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.


Small Review said...

Oh gosh, Mia disses ANNE?! I must have completely blocked that travesty out of my memory.

I read the first, hm, seven books of this series before giving up (and I didn't like them enough to read that far, either). I felt a lot like you in that I enjoyed the movie so much more and was kinda let down by the book. Julie Andrews was a much better grandma and Movie Mia was a lot easier to like.

I liked Meg Cabot's Mediator series so much more. Have you read those?

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I agree with you, the movie was better. I read the first few books in this series a few years ago. I was so surprised that the movie actually cleaned up the books. How often does that happen?