The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot
All she ever wanted was for her best friend’s brother to notice she was alive—and to pass freshman Algebra. But now that her dad’s told her she’s heir to the throne of the country of Genovia (and that her horrible Grandmere is going to be giving her princess lessons every day after school) Mia Thermopolis has enough problems to fill a lifetime of diaries….
I’m going to tell you a secret: The Princess Diaries is my favorite book series of all time. No, really. I read these books so often I can probably recite them. So let’s just say that I am totally restraining myself by not reviewing each book individually ( there are alot of them).
Let me start with the basics. This series takes Mia from the beginning of her freshman year of high school—when she is a flat-chested, self-conscious girl unaware of her royal status—to the end of her senior year of high school where she has gained far more maturity and composure (ok, not really). As the reader, you know everything there is to know about Mia because girlfriend spends a whole lot of time spazzing out and writing in her journal.
Even though Mia is the princess of the small country of Genovia, her life closely resembles that of any normal teenager. She has a huge crush on her best friend Lilly’s brother (moment of silence for the one, the only Michael freaking Moscovitz), she’s got hair that resembles an upside down YIELD sign and she’s barely passing Algebra (which is really bad since her mom is dating her Algebra teacher). The only thing different for Mia is that she spends her afternoons enduring princess lessons from her grandmere; a chain-smoking, sidecar-drinking bish with tattooed eyebrows who is nothing like Julie Andrews people. Nothing.
Throughout her high school years we see Mia transform from an awkward fourteen-year old to an adult—one that doesn’t necessarily have all the answers but who has made enough mistakes to know what not to do. From crushes and insecurities to things like prom and The Sex, it’s hard not to recognize yourself in each journal entry. Cabot has created an entire cast of characters to love, including Mia’s kick ass parents; her best friend Lilly ( love her and hate her); Boris (he tucks his sweater into his pants. How can I not love him?); Tina (the hopeless romantic); her big crush Michael, who is the ultimate hero because he isn’t annoyingly perfect; and most of all, Mia herself.
Guys, these books are hilarious. Part of the time you’ll be laughing at funny conversations and lists the characters make and part of the time you’ll be cringing at the embarrassing things Mia says and does (two words: Sexy Dance). Meg Cabot is also the master at throwing in pop culture references, including the best reference of all, Star Wars. Her writing is funny and full of cringeworthy moments not unlike those most people experience growing up. When it comes to young adult books, she is the standard by which all authors should be measured.
Crush Intensity: 100/5 Yeah, I know that makes no sense. I’m at the Edward and Bella level of intensity with these books (yes kids, they are exactly my brand of heroin).
The Way I See It:
Mia is one of those girls who has no idea she’s actually cute because she’s so self-conscious and awkward. Throughout the series she learns to deal with her height and flat chest so that near the end she actually comes into her own. She goes from being a girl who tries to blend in with her surroundings to a beautiful young woman who is finally sure of herself.
The guy who played Michael in the real movie is adorable, but tiny in an I-Want-To-Put-Him-In-My-Purse-And-Carry-Him-Around-Like-A-Puppy kind of way and not in a Michael-Moscovitz-Fake-Man-Of-My-Dreams kind of way. If I were making the movie, I think someone tall with dark hair and eyes would have to play the part. Neither of these actors look a thing like the Mia and Michael in my head but they embody something that could be like the real people (because they’re real, right?).
Memorable Quote: Gah ! There are so many!
Soundtrack: Why would I create one when someone has already done so? PS. I might have song #3 on my iPod. Just sayin.
If I Could Make a T-Shirt: I would make a Skinner Box one obvs, to show that I am a fan of Michael’s band (because, yes…he’s a genius, he’s cute and he’s in a band. Is there nothing he can’t do?). There’s one on Meg Cabot’s website but it has the boy fit I so totally dread. Grandmere would have a heart attack if she saw it.
Stalker Moment: (not normally a feature for us, but roll with me here) I took my then eight-year old daughter to meet Meg Cabot at a book signing because she is a huge Allie Finkle fan (Ms. Cabot’s middle grade series for girls). I totally used my kid as a beard because most everyone there was between the ages of eight and ten. When we got up to the table to meet her, she was so nice and gave my daughter all kinds of advice on writing (she wants to be an author someday) and then she told me not to be embarrassed of my MM love because she wrote those books for her and her grown up friends. So ha! And then she signed my Forever Princess book and I spazzed out in the parking lot. Good times.
56 thoughts on “The Best Series Evahhhhh!”
I’m a total Meg Cabot fangirl, too. Never met her but I’d totally borrow a friend’s kid so I could justify squealing and getting super-excited. Meg Love!
Mary… borrowing a friend’s kid is fair play! I tried to keep it together so my daughter wouldn’t think I was a big fat loser, but I did some squealing in the parking lot when I called my BFF. Love her!
My ears are still ringing…but in a good way! 🙂
This series is absolutely epic!
I got all the books in a missmatch of covers and languages (well, Spanish and English) and they are just such a huge chunk of my youth – I actually first read them when I was 18, during a holiday in Spain (hence the spanish) – and, I don’t know… they are just amazing.
I remember when I read PD10, I stayed up all night reading it, didn’t even realize it, I was so happy and excited and so OK with leaving Mia where she was.
And Tina! Oh, Tina is best.
Alex, I felt that way too. Mia’s ending was so perfect. I couldn’t have imagined it better. And Tina!!!! Holy cow do I love Tina. One of the things I loved about her was that as I went back and re-read the series, I saw that she was always right about everything. She knew about Boris and Lilly, she knew about Lilly and JP and she convinced Mia to go to the press conference in the last book. Man oh man I love her.
I also noticed how Tina is ALWAYS right about EVERYTHING. Romance novels are obviously a great source of wisdom. Something for J.P. to consider when he thinks they’re not good enough!
She is awesome. The complete opposite of Lilly, who you love because they’ve known each other for so long, but who isn’t nearly as loyal (or well versed on things as important as Your Precious Gift). 🙂
OMG! I also went to a Meg Cabot book signing here in Brazil. It was awesome, even though I felt like the oldest person there by far. Also love the mediator series. But It feels like Meg Cabot got my life and put into the character Mia, and put her tall, just to disguise it. lol. Except for Mia’s height and foot size, I’m it. eheheh I love cats, am nerd and (somehow) flat chested. It doens’t help that I started reading it when I was 17, and totally looked 14.
Double true for me too (esp. the flat chest. Why this happened is beyond me since my mom does not have this problem). I think that’s one of the things that is so great about Meg Cabot. She has a way of making you feel like she’s in your head. I love all her books. The Mediator books are fantastic. Did you read Ransom My Heart? Loved it too. I recently read Insatiable and thought it was great. She is the best there is.
All of this is soooo sooo TRUE!! I love all the books! and Princess in Love and Forever Princess are my favorite!! Without Mia and her crazy life I don’t know what I would have done all through middle school and high school AND College and I am still in college!! LOVE MIA AND MICHAEL! THEY BEAT OUT EDWARD AND BELLA ALWAYS.
Down with Bella and Edward!!! The funny thing is, I didn’t read this series until I was a grown up (ahem, like really grown up). Still, it felt like she was describing my life in high school (minus the royal status, sadly). And Michael? I love him so much it’s ridiculous. He beats out every male character for me, even the Mr. Darcys of the world. Sigh.
i am 34 & just read this series this month. i ordered them online so i wouldn’t have to face people in the library…well, until the last three, when i couldn’t wait another minute. LOVE MICHAEL!
He really is a reason to come out of the YA closet!
Great review! It was funny to see your choice for Michael casting because someday I was just talking to my sister that Brandon Routh would be a perfect Michael post-Princess Diaries, when he has kinf of 25 years old.
Thank you Elisa. I didn’t think of him until I saw some pics of him as Clark Kent and then he was all I could picture (not that that’s a bad thing).
I have to say I feel the same way about the books! This is my favorite series of all time and I also have a crush on MM!! I’m 23 and have been reading the books since i was 13/14. Absolutely the best most hilarious series EVER.
My BF and I walk around calling each other Baby Lickers (when we’re all emo about our kiddos) and saying we look like we just swallowed a sock. People look at us like were are totally nuts but we think it’s hilarious. Because it is. Princess Diaries forever!
Hahaha! That’s awesome. I actually introduced a friend to the books when she was having a rough time with some things. I told her she HAD to read them because they are hilarious and would cheer her up. She loved it mostly but I guess I take any negative to heart because I grew up with the books.
Jessica I do the same thing. When I found out my dear, dear friend (not Vee, of course) was moving clear across the country, I was devastated. So I came home, ran a hot bath, grabbed Princess In Love and had a good laugh. They have medicinal properties. Plus they have Michael, so that always makes me happy.
Baby Lickers unite!
This is almost exactly how I feel about TPD, except it’s not quite my favorite series. I picked up the first book when I was in my first month of high school, and PD really helped me deal. Now, I’ve re-read the series several times, and I still laugh until my sides hurt. I was sad to see the series end, but all Good Things must come to an end. Thank you Meg Cabot!
It is bittersweet to say goodbye to the characters. I remember Meg saying afterward that she might revisit them in the future. On one hand I’d love to see more, but on the other, I feel she ended it so perfectly already. Have you ever read Mia’s blog? It’s pretty funny too.
My fave book series ever too. Meg Cabot linked me here from Facebook.:) I totally understand what you mean about Michael. I used to say, ‘You know how people say,”Forget Prince Charming, I’m waiting for my Edward Cullen.” I say, “Forget Edward Cullen, I’m waiting for my Michael Moscovitz.”‘ I have a huge crush on him. Princess Diaries is the best series, but Meg Cabot’s other books are so amazing too.
I always tell my hubby he’s my Michael. 🙂 Forget Edward. Love all her books. And she writes great swoony guys.
Excellent review, I really love the different categories you’ve got there. A casting choice suggestion: I always thought if Keira Knightley would have adopted an American accent, she could have pulled off Mia around the time of Bend it like Beckham – she’s got the tallness, flatchestedness, awkward shy prettiness, and yield-shaped hair… le sigh. Thanks for the Brandon Routh suggestion, he sure looks like Michael post-PD. And yeah, excellent capture of the feeling of the Princess Diaries 🙂
I am going to let my MFEO reply to this one fully on the casting talk…this is her baby to cast (even if it’s for the movie in our head, iz real to us)…but I think she might just approve. Glad you enjoyed it Vanessa!
x) Hehe, I completely understand about it’s real (Which is why I always try to make my head understand that there’s a difference between novels and their movies. I always try and view them as different entities to not be disappointed about changes in plots/characters, and to not confuse them with the moie I made in my head :P)
I will keep periodical tabs on this blog to see what you guys are up to, I like how you write 🙂
LOVE Keira! I had a really hard time casting Mia. Keira def. is a great actress (which is of extreme importance when doing fake casting for the fake movies in my head) and her body type (ie:total booblessness) is perfect. Good idea Vanessa!
TPD is also my best series of all time, and Meg Cabot is my best author. I’m so happy to kno that not only we the youths read PD, but also the older women. I really luv th preview u gave up ther. Now I’m a fan of u too… Job well done.
Glad to hear you enjoy reading the blog. Make sure to subscribe so you can hear about all the crazy going on over here! If you’re a youngun’, we are your future you, something to look forward to and research! Ha! 🙂
Thank you! That was the total truth that Meg Cabot old me she wrote PD when she was in her thirties for herself and her girlfriends. She said she was surprised when her agent told her it should be a YA book. So in a way, the YA genre stole it from us grown ups, but I’m okay with that since I never would have picked it up had it been in the section that is supposedly written for my age. 🙂
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I like what you write about Michael not being annoyingly perfect (like Sugar, the horse (How can she NOT se that Sugar = the Corn Hater?!)). He is perfect for Mia (and for you, of course), but not without faults. He feels very real to me. I was going to write “normal” but the CardioArm and extreme hotness isn’t exactly normal, is it? Who cares! I love that he’s a geek with a life and interests of his own, like when he talks about his totally depressing college classes when he’s on the phone with Mia.
Yes, I have now finished the Princess Diaries. After a gap of 5 years between book 6 and 7 due to, I dare say it in your presence, being a bit tired of Mias ramblings and the lack of development. And I mostly skimmed through book 7 and 8, but for the last two I was completely hooked. So thank you for being so enthusiastic about these books, it really made me want to go back and read the last four. It’s not MY Best Series Evahhhhh! but I’m still happy to leave Mia and Michael and everyone else in such a good place (even if they only got into their second-choice schools).
I’m So glad you got into this series (again). I know there are definitely other amazing books out there (um, Harry Potter) but this one always resonates with me because I was such a Mia. Not now you know. I’d never obsess over the silly things she does now (ahem). And that’s the thing about Michael. He’s seems so realistic (extreme hotness and CardioArm aside, obvs). Their relationship has always reminded me of my husband and I (we’re high school sweethearts) and I think that, combined with all the funny moments and the awesomeness that is Tina (who is TOTALLY Vee in every way shape and form) makes me love them. 🙂
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high five me on that one girl
OMG! I just love your review! I am a big fan of the books as well. Read the whole series twice 😉 and raring to go on! I do wish Meg Cabot continues writing this series.. There is a real dearth of princess Mia in my life and not to mention swoon-worthy Michael.. 😦 Please do review all the books. I’d love to read them 🙂 Love love love your blog!
You are so sweet! Thank you!
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