“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.

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“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 IV: Princess in Waiting” and “The Princess Diaries, Volume IV and 1/2: Project Princess” by Meg Cabot

ouAEwDGwi4qnMFM3VtiNiFCbjcVDom1Ej8ik8VSXfmf4cVLW1L!3W4iQ1JoESjjt7QjbFnIZS3bEctSIf3YQf9XB2Jy7t11Bs88HVFzhbk6Kwc8UWbVG8cJ8QrmmTlhjThese two books went by fairly quickly, and the second one (Volume IV and 1/2) was only 50 pages.

In “Princess in Waiting,” Mia chronicles mostly her relationship with her boyfriend (of about 30 days) Michael. Unfortunately, I feel like this is the first time that Mia has acted like an annoying teenager, but at the same time, it still was probably pretty accurate. She absolutely obsessed over Michael and everything that he said or didn’t say, and eventually she questioned whether he was actually in love with her as opposed to loving her like a friend, although why are they in love if they’ve only been dating 30 days and haven’t even gone on an actual date yet?

But anyway, sometimes it *was* a little hard to tell how Michael felt toward Mia, but that could have just been because it was a skewed view from Mia’s perspective. They seem to be still going pretty strong. Maybe she’ll start focusing on other things in the next few books.

It continued a little in “Project Princess,” but it was pretty interesting still. This story followed Mia on spring break where she ventured to West Virginia with a group from her class to help build houses for the needy, a la Habitat for Humanity. It is nice to see Mia getting out a little, even if the only reason she went was to spend some alone time with her boyfriend.

Next up is Volume 5, “Princess in Pink.” I may start it today, but I’m also trying to finish “Fake Boyfriend” by Kate Brian.

More on that later,
Maegan

“The Princess Diaries, Volume III: Princess in Love” by Meg Cabot

Volume III has us watching Mia stumble her way through a relationship with her boyfriend/bio partner Kenny. Awkardness ensues.

Mia is honestly a pretty terrible girlfriend, but I don’t know who I blame more, her or Kenny. She obviously is not interested in the relationship, yet Kenny continues to pursue. That doesn’t excuse the fact that Mia starts plotting how to express her feelings to the guy she actually likes WHILE still in the relationship with Kenny.

Still, I can’t say that Meg Cabot doesn’t have the teenage relationship thing down. Thinking back to my own high school experience, I think she hit a few things right on, namely the sheer amount of gossip among adolescents and the inability to keep anything to yourself.

I don’t feel that this book was particularly eventful, but it helped move the overall story along.

This audiobook was also ready by Anne Hathaway!

I’ve already started reading the next book, “Princess in Waiting.” Truth be told, I’m more than half-finished with it.

But I digress,
Maegan

“The Princess Diaries” by Meg Cabot

I don’t know why, but the other day I was looking at my book options online and I had just had this kick like I wanted to read every book that Meg Cabot has written. Back in high school, she was one of my favorite authors, and I’ve read a lot of her books (some multiple times) but I haven’t read nearly all of them. So it will probably take a while, but I’m going to attempt it.

Obviously this is THE Princess Diaries that the Anne Hathaway/Julie Andrews movies are based off of. The movies are amazing, but there are definitely some big differences between the two. Such as Mia’s dad is not dead, she is only 14, and Queen Clarisse is not so likable. Mia actually can’t stand her grandmother and she’s written as this mean old bat who goes around barking at people and generally terrifying those around her.

This book is written as Mia’s personal diary, and she has a lot of discipline because she writes pretty much every day, generally multiple times per day. Which also means that only a few weeks passed in the entire book (not that is was really that long to begin with). During this time, Mia finds out she’s a princess and has to go through the hardship of having everyone she knows find out she’s a princess as well, all while her mom nurtures a burgeoning relationship with Mia’s algebra teacher.

There’s a little bit of high school drama, which is to be expected in a book that is technically supposed to be written by a 14-year-old. I like that Mia seems to care about real issues, like not eating meat and saving the whales, but she still falls prey to some boy ridiculousness. She has a crush on the most popular boy in school, all while she’s completely oblivious to the fact that her best friend’s brother has a crush on her, which is actually kind of endearing. It doesn’t take long for her to become disenchanted with the popular jock, and I could see her relationship with the nice guy growing in the next few books.

I already have the next book, so I’m looking to keep going with the series.

I’ll tell you then,
Maegan

“Inheritance: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 4” by Christopher Paolini

Image result for inheritance christopher paoliniI have finally made it through this series. It was interesting for the most part, but I did feel like I had to drag myself through these books. And as I’ve said before, the biggest reason I kept going was out of stubbornness.

It’s an interesting story, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t care for the timing of the book. We made it through 4 sizeable novels and we probably only covered a little over a year. But then again, I’m not sure if it was just a year because there never was much indication. Either way, I only remember celebrating the main character’s birthday once.

My biggest issue with this series is the loose ends. I get it that maybe the author is keeping his options open for some more books, but that many loose ends? We have characters who just up and disappear, ones who are appointed royalty, and a few that are mentioned a couple times only to never be heard about again. In a way I guess there was just too much going on.

The next issue is that for four books we built up to the confrontation with the evil King Galbatorix. This, the final book, was more than half finished before our heroes even get to the castle. When the battle takes place, there is some struggle, which I can appreciate, but the thing is over in a very anti-climactic way. And for the amount of time that I read to get up to that point I felt severely disappointed.

Another thing. These characters were put in about half a dozen death-defying situations each and yet no main character died. I’m not saying that I wanted them killed off, but I also didn’t want them to be immune. They all experienced pain, and there’s no way they would all make it out of A WAR alive. And yet, every time there was a hint of struggle some random unexplained character or tool would show itself as if from out of nowhere and then they/it would disappear back into the void.

Overall, I’m left with a lot of questions. It may be that Christopher Paolini wanted us to use our imagination to come up with the endings of these things, but to me it felt more lazy or forgetful than anything.

Not impressed,
Maegan