‘You’re not Mia Thermopolis any more, honey,’ Dad said. ‘You’re Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo, Princess of Genovia.’ A PRINCESS?? ME??? Yeah. Right. One minute Mia’s a totally normal Manhattan 14-year-old. Next minute she’s heir to the throne of Genovia, being trailed by a trigger-happy bodyguard, taking princess lessons with her bonkers old grandmere, and having a makeover with someone called Paolo. Well, her dad can lecture her till he’s royal-blue in the face, but no way is Mia going to turn herself into a style-queen. And they think she’s moving to Genovia? Er, hello?
I never knew that The Princess Diaries had been adapted from a book until I first looked at this list. It is written as a diary, with Mia in the first person, which might sound slightly strange but works perfectly. There are snippets of dialogue throughout her journal pages so that it doesn’t feel like a monologue and the style of the writing conveys the age and the character of Mia yet it does not feel childish or too immature for an adult reader.
What I liked about this book: There was not much I didn’t like really. I loved all the characters, in particular Mia and Her grandmother, Grandmere. Mia’s world is quite small to begin with but as her world begins to unravel more characters are introduced to the reader, adding layers to the story. The storyline unfolds at a good pace; the book never feels tedious and the mixture of dialogue, Mia’s descriptions and her opinions in each journal entry keeps the reader going.
What I didn’t like about the book: The whole story is very clichéd. The character of Mia especially, who is an environmentalist and a vegetarian who wants to work for Greenpeace but instead is destined to rule a small principality. But I still enjoyed this book despite this as there is a lot of humour and clever presenting of how the characters interact with each other so that you can see past the clichés.
I am so glad a read this book, its light-hearted and fun, and even though I am not 14 I still really enjoyed it. My only regret is that I have another 97 books on my list to go before I can read the next one in the series.