“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews

Image result for me and earl and the dying girl book coverI wanted to read this book because I recently watched the movie adaptation and I really enjoyed. Honestly though, I just didn’t care that much for the book. I never thought I would say this, but I think I liked the movie better than the book.

The whole thing was a little too profane and sometimes just gross for me. It might be how typical teenage boys think, but there were way too many mentions of girls’ boobs. Plus the main characters, Greg Gaines and Earl Jackson, just weren’t that likeable.

The premise is that Greg’s mom makes him spend time with Rachel Kushner, who just found out that she has leukemia. He is literally only spending time with her because he has to. He also purposefully does not make friends with anyone around him, instead choosing to be simply advanced acquaintances with everyone.

There were lots of obscure references to films that I couldn’t appreciate because I don’t know much about films, plus Greg’s parents did not seem like they were relatable at all. Greg himself wasn’t even that relatable. And a lot of the characters were only introduced on the fringe. You didn’t really get to know any of them very well.

I was planning to read Jesse Andrews’s two other books, but I decided against it for now. Maybe at some point, but instead I’m going back to Meg Cabot for this one. Next up is “The Mediator” series.

Tell you about it later,
Maegan

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“Royal Day Out” and “Royal Crush” by Meg Cabot

Image result for royal day out meg cabotImage result for royal crush meg cabotWe have finished the “Princess Diaries” series! For now, at least. I don’t know if there will be any more. Considering there were 11 “Princess Diaries” books plus novellas, I’m guessing there will be more.

“Royal Day Out” actually should have been read before “Royal Wedding Disaster.” It’s only about 40 pages long and only covers one day where the main character, Olivia Grace, goes out on the town with her grandmother. It was a free e-book short, and it looks like it came out on the same day as “Royal Wedding Disaster.”

Then was “Royal Crush.” It takes place a few months after the last book, beginning a few days before Olivia’s birthday. Of course it involves a boy that Olivia likes and of course there is some normal teenage drama. Some non-normal teenage things that occur: the Royal Genovian Academy travels to Austria to compete in the royal winter games against other royal schools, a boy that Olivia has only known for a few months gives her a huge diamond necklace, and instead of a birthday party she has a birthday ball with hundreds of attendees and a rockstar as live entertainment.

Next up I’m planning on reading “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.” Then I might continue with the literary works of Meg Cabot.

Until then,
Maegan

“From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess” and “Royal Wedding Disaster” by Meg Cabot

Image result for from the notebooks of a middle school princessImage result for royal wedding disaster meg cabotI didn’t realize that the “Princess Diaries” series continued after the original books, but now I do. Apparently Meg Cabot started releasing these books in 2015 and she’s already published several.

The characters in these books are the same as the ones we’ve come to know and love, but instead of being written as Mia’s diaries, they are written through the journals of her half-sister, Olivia Grace. The books themselves are supposed to be middle school grade, but they don’t see much below the level of the first several “Princess Diaries” books.

Anyway, they books overlap some of the things that we read about in “Royal Wedding,” but they also fill in some gaps where Mia was “too busy planning her wedding to write.”

Olivia Grace is likable and it’s nice to see her point-of-view. And to see how someone who hasn’t known Mia through a dozen plus books views her.

The first book, “From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess,” follows Olivia as she finds out that her family is royal and she is actually a princess. Honestly, she has a very indifferent reaction for a 12-year-old. I feel like if I had found that out as a tween, I would have been freaking out. Then I would have been angry that my father who had never met me wanted me to move to another country with him. But maybe it was different for Olivia since the family that she was living with was super terrible and didn’t actually care about her.

“Royal Wedding Disaster” starts a week before Mia’s royal wedding, and runs until a couple days after. I really enjoyed this because we got zero details about the wedding in “Royal Wedding,” and everyone wants to know the details of a royal wedding. Speaking of, I guess it was perfect timing reading this series now because it coincided perfectly with the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Obviously I watched it.

Moving on, next up is a short story in the series and then one more book, which is the last in the whole “Princess Diaries” run. After that it’s only about a bajillion more Meg Cabot books.

Wish me luck,
Maegan

“Princess Lessons,” “Perfect Princess,” and “Holiday Princess” by Meg Cabot, illustrated by Chesley McLaren

Related imageImage result for perfect princessImage result for holiday princessTechnically, these three little add-on books should have been read way earlier in the series, but I ended up just saving them for the end.

Each book is a collection of essays and commentary by Princess Mia and the other characters in the series.

“Princess Lessons” covers all the etiquette rules and goes over the princess lessons that Mia has been getting from her grandmother ever since she found out she was a princess. “Perfect Princess” is all about different real-life women who may or may not be princesses, but serve as role models for young girls. Finally, “Holiday Princess” is about the different kinds of holidays that different people and cultures celebrate. There’s plenty of information about Christmas, but also Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, etc. I actually thought this book was the most interesting of the three, mostly because it gave a lot of information that I might not have known otherwise.

Anyway, they were all pretty short and had lots of pictures, but I thought they were nice additions to the series. Now all that’s left of the whole “Princess Diaries” run is the “From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess” series.

But I’m already working on that,
Maegan

“The Princess Diaries, Volume XI: Royal Wedding” by Meg Cabot

Image result for meg cabot royal weddingBack to “The Princess Diaries.” This is the final book in the series, not counting all the add-ons (some of which I’m still working on). I’ve read that it’s meant to be an “adult” book, but I think it just sounds like the diary of a 26-year-old instead of a teenager, which is what it is.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. There were the same characters we have come to know and love, with a few new ones. Plus some family twists and turns, which added just a little drama.

I was surprised that the whole book wasn’t focusing on Mia’s wedding, since it’s called “Royal Wedding,” but the wedding was just sort of in the background the whole time and it didn’t even happen until the last couple pages of the book. Even though, there were no details. I guess that was on purpose so that you could leave it to your imagination. I didn’t plan it this way, but reading this book now was perfect timing because the actual royal wedding just happened. I watched, of course. It was beautiful .

Anyway, now I’m going to finish the rest of the books in this whole Princess Diaries thing. There are just a couple more, but most of them are a spin-off, called “From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess.”

More on that later,
Maegan

“Fake Boyfriend” by Kate Brian

Image result for fake boyfriend kate brian

We interrupt this succession of “The Princess Diaries” books to bring you a random YA novel.

I started reading this book months ago, just because it was the next one on my bookshelf alphabetically. In truth, I’ve owned this book for many years, but never actually got around to reading it until recently. It pains me to say it, but I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had read it when I actually purchased it as a preteen.

The story itself is fine-ish. Two girls decide their best friend needs to get over her hoe-esque boyfriend, so they create the *perfect guy* on Myspace (lol) and have one’s brother start messaging the friend. Well the whole point of this is so she won’t go to prom with the hoe-esque, so they have to find a real guy to play the part of the fake guy from the internet. Then things get messy and a whole little love triangle thing starts.

Through it all I knew there was a way for every character to end up with a romantic partner, and I expected it the whole time. Near the end there was a wrench thrown into the plan, but things still ended up happily ever after.

The worst part of this book was just the feeling that I got the whole time that Kate Brian was just trying so hard to sound like a teenager that it just did not work at all. I tried to look at it from an unbiased point of view, but I don’t ever see teenagers act the way these characters were acting. I’m not sure how to explain it, but something just felt off about it and maybe a little bit fake.

Anyway, now that I finally finished this book, I still have a couple more Kate Brian books to read, but to be honest, I might need a little bit of a break before I tackle those. Of course, I need to finish my current selections first.

And now back to your regularly schedule Meg Cabot marathon.

“Ransom My Heart” by Meg Cabot

Image result for ransom my heartTechnically, this book is written by “Princess of Genovia Mia Thermopolis.” Which means Meg Cabot. It’s written as a spin-off book from the last “Princess Diaries,” “Forever Princess.” That book mentions that Mia took almost two years to write a legit historical romance novel, and this is supposed to be it.

I hate to admit it, but I had very low expectations for this book. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it started a little slow, but by the end I didn’t want to put it down.

The story is about Finnula Crais, who is basically the village rebel in 1291 England. Eventually she comes to take Hugo ransom, not knowing that he is actually an earl and runs her entire town. She finds out eventually enough, then they fall in love and get married, though not necessarily in that order.

I’m a little surprised at the amount of sex in this book, seeing as how it’s meant to be written by a teenage virgin. These two characters know each other literally a week before they are married and they have sex several times a day. I figured in 1291 England, they would be a little more modest.

Anyway, about halfway through, it dips from a romance more into a little bit of a mystery. Turns out, someone is out to kill the earl. It’s not hard to guess who, but the bad guy is not confirmed for a few chapters.

There are some good characters in the story, and some that are just not likable. Hugo is definitely not the perfect gentleman, but Finnula is a little bit of a nuisance sometimes too.

Overall, I though the book was decent, but I don’t think I would have picked it up if it wasn’t written by Meg Cabot.

That’s all for now,
Maegan

“The Princess Diaries, Volume X: Forever Princess” by Meg Cabot

I was surprised last time that no time had passed between books, but this time I was surprised because so much time had passed. It was almost two years between books.

During this time, Mia was apparently writing a historical romance novel as her senior project in high school. Which is actually very impressive.

I couldn’t get enough of this book. There was just enough suspense to find out what was going to happen in Mia’s relationships with all these people around her, but she’s also turning 18 now and she is just so much more grown up. She was 14 when the books started and it’s very refreshing to see that her character grows so much in that time. She even makes comments about how she used to obsess over things that weren’t that big of a deal to her anymore, which is just so accurate.

All through this time, she has been in a relationship with a guy and there’s a lot of wondering what is going to happen, because she is clearly still holding a torch for someone else. Plus she hasn’t been friends with her best friend Lilly this whole time, but the good news is that reconciliation is in the air.

There’s only a few more books left in the series, so hopefully I’ll be done kinda soon and I will move on to other books by Meg Cabot. I might read something else in between, but I definitely want to read all of these first.

Night,
Maegan

“The Princess Diaries, Volume IX: Princess Mia” by Meg Cabot

Surprisingly, this book (journal, I guess) picked up right where the last one left off. I’ve mentioned before that they tend to skip a few weeks or months between, but it makes sense to me that they didn’t do that for this one.

When we left things, Mia and her boyfriend had just split up and her best friend Lilly was mad at her. Not much has changed. Still broken up with her boyfriend, still on bad terms with her best friend.

The only thing is that another of Mia’s friends, Tina Hakim-Baba, is shifting more into the best friend role, and her friend J.P. (also Lilly’s ex-boyfriend) comes more into the picture.

Once again, Mia is completely oblivious to the fact that a boy she spends a lot of time with is trying to hit her up. But eventually it comes to a head when he tells her that he is in love with her. That’s the thing about all these teenage characters, they are always in love with one person or another. Do they even know what love actually is?

Anyway, I was pretty interested in this book, which is why I got through it so fast. There are only a few more books in the series, but I’m excited to keep reading other Meg Cabot books. Probably with some random works thrown in for good measure.

Adios,
Maegan

“The Princess Diaries, Volume VIII: Princess on the Brink” by Meg Cabot

ouAEwDGwi4qnMFM3VtiNiFCbjcVDom1Ej8ik8VSXfmf4cVLW1L!3W4iQ1JoESjjt7QjbFnIZS3bEctSIf3YQf5Er8jjy+rXX112nBEcktkaKwc8UWbVG8cJ8QrmmTlhjThis book adds a little emotional depth to our dear Princess Mia but there were still a few times where I thought, “Wow, this chick is capital S Selfish.”

The girl’s boyfriend gets an opportunity to go to Japan to build a robotic arm that could perform heart surgery without opening the chest, meaning he could positively impact millions of lives. The only problem is that he will be gone for “a year or more.” So clearly Mia has to try to talk him out of it. And when that doesn’t work, she tries to, I don’t want to say trick him into staying, but she comes up with a plan that’s more than a little manipulative.

Then she gets upset because she finds out that he has already given up his V Card. So she promptly dumps him.

When the book ends, the boyfriend is on a plane to Japan, the best friend is ticked because Mia kissed her boyfriend (they had just broken up mere hours before and Mia claims that it wasn’t intentional, but boyfriend showed up and saw the whole thing. Scandalous.), and best friend’s ex-boyfriend who kissed Mia is inviting her to box seats at her favorite Broadway musical, Beauty and the Beast.

Honestly I’m looking forward to seeing how Mia comes back from this. I doubt that it’s really over with her and her boyfriend, because neither one of them actually wanted to break up, but bff’s ex-bf is sliding into Mia’s inbox a lot lately.

Guess we’ll see,
Maegan