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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Well, hello, Michael

The Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot Princess in the Spotlight - Meg Cabot Princess in Love - Meg Cabot

Princess Mia is getting married!


Just imagine this but in wedding clues (and yeah, I could’ve gotten one in the wedding dress but then it wouldn’t have been Michael and that’s just not right).


And I have to wait until June to read about it.


But a supposed long lost sibling is getting a spinoff in the same universe.

I have to wait till May to read that book.


Well, I guess I can always feel my Diaries crave by rereading all the previous books in the series.


Which means, Binge Read!


Between now and the release of From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess I’m going to be rereading a few installments a month (and I’m including the half books in there too). This month, I’m looking at the first three in this awesome series.


So, far things have held up…well, pretty good.


The Princess Diaries:


First things, first.


The outdated pop culture references are still hilarious.  Though some of them are sot of sad/cringe worthy if you think about what has happened to some of the celebrities since the publication of this book.  Also, I still need to watch some of those Lifetime movies that Mia mentioned like Why Me? I still haven’t been able to find that one yet.


Oh, well.


It was also hilarious to look at some of these characters due to spoiler purposes, and sobering too (especially if you read about a certain character’s death from the excerpt posted from Royal Wedding).


The writing is really simplistic.  Being a grown woman, versus a gawky thirteen-year-old, it’s a lot more obvious now then it was then.  And it really does read like a young girl wrote it, as the series progresses Mia’s voice in turn seems to progress as well.  And I have to give Cabot props for that.


The plot overall was really simplistic.  And simple succeeds here.  It’s odd seeing it succeed, when I have seen  several YA books fail with the same plot: The geeky girl falls is head over heals with the popular jock, only to not notice the gorgeous nerd next door.


I think one of the reasons why it worked in Diaries and not so many other books is because Mia and Michael don’t get together at the end of this book.  The progression of the relationship isn’t rushed.  And besides, the Josh plot isn’t really the sole focus of the book.


Overall Rating: An A something Mia would never get in Algebra.


Princess in the Spotlight

This is weird.  I’d almost classify Princess in the Spotlight as a bridge book, but it’s not.  There are some important things that happen in this book that make its existence needed.


Mainly, the fact that Mia’s mom gets knocked up and ends up marrying Mr. G (it’s not that much of a spoiler since Mia’s mom is puking in the first couple of pages of the book and we all know that Mr. G is going to do the honorable thing…).


What is also interesting about this particular plot, is reading and reflecting upon it now makes me realize how Grandmere-zilla Grandmere is going to be at Mia’s wedding.

I wonder if Vigo will make an appearance.


And if she’ll want John Tesh to provide the music again.


For Mia’s sake I hope she has gotten over her fear of drinking foreign water and elopes…


Digressing aside, I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would.  While I did initially enjoy it (a lot), when I was planning the reread, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it as much.



I was wrong.


That being said, Princess in the Spotlight wasn’t a perfect book.  There were some things I just wanted to shake Mia for.


Mainly, her love life.


It was very obvious Kenny was the one behind the secret notes, but once again I think this is an age thing more than anything else.


Some of the jokes in this installment have also gone a little stale with the passage of time-but that’s a given for about every book in the series.


A good reflection point,I think, in this book is Lilly and Boris’s relationship.  It’s obvious that they are having problems at this point and this is only book two?  They’re together I think until at least book five.  It’s sad I sort of rooted in a weirdo way for Lilly and Hank.  I can’t remember if we ever see him again…I want to say yes, but I think it was just a

brief cameo.


Anyway, this one’s a lot of fun but not as pitch perfect as the original.




Princess in Love:


I shouldn’t love this book as much as I do.


But whatever.


Mia and Michael x’s infinity.


Yes, I’m fangirling.


But you would too with these two.


Okay, to get serious, Princess in Love would’ve been a nice wrap up to the series to be honest.  It sort of had that perfect gooey feeling to it.  Where you just wanted to wrap yourself up and love it.  Even the ending scene was just perfect.


That would be in part becuase the series was originally intended as three books (Cabot didn’t know if she was going to get to write more), luckily she did.  Though, for Mia’s neurosis that probably wasn’t the best idea.


While I could be fangirling about how this book made me want my ship so badly, hate stupid Kenny for getting in the way, etc. I am going to note on one big thing that really made me open my eyes in this installment: Lilly.


You know, I can’t stand her.  Which is odd because I used to be one of the biggest Lilly defenders.  I think my issue with this character is that I’ve grown up and I just want to tell her to shove it, like with that stupid walk out of hers.



Yes, Lilly, shut the hell up.


I know, she gets worse.  I know she has issues.  But come on…


She has a hot brother though, so I guess that makes up for everything.


That and she can make some hilarious comedic relief.


It’s interesting just how polarizing this character is.  I am really interested in seeing the state of her relationship with Mia post book ten.  I hope that more grown up Mia tells her shove it whenever she gets on one of her tyrannical rants or at least leaves her alone with Grandmere…that would probably count as elder abuse.


In all, this one was still enjoyable as ever.  Especially if you like angst in your ships.




Objective Binge for Next Month:


  • Princess in Waiting: I remember not being a huge fan of this one, but we’ll see if it improves with time.  I do remember the ending was nice.
  • Valentine Princess: A half book that actually published a lot later than the series, but chronologically speaking it takes place after book four, so I’m reading it here.
  • Project Princess: Another half book that takes place during Spring Break.  I remember there being no shampoo.
  • Princess in Pink: PROM!




Source: http://howdyyal.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/the-unofficial-princess-diaries-binge-read-hello-michael