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.
Conspiracy Theory: Meg Cabot brought Princess Mia out of retirement because of this book.
Because something had to fix the damage that Angie Stanton caused the princess genre in the YA-verse.
If you like books about princesses, don’t read this one. If you like books about Europe and traveling in Europe. Run away. Now. And try to calm yourself down by binge watching episodes of Rick Steves on PBS.
I know that’s what I intend to do after this shit fest.
Here are the life lessons this book has taught me. I can’t believe that in twenty-six years I missed all of these:
1) Everything older than ten years old is lame. Because living in the past is well dumb, according to our wise, young, and hip heroine.
2) McDonalds is the best thing ever. Those pink slime burgers are way better than kolaches and sauerkraut.
3) He’s cute! You must be in looove.
4) Three days works for Disney couples and you too.
5) Parents are lame. Take their money. Lie to them. Don’t be responsible. They’re just lame and they should totally let you travel around with complete strangers on an unfamiliar continent. Because family bonding time-don’t need it.
Of course there are more little life lessons, but I’m not going to spoil them all for you. That would keep you from having the joyous experience that I had.
Also, it might keep you from going insane.
To be honest, I really was looking forward to this one. I thought that it would be a light cute read. But the first paragraph I’m introduced to Becca and she’s bemoaning about how lame Europe is with its stuffy history.
And at this point I wanted to smack her.
Let me tell you guys a story. When I was in high school my history class was sponsoring a three week trip to Europe. I begged my parents to let me go, but I didn’t get to because of financial reasons. The point is, I was devastated. So, I worked my butt of in college and in law school, so that when another opportunity presented itself I could study abroad. Which I did. I didn’t have enough money to gallivant around main Europe, but the country of Ireland was enough. I spent my time just marvel at how old and beautiful everything was. And I didn’t spend my time in a McDonalds-though I did go to the campus Starbucks mainly because it was the only place that had iced coffee and I only drink my coffee iced. Long story short, I wasn’t empathetic towards Becca and her hatred towards Europe at all.
Honestly, Becca felt a bit like a caricature or like one of the kids on National Lampoon’s European Vacation. She gives Americans a bad name. She’s ignorant, rude, and downright shallow. I don’t know how she managed to finagle her way into Northwestern-I’m betting daddy bought her in. Because she’s not smart enough to know to keep her passport in a money belt. Or for that matter, she thinks its a good idea to run around Europe with a stranger who has shown stalker tendencies. And she just laughs about getting her picture blasted on the front page of the tabloids in her skivvies.
Seriously, she’s like one of those stupid girls on I Want to Marry Harry (I really don’t know how they don’t know that’s not the real prince).
Then there’s Nikolai. Like Becca gives bad names to Americans, Nikolai gives bad names to Europeans and princes in general. I wouldn’t want this guy as my prince. Like Becca he is too stupid to live. He’s gallivanting around Europe with just some cash and a bike and doesn’t expect to get caught. Despite the fact he’s a prince at has to cross the border and doesn’t have a fake passport, visa, or any for of traveling documents.
Hmm, lost prince. Border crossing. He should be easy enough to find.
The plot overall is about that flimsy. The title is misleading. No one is lost. Rather, it is a very watered down version of Roman Holiday with the genders flip flopped and neither Becca nor Nikolai being as charming as as well developed as Hepburn or Peck’s character. Heck, even The Prince and Me is more developed and I had a lot of issues with that movie.
If you want to read about princesses stick to The Princess Diaries. The middle of the series may sag a little, but at least the characters are well developed and Genovia actually feels like it could be a real country while Mondovia just seems like some made up country they’d put in a half ass made for TV movie.
That’s what this book on a whole seems like.
To top off the whole shit fest, we get some awful Spanglish at the end in Costa Rica. Considering I live in Texas and the Spanish spoken here is much more complex than merely Si and Hola it just confirms again how culturally offensive this book is.
I really don’t know how this one got the nod from Harper Teen. The same publisher that published The Princess Diaries. They really should know better. And maybe they do. Maybe they saw what a shit fest this one was and that’s why they have Meg Cabot writing again to fix this broken sub-genre.
Well, that’s my conspiracy theory and I’m sticking to it.