Weinberger.
5) She has an unrequited crush on the most popular senior in school, Josh Richter who just happens to be Lana’s boyfriend.
6) Her best friend, Lilly Moscovitz is an intelligent, opinionated, radical thinker who analyses Mia at every given opportunity.
7) Lilly’s brother, Michael would make a lovely boyfriend if only he would see Mia as someone more than just his kid sister’s best friend.


And adding to her regular list of woes, she suddenly finds out that she isn’t just plain old anonymous Mia Thermapolis. She is in fact *Her Royal Highness, Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldi, Crown Princess of Genovia*.
AND she is the solo heir to the throne of Genovia.

While finding out that you are a princess might be every young girl’s Disney dream come to life, for Mia….it’s an onerous burden. Drastic makeovers, pushy paparazzi and gold diggers waiting to ride piggyback on her newly exalted status will now become a way of life. And guiding her through this training process will be her grandmother from refined-hell, Clarisse Marie Grimaldi Renaldo, the Dowager Princess of Genovia.

Written as the journal entries in Mia’s diary, the first book in The Princess Diaries is hilarious and entertaining. It is a fun, frothy, whiny talisman for every self-doubting teenage girl. In her own way, Meg Cabot also inspires young readers to grab life by it’s lapels and face it with courage, humour and infinite sass.
Profile Image for Nasty Lady MJ.
1,059 reviews16 followers
April 8, 2020
Still my ultimate comfort read. I am probably going to ping pong back to this series and other Meg Cabot books during quarantine. Her work has helped me get through some real shitty moments in my life so I'm glad it can still work its magic.

Although, I can really tell I have aged since first reading this series at the very ripe age of 13.

Also, if you are a fan of this series Meg currently is posting Mia entries about Genovia dealing with the crisis free on her blog. You can thank me later.


To see full binge review of books 1-3 click here.

First things, first.

The outdated pop culture references are still hilarious. Though some of them are sot of sad/cringe worthy if you think about what has happened to some of the celebrities since the publication of this book. Also, I still need to watch some of those Lifetime movies that Mia mentioned like Why Me? I still haven’t been able to find that one yet.

Oh, well.

It was also hilarious to look at some of these characters due to spoiler purposes, and sobering too (especially if you read about a certain character’s death from the excerpt posted from Royal Wedding).

The writing is really simplistic. Being a grown woman, versus a gawky thirteen-year-old, it’s a lot more obvious now then it was then. And it really does read like a young girl wrote it, as the series progresses Mia’s voice in turn seems to progress as well. And I have to give Cabot props for that.

The plot overall was really simplistic. And simple succeeds here. It’s odd seeing it succeed, when I have seen several YA books fail with the same plot: The geeky girl falls is head over heals with the popular jock, only to not notice the gorgeous nerd next door.

I think one of the reasons why it worked in Diaries and not so many other books is because Mia and Michael don’t get together at the end of this book. The progression of the relationship isn’t rushed. And besides, the Josh plot isn’t really the sole focus of the book.
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,126 reviews104 followers
May 12, 2022
Light and fluffy, but oh so so so enjoyable and with also some pretty well spot-on analyses and descriptions of modern American/Canadian middle and high school school culture and equally of the snobby and arrogant attitudes and philosophies that are unfortunately still rather prevalent and proliferating regarding the nobility, regarding the aristocracy in much of Western and Central Europe (and yes, even though the principality of Genovia has been invented by author Meg Cabot and thus does of course not exist), I have certainly and truly found Cabot’s The Princess Diaries (which is book one in a rather lengthy series) a delightful and wonderful reading break.

For yes indeed, Cabot’s presented text in The Princess Diaries is entertaining, engaging, a bit exaggerated perhaps at times, but with in particular main protagonist Mia Thermopolis being depicted by Meg Cabot as a total kindred spirit and thankfully NOT AT ALL like an automatically perfect and beyond criticism and rebuke due to her nobility of background princess material protagonist. And this latter scenario truly and definitely demonstrates something for me to majorly textually appreciate, since Mia Thermopolis being shown by Meg Cabot as being delightfully flawed and a typical socially awkward American schoolgirl who is both shocked by the fact that she supposedly is a Genovian princess and also totally does in no way want this and NOT some automatic noblesse oblige perfection, yes, this really does make the first person narration of The Princess Diaries, this really does render Mia’s voice as shown by Cabot delightfully authentic and personally relatable and as such also and in my opinion much textually superior and realistic to many of the older and more classical Ruritanian tales of prince and princesses incognito who are nevertheless automatically easily recognizable as such and also take on their princely obligations and responsibilities easily, completely and with no complaints or questions asked.

Now as an adult reader, I do find it kind of interesting and fun that with regard to Mia’s issues throughout The Princess Diaries with her best friend Lily Moscovitz and her staunchly traditional and Genovian nobility grandmother, while these two characters at first appear to be rather majorly different, well, with regard to their arrogance, obstinacy and their my way or the proverbial highway kind of Weltanschauung both Lilly and Grandmère are actually annoyingly similar but with the main issues being that at the end of The Princess Diaries Lili Moscovitz apologises to Mia and sees the errors of her ways whereas the Mia’s grandmother dies not and likely never will.

Four stars for The Princess Diaries, although I do find both Mia's mother and her father totally annoying regarding how seemingly willingly they push their daughter under the proverbial bus that is Grandmère and really offer no support except that poor Mia should just grin and bare this.
Profile Image for Tiffany .
74 reviews70 followers
October 4, 2020
*Read for day 7: pink of The Rainbow Readathon*
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Genre: YA humor (I guess?)
Short Summary: Mia, a freshman girl, has to deal with the fact she is a princess of a fictional country and the fact her mom is dating her algebra teacher.
My rating: 1.5 stars

My thoughts:
Plot: 1.5 stars
There isn't much of a plot at all, and the ending really fizzled out.

Characters: 1.5 stars
Mia is the whiniest, most selfish character I've read about in ages. She literally thinks it's good that Iran bombed Afghanistan so war carnage can be in the news instead of the fact a guy kissed her. The only thing good about her is that she's vegetarian. The other characters are all very bland.

Writing: 2 stars
Way too many exclamation points and too much use of all-caps. Also it's not funny at all (except when there's typos) even though it's supposed to be humorous. It's just dumb.

Other: -1 star
Racist (a dance celebrating cultural and racial diversity is described as "stupid", and a whole subplot is devoted to how racist Asian people supposedly are), sexist (sexual harrassment and groping are portrayed as things girls want), transphobic (one of my status updates had a charming quote illustrating this), and very, very heteronormative.

Do I recommend it? Definitely not.
Profile Image for Lucinda Garza.
166 reviews671 followers
September 12, 2019
(Este es un libro que objetivamente es de tres estrellas pero FUCK THAT, le voy a poner cuatro).

Creo que la mayoría conocemos de qué van estos libros, fueron la inspiración para una película súper icónica de los dosmiles. La adaptación es distinta a los libros, sí, PERO la esencia es la misma:

Una adolescente inadaptada es sorprendida con la noticia de que es la princesa de un diminuto pero rico país Europeo. Y en medio de todo el cambio que esto amerita en la vida de una niña de prepa, no Mia Thermopolis no pierde su autenticidad, y la tenemos bien clara desde las primeras páginas: es una chica insegura pero muy inteligente, con ideales liberales feministas y ecologistas, y a pesar de que de repente puede parecer algo patética en su inocencia, es imposible no identificarse con un personaje así de humano.

El estilo en el que esto está escrito hace de toda la serie una JOYA. Meg Cabot sabe lo que está haciendo, capaz de hablar desde la voz de una chica de 14 años sin que se perciba como forzado o antinatural... y de paso, entre tiaras y exámenes reprobados, podemos encontrar críticas hacia los republicanos, el capitalismo y la misoginia. Todo con un sentido del humor increíble (me reí en voz alta MUCHAS veces).

Qué bueno que releí este libro, ahora voy por los que siguen...
Profile Image for Melissa Veras.
526 reviews206 followers
June 12, 2016
4.5
Absolutely LOVED this! Okay, so I wasn't really planing to read this ever, because I was quite satisfied with the movie and I've heard that the books were really different. But then, Shannon from Leaning Lights (booktuber) how cute, fun they were and I find it really cheap on Thrift Books and they gave me a 20% discount because of my birthday, and I had to buy it, OK? xD But it was such a good decision. I'm still surprised that about how much I enjoy this story. I laugh out loud multiple times and I like Mia a lot. She is a little clueless but, c'mon, who wasn't at age 14? In general I love how seeing her grow through the story and agree with her point of views about a lot of things.

There are a lot of differences between the book and the movie, so if you already watched it (and who hasn't, let's be honest) and want to read the book, it's better if you think of this stories as completely different ones -because they are. The movie have maybe a 10% of the content of the book, to be honest.

Profile Image for Kristina.
851 reviews195 followers
July 13, 2017
This book was so much fun! ^^

I love the series because it transports me back in time when I was a lot younger! 😄

If you are looking for something light and fun, then give it a go!

Krisi
Profile Image for Elaina.
324 reviews170 followers
August 17, 2017
I listened to this on an audiobook and it was pretty cool to have Anne Hathaway read it :) I kind of felt like I was watching the movie because of it lol There were a few things that bothered me though...the misuse of God's name several times along with a couple inappropriate comments that weren't needed at all in the story. It was definitely funny at times though :P It's kind of hard to pinpoint if anything else bothered me because it's just different listening to it rather than reading it I guess...I often don't remember as much if it is not right in front of me lol So sorry for another 'not so great' review xD
Profile Image for Hannah.
10 reviews30 followers
February 8, 2017
So, it's not like the movie, but it definitely was a fun read.
Profile Image for Tisha "Manic Reads".
165 reviews3 followers
February 12, 2021
If you're going into this book thinking it will be exactly like the movie version starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews, I am sorry to say that you will be sorely disappointed as they share very little in common besides names, and even then they can be changed slightly.

If you go in with an open mind, however, I think you will be pleasantly pleased.



Mia is a freshman at Albert Einstein High School, living in New York City with her mother. Her mother thinks that she needs to learn to open up more, and so she gives Mia the diary as a way to learn to express herself. We learn very quickly all the shortcomings that Mia sees in herself, and they are brought up constantly throughout the book. As someone who kept a journal in middle school and high school, which is also when this series started for me, the writing style was very familiar and the issues that she was talking about were things that I could relate to, outside of her finding out that she is a princess. She doesn't have a lot of friends, she gets teased at school, and her mother is slightly hair brained so she is constantly having to take on a more adult role taking care of bills. Her father is pretty absentee being a diplomat for his country of Genovia, but he is still alive and talks to her from time to time.



One day her father comes back to New York and informs her that his cancer he had has made him unable to have children and because of this she is now the heir to the throne of Genovia. This is where some of the unbelievability comes in, because she even states that she did a report on Genovia and had seen a picture of the prince but didn't recognize him as her father because he had sideburns and a full head of hair. I have seen pictures of my father from when he was younger, and let me tell you, he doesn't look so different that I wouldn't recognize him. Maybe the mind just sees what it wants to.



Her grandmother comes to New York as well and starts to give her princess lessons, including a full makeover for Mia. She is not the kind matronly grandmother that we got with Julie Andrews who was understanding, she was strict and unkind, completely judgmental and steam rolled over everyone. Honestly I could have seen Julie being a bit more Mary Poppins with the role with her being more pompous and such it could have worked, but they wanted to make her kinder.



Lily is more judgmental as well, and when she and Mia get in a fight it isn't just two seconds of screen time it lasts through the majority of the book. Mia makes a new friend in Tina, but feels the loss of her best friend. Michael is more of a presence in the book, helping Mia with her math work and talking to her about her issues with Lily. He isn't in a band but does play guitar, and they do have a slight flirtation. I think one of the reasons they might have aged up Mia for the movie though is because he is a senior and she is a freshman. There is a bit of a hint of a romance, though they never kiss or anything, and that kind of age difference, especially in high school, can be a bit much. Not as bad since she knew him her whole life but still some "ehhh" factor.



I am not sure how teenagers today would react to this book, especially since I am sure so many know it only from the movies. It is a product of it's time, talking about Britney Spears and her latest album, mentioning that not everyone has a phone or pager, and Princess Diana had just died three years before so the stalking of Mia by the paparazzi does bring up that topic though it is becoming topic of conversation again recently with her documentary and The Crown.

This book was clearly written with a series in mind, because though Mia grows as a friend, the princess stuff feels left in the air and relationships have just started to grow better. It is a great book though, and still one of my favorites of all time
Profile Image for Abyssdancer (Hanging in there!).
131 reviews14 followers
August 23, 2022
Such a charming little book … I would have been so in love with this series if I had read it as a teenager …

Mia is an awkward ninth grader, still growing into her body, devoted to her beliefs as a vegetarian, struggling to keep up with her school work, especially algebra … she lives with her mom, a successful artist who just happens to be dating Mia’s math teacher … Mia’s father comes to visit Mia and informs her that she is actually the princess of Genovia, a European principality, and that she is in line to succeed him as ruler … Eventually the press finds about Mia’s royal bearing and follows her all over New York … Mia has difficulty adjusting to her new position, and along the way she breaks up with her best friend since kindergarten, Lilly, and becomes friends with Tina, a wealthy girl who is also followed around by a bodyguard …

Meg Cabot perfectly captures the giddiness and fragility of being a teenager … while reading this, all I could think of was the journals I kept as a teenager, always scribbling away during math class, in love with my creative soul and struggling to mature as a writer and actress :.. I loved following Mia’s maturity as she takes princess lessons with her Grandmere and slowly gains confidence in her beliefs and in her friendships …

Sometimes I got annoyed with the all caps sentences and the excessive punctuation, but I think all teenage girls indulge in these excesses when writing in their diaries … but this book was such a fun read that I could overlook the irritability and lose myself in Mia’s life … a must read for every awkward teenage girl struggling with self consciousness …
Profile Image for Sara.
148 reviews166 followers
December 30, 2020
3.5 stars.

I read this book years and years and years ago. I remember thinking I'd start it as a silly read and ... being pleasantly surprised. I had fond memories of this book so when it showed up on my library's app feed as an available audiobook... and I saw that it was narrated by Anne Hathaway, I was feeling nostalgic. I borrowed it.

And I really really enjoyed it.

There's not much to say beyond the fact that the story is just ... the equivalent of something warm and sweet. Cozy and welcoming. It's silly and you roll your eyes and judge Mia quite a bit but ... it's also really really cute and full of heart. I found myself smiling so often throughout the book. The audiobook is just an added layer of fantastic. I literally started looking for something to keep my hands busy so I could have an excuse to continue listening. It's addictive, it's not poorly written, there's growth, there are interesting characters, and just an engaging story. Mia is a strong character who truly shines in her diary, which is essentially what this book is. It's a unique form of storytelling that I actually really enjoy. She is fifteen and that also shows, but I don't mind it at all.

Honestly The Princess Diaries is just a fun, cute, warm, and cozy read. There's no other way to put it. Plus I'm a huge sucker for soft slow-burns where both of the characters are in love but also idiots.



I highly recommend. Especially if you can get your hands on the audiobook.

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Y’all listen... the audiobook was available at my library and it was narrated by Anne Hathaway and I was feeling nostalgic.

And it was actually really really good.

3.5 stars.

Proper review to come.
Profile Image for Mishqueen.
339 reviews34 followers
April 14, 2008
I read the first 3 books in the series yesterday and I can't decide if I think they are clever and funny or obnoxious and pretentious. Maybe you will have a different opinion. I didn't relate much to Mia; everything she stands for annoys the heck out of stuff I stand for. But she is still kinda funny anyway.
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