The Princess Diaries is one of those books that literally every girl read in the early 2000s. There’s something special about Meg Cabot’s books. Even though the situations are completely silly, you can imagine yourself in them. I mean, what if I found out that I was really a Princess? How amazing would THAT be??
What You Need to Know
Not Anne Hathaway’s Princess Diaries
If you’ve already seen the movie, do NOT expect to read what you’ve seen. Mia is not cute, sweet, or glamorous, even after her makeover. Mia is, in fact, sarcastic, immature, funny looking, and terrible at math. And Grand-mere is definitely nothing like the wonderful Julie Andrews. She’s old, a little creepy, and a lot mean. No caring, sweet mentor for Mia here. Grand-mere is bossy, more than a little prejudiced against pretty much everyone, and more concerned with the appearance of the crown than anything else.
Unlike the movie, the book does not wrap everything up with a pretty little bow. It’s one of the reasons it made such a great series that was able to go on for so long, but it’s also what gives the book such a sassy tone. Despite everything, Mia remains awkward and cynical. And rather than focusing on affairs of the state, the Princess Diaries book is mostly concerned with Mia’s petty concerns, like forever being stuck in math tutoring.
There have been eleven books published, as well as a couple of extras or spin-offs. The books themselves only have about 150 pages each, but still, the series lasts a while.
In the movie the romance is very downplayed until the end, with the focus being on Mia’s transition to being a princess. But the book is written from the perspective of a fifteen year-old girl, and like any other fifteen year-old she is obsessed with boys. Even though she has no idea who she likes, she has no problem writing about them all. ALL THE TIME. And it’s not cutesy either. Instead, it’s so relatable! It’s more like what you and I probably experienced in middle school: being mostly ignored because the guy you liked was the most popular guy in school, and you were the least popular girl.
Mia and Lilly are funny in all of the best ways. Ironic, silly, intelligent. It’s one of those books that has you chuckling the entire way through. Whether you’re laughing at the situation or the crazy things Mia is writing, The Princess Diaries is sure to keep you amused. I always enjoy reading about Mia, Lilly, Grand-mere, and Tina Hakim Baba. I highly recommend it to girls of all ages, especially any who have ever imagined what it might be like to be a princess. But be careful what you wish for!