The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot is one of those books that I read when I was young and mostly forgot about save a few minor details, so much so that I had entirely forgotten that Mia’s father is actually alive in the books where he is not in the film. Upon one of my ‘I have nothing to watch on Netflix, so I guess I’ll just play this old movie that I loved as a kid’ days, I happened to randomly come across a website mentioning the possibility of a Princess Diaries 3 film in the works, theorizing which characters might be back. This, of course, ultimately lead to me reading a commentary on the books vs the movies and the realization that I’d never actually finished the series when I was younger (I only ever read the first three) and the ultimate decision that I must go back simply so I can finish it.
The Princess Diaries is exactly what it says it is, the diaries of a Princess. Mia Thermopolis is an ordinary—extra ordinary—girl living in New York (movie comparison disappointment one, since I love California and San Francisco) when her father learns he is now infertile due to an unfortunate diagnosis of testicular cancer and therefore is put in the position of having to inform his only daughter that she is the Princess of Genovia and therefore his heir. And she proceeds to write all her experiences from that point forward down in her diary.
There’s a lot of fluff to the story, extra things that make it perfect for a young reader but somewhat annoying to me as I return to the story at the age of twenty-five. While I’m sure I found the additives of her to-do lists and homework within the endings of her diary entries, now I just find that they are rather superfluous and leave me skipping them in order to get to the actual plot points. I’m much more bored reading this book that I remember being when I was younger, though I was by no means in love with the tale.
Still, Cabot has written an intriguing character that is somewhat addicting to read. It’s no wonder that the series became a film. I feel, though, that I’m far too old for this series now and I do wish that I’d had a chance to finish when I was young. I feel like I would have enjoyed it much more back then than I do now.