Allison's Book Bag

Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Posted on: June 7, 2010

Have you ever dreamed of being heir to a throne? Mia hadn’t, but suddenly finds herself with a kingdom to rule. If you expect the book Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot to resemble the movie, to actually show her dealing with being a princess, think again. This is just another teen romance, and not a very good one at that, and should stay on the shelves.

True, I admit that I saw the movie first and so came to the book with certain expectations. For example, I envisioned reading about how tough becoming a princess can be for us average people but how sweet Mia overcomes the challenge with awkwardness and humor. I also anticipated reading pages upon pages about how Mia is trained in all the proper royal etiquette such as how to sit, walk, dance, dress, and talk. Next, despite how cliche the plotline sounds, I expected Mia to eventually endear herself to her the royal staff, incite the jealousy of popular students, and develop closer bonds with true friends. I wanted the story I saw on screen.

Yet sometimes a book is better than the movie. And so I think I could have lived with a different book, if not for all its flaws. From page one until the end, Mia complains about her life. In this way Mia is like the girl we see on the screen, except in the book she also swears, lies about most everything, and basically just seems more crude. She also struggles in school, frequently copies her homework off others, and disdains most of her teachers. She likes to shop, wants to be popular, and does not have any interest in doing anything with her life except to date. While these may be on the top of the list for many girls, the emphasis on them in the book makes it difficult for me to believe that she would have the ability to be a princess.

Even at this point, I probably could have forgiven the book except for one major drawback. The whole premise of the book is that Mia learns she is heir to the royal throne. This could have made for a worthy twist, except we rarely see Mia being trained to be a princess. Remove a few lines here and there that refer to her royal family or obligations and you wouldn’t even know that Mia was training to become a princess. Minus its gimmick, this book is just another teen romance. As such, it disappointed me.

My rating? Leave it: Don’t even take it off the shelves. Not recommended.

How would you rate this book?

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