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.
It’s time for another installment of my Princess Diaries binge read. Mia’s finally not a freshman anymore (yay?) and her relationship with Michael is really developing (yay?). Let’s look at book 6, 6 1/2, 7, and 7 1/2.
Where the Term Baby Licker is Invented (Princess in Training):
Besides, Princess in Waiting this is probably the most lackluster installment in the series. However, in retrospect I think Meg did an excellent job portraying a teenage girl. I hate to say it, when I was Mia’s age I probably acted a lot like her-though slightly less neurotic. And Teen Me is someone I really don’t want to be again.
That being said, I really wish there was more to this one. I could care less for either of the plots. The president plot I could care less for and in hindsight it really doesn’t add much to the series, save for being a plot point in the overall ridiculous plot that is seven.
The sex plot….well, I might’ve cared for it more when I was fifteen.
As a woman in her mid twenties though, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at Mia’s obliviousness and freaking out.
Again, very relevant to someone who is of that age group, but when you’re older you really could care less.
There were some things that were enjoyable about this one that made it tolerable. The term Baby Licker was one of them. I also liked the fact that there seemed to be a heavy focus on friendship on this one.
But sometimes, the friendships got immature. Like a certain scene at a slumber party when the characters discuss whether a new kid at school is a boy or girl.
That just seemed a little rude.
Overall Rating: C+ while boring, there were parts of it that made it a decent read.
Where Lilly Ruins a Good Old Fashion Genovian Christmas (The Princess Present):
Hmmm, probably my least favorite novella.
And you want to know why.
If I were Grandmere, I’d throw her in the dungeon. She basically caused an international incident. Mia should remember this for future reference (cough, wedding planning, cough).
If you could get pass the Lilly hate in this one, the plot was pretty simple. It was basically a redux of “The Gift of the Magi”. Which isn’t exactly my favorite story ever, but whatever. It was Michael and Mia playing the rolls in the story so it made it a little bit more tolerable.
I think this short story is probably one of the better representations of Genovia that the book gives. It is, admittedly, a little bit over the top. However, unlike Princess Diaries 2 it still resembles a country enough where you don’t want to call fail.
It probably helps that there are no singing maids in this book.
If you like your novellas being a little over the top, you might like The Princess Present. It’s pretty solid, despite the fact Lilly gets on my nerves and there’s some points Genovia goes borderline singing maid.
Overall Rating: A B solid.
Where JP Enters (Part Princess):
I think this book gets a bad rap.
I can understand why it might get a little lackluster reviews though. At it’s face it might seem silly. Really, a musical about Genovia. But I think this is the book where the series finally picks up steam again because JP enters the scene.
Up until this point, JP was simply known as the guy who doesn’t like it when you put corn in his chili. However, he actually becomes a real character in this installment.
Having read the entire series, I view JP a lot differently than I did in earlier installments (meaning, I can see through him). However, I really thought he was a nice and decent guy the first time I read this.
One thing I didn’t expect to feel, this read a round was such sympathy for Michael.
I really never have viewed myself as a Michael fan in comparison to some of Cabot’s other heroes (cough, Jesse de Silva, cough), but he’s grown on me a lot in the reread. And I have to give him kudos for putting up with Mia in this one.
That sexy dancing incident.
I forgot just how stupid that whole scene was.
And she wasn’t even that drunk when she did it. I think she only had one beer?
Whatever. It’s sort of fun reading about a train wreck in the making when you know how it’s going to resolve. And for it’s credit Party Princess ends on a pretty good note.
Overall Rating: A B the series starts picking up steam again, but this book is really silly. And really, what’s so bad about selling candles?
Where Lilly Drinks the Fat, and Mia is Super Evil (Sweet Sixteen Princess):
This is one is almost pure fluff, at first glance. But there’s really some subplots that play a huge role in book eight that rear their head here.
What I like about this one, is that despite being a romantic read it does focus a lot of the Lilly and Mia friendship. And I think that sometimes that relationship is overlooked or used more or less as a zany plot device.
But in this book, you get Lilly and Mia.
I probably won’t say that anytime else in the series, but I really understood the friendship here.
The Michael and Mia relationship, while it has its moments is really more background in this book. And I’m okay with it, when they are together its them at its best. Mia’s not a neurotic mess like she usually is, and therefore Michael doesn’t seem like he lacks a brain for not telling Mia to get over herself. Plus, the ending with all the skating couples was fun and sort of swoon worthy.
I want a birthday party like that.
It’s really a fun novella. A fun but important novella, since you really need to read it to get the full impact of book eight.
Overall Rating: B+
Overall: As a sophomore Mia did enter a bit of a sophomore slump. However, at the same time, towards the end of her sophomore year the series picked up again. I did enjoy this part of the series though, regardless. Even though these weren’t my favorite in the series each of them had something to offer.
Coming Up Next Month