Monday, June 4, 2012
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
My rating: ***
This is one of those rare times when the movie is better than the book, I think. But maybe it's because I saw the movie (multiple times) first? I picked this up at a library book sale and I did enjoy it, but maybe not quite as much as I hoped I would. It's all written in first person (this is a diary after all), and I just couldn't quite get into Mia's voice. Didn't help that early on she states how much she despises Anne Shirley. Pretty sure anybody who doesn't like Anne will never be my bosom friend. :D This book was published in 2001, about a year after I graduated from high school, and is chock-full of pop culture references. I kind of enjoyed that part, actually. It was a little weird, like taking a time machine back to my high school years (which weren't that long ago, but long enough that there's a palpable culture difference).
Overall (like I mentioned above about Mia), the characters were not as lovable as they are in the movie. Especially Mia's grandma. I know you just pictured Julie Andrews, but in the book, Mia's grandma smokes, cusses, and has tattooed-on eye liner. Seriously. My favorite characters were the bodyguards, both Mia's and the bodyguard of an uber-rich friend at her school. They sit and discuss weapons and crowd control and assassination methods in the cafeteria together and are so hilarious, like little boys.
Timeline-wise, this book only goes about a third of the way through the movie too, which is a little strange. No wonder there are ten of these books! I'm not in a hurry to read the rest, but it was kind of fun, though not as good as I expected.