The Princess Diaries (Princess Diaries Series #1)

The Princess Diaries (Princess Diaries Series #1)

4.4 612
by Meg Cabot
     
 

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What? A princess??

Me??? Yeah, right.

Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there's nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra.

Is she ever in for a surprise.

First Mom announces that she's dating Mia's Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of

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Overview

What? A princess??

Me??? Yeah, right.

Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there's nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra.

Is she ever in for a surprise.

First Mom announces that she's dating Mia's Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn't have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?

Editorial Reviews

Twist
If girrrrl heroines are what you want, the hilarious Princess Diaries has a winner in sassy Mia.
Buffalo News
A hilarious read.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
A hilarious read.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"This is how NOT a princess I am. I am so NOT a princess that when my dad started telling me I was one, I totally started crying." Raised in a Greenwich Village loft in New York City by her flaky-but-loving artist mother, ninth grader Mia Thermopolis is shocked to learn from her father that she is now the heir apparent to Genovia, the tiny European kingdom he rules. Her paternal grandmother further disrupts Mia's life when she comes to town to mold the girl into a proper royal. Cabot's debut children's novel is essentially a classic makeover tale souped up on imperial steroids: a better haircut and an improved wardrobe garner Mia the attention of a hitherto unattainable boy. (Of course this boy isn't all he appears to be, and another boy--the true friend Mia mostly takes for granted--turns out to be Mr. Right.) A running gag involving sexual harassment (including a foot fetishist obsessed with Mia's best friend Lilly Moscovitz and a sidewalk groper dubbed the "Blind Guy") is more creepy than funny, and the portrayal of the self-conscious pseudo-zaniness of downtown life is over the top (Lilly's parents, both psychoanalysts, get Rolfed, practice t'ai chi and attend benefits for "the homosexual children of survivors of the Holocaust"). Though Mia's loopy narration has its charms and princess stories can be irresistible, a slapstick cartoonishness prevails here. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
Mia's dreams are simple: She wants to pass algebra, she wants to grow breasts, and she wants Josh Richter, the gorgeous boy who can see into her soul, somehow to notice her. She does not dream of becoming wealthy and internationally famous or of wearing designer gowns and dining with elegant society. Nevertheless, to her dismay, these things are thrust upon her when she discovers that she is the sole heir to the throne of the tiny country Genovia. Dreading the scorn of her militant filmmaker best friend, Lilly, Mia tries to hide her newfound royalty. When Mia's photograph appears in the newspaper, however, her cover is blown. Suddenly everything changes, as Lilly withdraws to a disdainful, chilly distance, Josh Richter dumps his popular girlfriend to ask Mia out, and the world that once left her alone crushes her privacy with its frenzied fascination. Mia's wonderfully funny and oblivious diary entries chart her progression from an awkward, shy pushover to a princess who speaks her own mind. Sprinkled throughout Mia's diary are her revealing lists, poems, and attempts at algebra. Her narrative emotes as only a teenage girl can. Fretting about her father she writes, "He's usually so organized. How could he have let himself become a prince?" This breezy, fun read would be appropriate for girls in the junior high school range. Recommend it for patrons who enjoyed Louise Rennison's Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging (HarperCollins, 2000/VOYA June 2000), another hilarious teen diary. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High,defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, HarperCollins, 238p, . Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Diane Masla SOURCE: VOYA, April 2001 (Vol. 24, No.1)
The Princess Diaries is the diary of Mia Thermopolis, who is living a confused and hard to believe life. She is the not most popular girl in school, but is in love with the most popular boy. She lives in New York City with her artist mom, who is divorced and is dating her algebra teacher — a class Mia is failing. One day, her father arrives and upsets her troubled life. He tells her that he has cancer, and then, to her disbelief, that she is the Princess of Genvoia. That's right! As it turns out, her father is not just the European politician he's always led to her believe, but actually the prince of a small country. Before long, the New York paparazzi arrive at her school and front door, eager to take pictures of real live princess. Offbeat Mia will win the hearts of teenage girls dying to fit in without too much fanfare, and Meg Cabot's writing is silly and entertaining enough to capture the fancy of young readers who are looking for a fun story about ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances. With tons of pop culture references, this book will make today's teens feel right at home. Genre: Fathers and Daughters/Identity 2000, HarperCollins, 238 pp., $15.95. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Michelle Rich; Oviedo, Florida
KLIATT
Mia figures that she already has enough problems in life—her mother is dating her algebra teacher, while she's flunking his class, and she's nursing an unrequited crush on Josh, the handsomest boy in their school. When her father comes to visit her in Manhattan and explains that he is really a prince and that Mia is heir to the throne of the little European principality of Genovia, it's really the last straw as far as she is concerned. Now Mia has to take princess lessons from her scary Grandmére, while trying to conceal her embarrassing new status from her friends and classmates. Of course, the media find out (Grandmére calls them) and one unexpected result for Mia is that Josh is suddenly interested in her. But when he invites her to the Cultural Diversity Dance at school Mia finds out what he's really like, and who her friends really are. This humorous romantic fantasy has a bit of that ubiquitous Bridget Jones's Diary flavor to it, written as it is in journal form. Mia's complaints and observations are interspersed with various lists, and the overall tone is light and funny, with many up-to-date cultural references and brand names thrown in. Preteen and teenage girls will gobble this up like cotton candy. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, HarperCollins, 240p, $14.95. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
School Library Journal
Gr 7-9-Insecure Mia Thermopolis, 14, discovers that she is actually Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo of Genovia. In her diary entries, which cover almost a month, she writes about going to a private school in New York City and living in Greenwich Village with her avant-garde artist mother. She fights with her best friend, struggles to pass algebra, and worries that she is the only one without a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance. On top of that, her divorced mother begins dating her teacher; her father visits and reveals that she is his heir; her intimidating grandmother gives her "Princess lessons"; and she has to contend with the embarrassment of having a bodyguard and reporters who follow her everywhere. Readers will relate to Mia's bubbly, chatty voice and enjoy the humor of this unlikely fairy tale. More accessible than, though perhaps not as clever as, Louise Rennison's Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging (HarperCollins, 2000), this funny, fast-paced book should appeal to hip young women, including reluctant readers.-Debbie Stewart, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
ALA Booklist
She wines; she gloats; she cheers, worries, rants, raves; reading her journal is like reading a note from your best friend.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061958465
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Series:
Princess Diaries Series , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
18,907
Lexile:
920L (what's this?)
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Tuesday, September 23

Sometimes it seems like all I ever do is lie.

My mom thinks I'm repressing my feelings about this. I say to her, “No, Mom, I'm not. I think it's really neat. As long as you're happy, I'm happy.”

Mom says, “I don't think you're being honest with me.”

Then she hands me this book. She tells me she wants me to write down my feelings in this book, since, she says, I obviously don't feel I can talk about them with her.

She wants me to write down my feelings? Okay, I'll write down my feelings:

I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE'S DOING THIS TO ME!

Like everybody doesn't already think I'm a freak. I'm practically the biggest freak in the entire school. I mean, let's face it: I'm five foot nine, flat-chested, and a freshman. How much more of a freak could I be?

If people at school find out about this, I'm dead. That's it. Dead.Oh, God, if you really do exist, please don't let them find out about this.

There are four million people in Manhattan, right? That makes about two million of them guys. So out of TWO MILLION guys, she has to go out with Mr. Gianini. She can't go out with some guy I don't know. She can't go out with some guy she met at D'Agostinos or wherever. Oh, no.

She has to go out with my Algebra teacher.

Thanks, Mom. Thanks a whole lot.

Wednesday, September 24, Fifth Period

Lilly's like, “Mr. Gianini's cool.”

Yeah, right. He's cool if you're Lilly Moscovitz. He's cool if you're good at Algebra, like Lilly Moscovitz. He's not so cool if you're flunking Algebra, like me.

He's not so cool if he makes you stay after school EVERY SINGLESOLITARY DAY from 2:30 to 3:30 to practice the FOIL method when you could be hanging out with all your friends. He's not so cool if he calls your mother in for a parent/teacher conference to talk about how you're flunking Algebra, then ASKS HER OUT.

And he's not so cool if he's sticking his tongue in your mom's mouth.

Not that I've actually seen them do this. They haven't even been on their first date yet. And I don't think my mom would let a guy put his tongue in her mouth on the first date.

At least, I hope not.

I saw Josh Richter stick his tongue in Lana Weinberger's mouth last week. I had this totally close-up view of it, since they were leaning up against Josh's locker, which is right next to mine. It kind of grossed me out.

Though I can't say I'd mind if Josh Richter kissed me like that. The other day Lilly and I were at Bigelows picking up some alpha hydroxy for Lilly's mom, and I noticed Josh waiting at the checkout counter. He saw me and he actually sort of smiled and said, “Hey.”

He was buying Drakkar Noir, a men's cologne. I got a free sample of it from the salesgirl. Now I can smell Josh whenever I want to, in the privacy of my own home.

Lilly says Josh's synapses were probably misfiring that day, due to heatstroke or something. She said he probably thought I looked familiar but couldn't place my face without the cement block walls of Albert Einstein High behind me. Why else, she asked, would the most popular senior in high school say hey to me, Mia Thermopolis, a lowly freshman?

But I know it wasn't heatstroke. The truth is, when he's away from Lana and all his jock friends, Josh is a totally different person. The kind of person who doesn't care if a girl is flat-chested or wears size-ten shoes. The kind of person who can see beyond all that into the depths of a girl's soul. I know because when I looked into his eyes that day at Bigelows, I saw the deeply sensitive person inside him, struggling to get out.

Lilly says I have an overactive imagination and a pathological need to invent drama in my life. She says the fact that I'm so upset about my mom and Mr. G is a classic example.

“If you're that upset about it, just tell your mom,” Lilly says.

“Tell her you don't want her going out with him. I don't understand you, Mia. You're always going around, lying about how you feel. Why don't you just assert yourself for a change? Your feelings have worth, you know.”

Oh, right. Like I'm going to bum my mom out like that. She's so totally happy about this date, it's enough to make me want to throw up. She goes around cooking all the time. I'm not even kidding. She made pasta for the first time last night in like months. I had already opened the Suzie's Chinese take-out menu, and she says, “Oh, no cold sesame noodles tonight, honey. I made pasta.”

Pasta! My mom made pasta!

She even observed my rights as a vegetarian and didn't put any meatballs in the sauce.

I don't understand any of this.

Things to do

1. Buy cat litter
2. Finish FOIL worksheet for Mr. G
3. Stop telling Lilly everything
4. Go to Pearl Paint: get soft lead pencils, spray mount, canvas stretchers (for Mom)
5. World Civ report on Iceland (5 pages, double space)
6. Stop thinking so much about Josh Richter
7. Drop off laundry
8. October rent (make sure Mom has deposited Dad's check!!!)
9. Be more assertive
10. Measure chest

Thursday, September 25

In Algebra today all I could think about was how Mr. Gianini might put his tongue in my mom's mouth tomorrow night during their date. I just sat there, staring at him. He asked me a really easy question--I swear, he saves all the easy ones for me, like he doesn't want me to feel left out or something--and I totally didn't even hear it. I was like, “What?”

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What People are saying about this

Chris Sherman
Teens like novels written in diary format, and you can bet they'll be lining up for this hilarious story about a gawky 14-year-old New Yorker who learns she is a princess. Mia spends every available moment pouring her feelings into the journal her mother gave her: she writes during algebra class, in the ladies' room at the plaza (much nicer than the one in Tavern on the Green), in her grandmother's limousine. She writes down her thoughts on everything - from algebra and her mother's love life to her jet-setting father's announcement that she's the heir to the throne of the principality of Genovia. Then, of course, she records her grandmother's efforts to turn her into a princess, her dealings with classmates, the press, and a bodyguard, and also her attraction to the most gorgeous guy in school and her attempts to be assertive and happy with her new life. She whines; she gloats; she sheers, worries, rants, and raves. Reading her journal is like reading a note from your best friend. Cabot has a fine grasp of teen dialect (and punctuation), an off-the-wall sense of humor that will have readers laughing out loud, and a knack for creating fully realized teen and adult characters that readers will miss when the story ends.

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