“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

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“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

“The Princess Diaries, Volume VII and 1/2: Sweet Sixteen Princess” and “The Princess Diaries, Volume VII and 3/4: Valentine Princess” by Meg Cabot

Two more short Princess Diaries stories for your day. One was decent, the other was eh.

“Sweet Sixteen Princess” was written to be Mia’s journal in the week leading up to her sixteenth birthday. She was adamant that she was not having a birthday party at all, partly because of events that occurred at her 15th birthday party (which were recorded in previous books).

The story was pretty good, with Mia’s best friend trying to talk her into having an amazing Sweet Sixteen, and her grandmother trying to put her on MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen, even though Mia was not having it.

Anyway, the story turned out to have a sweet ending, which was nice.

I didn’t care much for “Valentine Princess.” The books in general are written as if they are Mia’s chronological journal entry. There’s always a gap of a few weeks or months between books, but then they always pick right back up. I figured “Valentine Princess” would naturally be about Valentine’s Day, but it didn’t make sense how they were going to pull that off, since “Sweet Sixteen Princess” ended on May 1. And no way would the books skip forward nine months to the next February.

Well here’s how they got around that. The first and last entry are written like a screenplay of Mia’s life. (It’s a thing now, she’s trying to write the screenplay for the most accurate version of a movie based on her life.) So at the beginning of the book, she writes a scene where she is about to leave for Genovia for the summer, but she can’t find her journal. Instead, she finds one of her old journals that covers her and her boyfriend’s first Valentine’s Day together, which was from two years previously. The rest of the book is just entries from this historic journal. Except for the last entry, which is another screenplay scene.

We don’t gain anything new, and it’s the only time I’ve seen us go back in time in Mia’s journals. I think this story could have been used, but at a different point, where it actually made sense in the timeline. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it could have been done better.

I started the next book, “Princess on the Brink,” this morning, so hopefully it is a step up.

Happy Cinco de Mayo,
Maegan

“The Princess Diaries, Volume VII: Party Princess” by Meg Cabot

Back again. Volume VII has us with Princess Mia as she stresses over the fact that her boyfriend is throwing a party (hence, *Party* Princess) in which college girls (and guys) will be there, yet she does not identify as a “party girl.” So instead of just being herself, naturally she goes out of her way to act like a “party girl,” ultimately humiliating herself in the process. But the positive thing is that by the end she realizes that she doesn’t have to be anyone but herself and her boyfriend likes her just the way she is.

Anyway, at the same time, Mia’s grandmother goes cray cray and decides to write and direct a play, which is flawlessly executed in less than a week’s time. Also she is in a bidding war for some kind of faux island, but I honestly just don’t get that storyline. Practically only used to introduce a new character, affectionately referred to as “The Guy Who Hates it When They Put Corn in the Chili.” But really his name is J.P. and he seems to have a crush on Mia, but at the same time not because in the end he pulls through and helps her boyfriend do something pretty sweet.

It definitely wasn’t the worst book in the series, but I am looking forward to a little less whining about high school, a little more taking responsibility for your princess-ly duties.

Only time will tell,
Maegan

“The Princess Diaries, Volume VI: Princess in Training” and “The Princess Diaries, Volume VI and 1/2: The Princess Present” by Meg Cabot

These two books. It’s like all they proved was that Mia is a selfish teenager (Volume VI), and Lilly is a wild, selfish teenager (Volume VI and 1/2).

Honestly I was really annoyed with both of them in these two, but for different reasons. In “Princess in Training,” Mia was so concerned over the fact that someone told her her now-college boyfriend might want to “Do It” with her that she was basically just letting things happen around her. She almost caused an international incident, then she nonchalantly was nominated and voted student class president of her high school.

All the while, all she did was complain about everything that was happening. Not very princess-like of her.

In “The Princess Present,” all we learned is that Lilly is just the worst. She acted even more selfish than Mia.

It was another short book of about 85 pages, and it covered the days leading up to Christmas. Michael and Lilly get to visit the palace in Genovia for the first time, and Mia is understandably excited. However, Lilly takes it upon herself to make the worst possible impression ever by being rude and a terrible influence to some of the younger royals in attendance.

It was almost like Mia was a totally different person in this book. She was Princess Amelia instead of just Mia, but Princess Amelia was a little more likable.

I’m a little disappointed that I’m so annoyed at these characters, but maybe it will get a little better in this next book.

We’ll see,
Maegan

“The Princess Diaries, Volume V: Princess in Pink” by Meg Cabot

Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like the overarching storyline this time was nearly as endearing as it could have been. The whole books shows Mia either obsessing about the prom, which she won’t even tell her boyfriend she wants to attend, or nonchalantly allowing her grandmother to take absolutely no responsibility for the massive restaurant/hotel/porters union strike she caused.

It might have just been the audiobook, but Mia seemed extra whiney this time. I’m hoping it was just the audiobook, because I haven’t noticed that much before. Anne Hathaway only recorded the first two books, so now we’re listening to someone else, who just makes things sound a lot different.

Tangent: Mia’s best friend is the worst kind of person. She breaks up with her boyfriend by making out with someone else in front of him, then cries when he decides to go out with someone else. The absolute worst.

But maybe things will start looking up now that Mia is officially 15. Her birthday just happened in this book, plus her baby brother was born. I’ve peeked at the next book, “Princess in Training,” and it looks like it starts at the beginning of Mia’s sophomore year, which means we missed her summer in Genovia and sending Michael off to college.

I thought I could contain myself, but I have to let it out. There’s no way Michael would hang around Mia for long with the way she’s been acting in this book. It seems like he is cool, calm dude who knows pretty well what he wants, but he lets this freshman girl hang on him even though she pouts because he doesn’t know things that she hasn’t told him. Then she whines about it to her friends, including his sister. No guy who is about to go off to college is going to put up with that. I kinda wish Meg Cabot would have written him as a junior to begin with, because now Michael is off to the real world but he has this somewhat young relationship back in his high school. At least if he started as a junior they would have had more time to connect and build a strong relationship before he left. Plus the maturity levels would have been more well matched. Plus we wouldn’t have a 17-year-old dating a 14-year-old.

Anyway,
Maegan