Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Princess Diaries

The title: The Princess Diaries
The author: Meg Cabot
Publication: HarperTrophy, 2000
Got it from: Pearson International Airport, December 2004

February will feature a blogger (me) re-reading The Princess Diaries series. If this kind of book doesn't float your boat, there's still time to close this tab and visit Oh look! A fuzzy widdle rabbit!

You're still here. Good for you! So yes, my goal is to re-read The Princess Diaries series. Even those little half books and the princess guides. Actually, I've only read up to book eight (plus the supplementary material) so it's not all rehashing.

In this book, we meet our heroine, fourteen-year-old Mia Thermopolis, who discovers over the course of the tale that because of her father's testicular cancer, he can't have any more children and therefore she is, in fact, a princess and heir to the throne of Genovia (which she didn't know before). Here we meet many of the characters who will play important roles in the books to come: Mia's mother, the avant-garde artiste who raised Mia single-handedly in a NYC loft; Mia's math teacher with the big nostrils who happens to be dating her mother; Mia's dad, the balding Prince of Genovia; Grandmere [can't find the little accent, sorry], Mia's sidecar guzzling grandmother and Dowager Princess of Genovia (and one of the greatest comic characters ever); Mia's best friend, outspoken feminist and activist Lily; and of course Lily's brother Michael, a computer nerd who has an obvious crush on Mia. Then there's the secondary characters who make this book so great: Lars, Mia's Eastern European bodyguard who fancies her French teacher; Tina Hakim Baba, the romance novel-loving daughter of a rich Middle Eastern oil baron (whose bodyguard Wahim becomes great friend with Lars); the guy with the foot fetish who keeps sending presents to Lily care of her public access channel; and Lana Weinberger, Mia's token snotty blonde school nemesis.

If you've only seen the Anne Hathaway movies, you're missing out big time. Although I'm not dissing the movies, because they were awesome in their own way. Things of note about this book:
* Lily and Mia's list of "ten hottest guys" (the beginning of many references to their lust for Joshua Bell. I should keep count).
* I used to be a Michael fan, but knowing what I do about him in later books, I found him kind of a jerk in this book. Still, I am many books away from J.P. so he'll have to do. I really hope Mia ends up with J.P. instead of Michael. Or neither.
* Mia's mother's references to "The Cult of the Patriarchy."
* Grandmere ripping up Mia's list of women she admires because it doesn't include Coco Chanel and Grace Kelly.
* Lily's boycott of Ho's Deli ("We oppose the racist Hos!")
* The fountain in Tina Hakim Baba's apartment. Why can't I have a fountain?!

I love these books.

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