“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.


“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.


“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,

“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,

“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,

“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,

“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,

“The Princess Diaries, Volume II: Princess in the Spotlight” by Meg Cabot

This is a pretty short book, and it only covers a few weeks, but a lot sure does happen in those few weeks.

To begin with, Mia finds out that her mother is pregnant, and it’s her algebra teacher’s baby. Even though they have only been dating for 1-2 months. I’m judging a little on that one. At least use birth control.

Next comes a huge interview with a major primetime showing, but absolutely no training or preparation at all. If this is really how the princess of Genovia is introduced to the world, there would have been some training.

All of a sudden, Mia has a secret admirer. Anyone on the outside could have figured out where these letters were coming from, but Mia was pretty oblivious. At the same time, she is crushing hard on her best friend’s brother, despite the fact that she barely mentioned her feelings for him previously in her journal (the whole thing is written as Mia’s journal). In the first book, it was very clear that this guy had a thing for Mia, but she was again oblivious. Now all of a sudden she can’t stop talking and thinking about him. And he still has a thing for her. I’m sure we will go more in-depth in that area in the next few books.

Plus there is a huge royal event planned and held within about a week, so Mia also has to deal with that.

One thing I can say about Meg Cabot, she seems to be really in the mind of teenage girls. Other books at this level I’ve read come off like they’re trying too hard to sound like they came from the mind of teens, but most of Mia’s thoughts seem pretty genuine. I am also a huge Meg Cabot fan, so I may be biased.

Bonus: The audiobook is read by Anne Hathaway!!!

Third book up next,

“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,

“The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling

Image result for the casual vacancy jk rowlingObviously I picked up this book because of my love of Harry Potter. After five months and one failed attempt, I have finally finished. Thank you, audiobooks.

Let me just tell you, this book ain’t Harry Potter. It’s set in a small British town where everybody knows everybody’s business.

The first time I started reading it I got about a quarter of the way in. There were so many characters introduced so quickly that it got a little confusing and I couldn’t keep anyone straight. The second time was easier. I started at the beginning again, but having already read the first part I could remember better who was married to who and so on and so forth.

The gist of it is that Barry Fairbrother drops dead, which leads to a scuffle to take over his seat on the parish council. At the time, there are two sides, one of which wants to cut the ever-colorful “Fields” out of the parish, while the other argues to keep it as is.

We get to see into the lives of the adults connected to the council and Barry, but we also see into their teenage children. Every character has some secret(s), and it seems like they eventually all come to light. Overall, the book is dark and vulgar. It was a sizeable book, but there’s just not much to say about it. Plenty of drama, but none of the characters are particularly likable. I had high expectations because of the genius that is Harry Potter, but I came away a little disappointed.

Now I’m reading a few teeny-bopper books, “Fake Boyfriend” by Kate Brian and “The Princess Diaries” by Meg Cabot.