Princess in the Spotlight (Princess Diaries Series #2)

Princess in the Spotlight (Princess Diaries Series #2)

4.5 237
by Meg Cabot

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Since Mia's the brand-new crown princess of Genovia, indomitable dowager princess Grandmère arranges a national primetime interview for her. With just a few innocent remarks, Mia manages to enrage her best friend Lilly, practically get one of her teachers fired, and alienate the entire country of Genovia. (Population 50,000, but still!)

There's the havoc

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Since Mia's the brand-new crown princess of Genovia, indomitable dowager princess Grandmère arranges a national primetime interview for her. With just a few innocent remarks, Mia manages to enrage her best friend Lilly, practically get one of her teachers fired, and alienate the entire country of Genovia. (Population 50,000, but still!)

There's the havoc of the interview's aftermath and her dreaded princess lessons at the Plaza. Plus an unexpected announcement from her mother, and intriguing, exasperating letters from a secret admirer. Mia is swept up in a whirlwind of royal intrigue the likes of which hasn't been seen since volume I of The Princess Diaries.

Editorial Reviews

If girrrrl heroines are what you want, the hilarious Princess Diaries has a winner in sassy Mia.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
It's got all the bubbly and frivolous pleasure of imported champagne, and readers will drink it in.
Publishers Weekly
This follow-up to the Princess Diaries, the inspiration for the film starring Julie Andrews, chronicles Mai's crowning as princess of Geneva. The new monarch quickly discovers the power of an interview, as she nearly gets a teacher fired and manages to alienate her best friend and her royal subjects with a few simple sentences. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) FYI: Plans are in the works for a Disney film to be directed by Garry Marshall and starring Julie Andrews as the grandmother. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Mia, the now-fourteen-year-old heir to the royal throne of Genovia, sparkles again in this second installment of her breathlessly funny Princess Diaries. Readers are plunged quickly into Mia's latest drama—"My mom is having my algebra teacher's baby!"—and reintroduced to Mia's quirky perspective on her life. When contemplating her mother's marriage to Mia's algebra teacher, Mia frets, "And what happens if I accidentally see him naked or something? My mind could be permanently warped." Things only worsen when she is interviewed on television and blurts out the pregnancy secret to millions of viewers, including her father and Grandmére. As for Grandmére, who could have imagined that she would pair up with Grandma Thermopolis from Versailles, Indiana, in planning a fabulous wedding for Mom? More surprises come when Hank, Mia's gorgeous farm cousin, starts disappearing with Mia's feminist best friend, Lilly. Furthermore, who has been sending Mia mystery love e-mails? Could it be her secret love, Lilly's algebra-savvy older brother, Michael? Girls of any age will enjoy Mia's further adventures. It is not necessary to have read the first book, although libraries certainly should have it on hand. The Disney movie version of The Princess Diaries (HarperCollins, 2000/VOYA April 2001) will steer many readers to their library shelves for more Mia. This delightful princess, who receives insight from Baywatch episodes and makes a hopeless mess out of algebra, surely has many more adventures to share. VOYA CODES: 4Q 5P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8;Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, HarperCollins, 240p, $15.95. Ages 11 to 18. Reviewer: Diane Masla
To quote KLIATT's July 2001 review of the hardcover edition: For those who haven't read The Princess Diaries (Vol. 1, reviewed in KLIATT in September 2000), Mia is a normal American teenager—who recently discovered that she just happens to be the heir to the throne of a small European nation named Genovia. ("Big deal. I'd rather have a boyfriend," she says.) She lives in New York's Greenwich Village with her artist mother, who is dating Mia's algebra teacher (Mia's mother and her royal father never married, and live separately). In this sequel, Mia's mother discovers that she is pregnant. Her plans to wed are quickly preempted by Mia's tyrannical grandmother, who plans a huge, elegant bash with celebrity guests. Meanwhile, Mia harbors a crush on Michael, the older brother of her best friend Lilly, a certified genius with her own cable access show, while a mysterious stranger is sending Mia love letters. Mia must also contend with the consequences of her all-too-honest interview on national television. The life of a high-school freshman princess, it seems, is fraught with peril—and also with lots of funny and gossipy details about boys, dresses, and famous people: Martha Stewart helps Mia with her Halloween costume, for example. This is a perfect beach book for girls from middle school age on up, which will be of especial interest due to last summer's Disney movie The Princess Diaries. Frothy fun, in an appealing Bridget Jones's Diary-type format. (The Princess Diaries, Vol. II).. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2001, HarperTrophy, 264p.,
— Paula Rohrlick
Children's Literature
Cabot's second book in "The Princess Diaries" series is a follow-up to the first, recently made into a film by Disney. In this volume, fifteen-year-old Mia Thermopolis returns to agonizing over princess lessons (a.k.a. "torture sessions"), adolescent awkwardness and her feelings for Mike, her best friend's older brother. Now, though, she also has to worry about her mother's unplanned pregnancy, a disastrous interview on national television, the arrival of some seldom-seen relatives and much more. Readers who met Mia through the Disney-sanitized version of her life (for example, in which her parents had a short but loving marriage before her father's untimely demise) may be a bit surprised by this version (in which the story says they had a casual fling that resulted in Mia's birth). An entertaining look at a self-conscious, teenage girl who finds herself, suddenly, a princess—awkwardness and all. 2001, HarperCollins, $15.95. Ages 12 to 16. Reviewer: Heidi Green
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Told by Anne Hathaway, the star of the Disney film version of The Princess Diaries, this sequel picks up where the first volume ended, with young Mia finally becoming comfortable in her role as princess of Genovia. Of course, the heir to the throne of Genovia can't remain tranquil for long. The plot twists begin as Mia is presented with Princess lessons from her indomitable dowager princess Grandmere at the Plaza hotel. Grandmere also arranges for Mia to participate in a national primetime interview in order to provide the world with insight into the fantasy world of the heir to the Genovian throne. The interview elicits much turmoil as Mia inadvertently makes a few innocent remarks, including the fact that her mom is pregnant with her algebra teacher's child. As a result of the interview, Mia becomes the focus of her best friend Lilly's anger, her algebra teacher might lose his job, and she alienates the country of Genovia. Amidst all this, Mia is pleasantly surprised to find she has a secret admirer who she hopes is Lilly's brother. As Mia moves along her quest to become a real princess while maintaining a somewhat normal life, she learns that her mom will be a confident and reliable mother to her future sibling, the algebra teacher might be a cool step-dad, she and her Grandmere are a lot alike, and she still has a great future. This dramatic telling leaves listeners hanging on every diary entry as Anne Hathaway provides the voices of all the characters. Mia, Grandmere, and all the others come to life and take us into the world of a young princess who is living the dream of many young girls.-Tammy Snipes, Great Falls Middle School, SC Copyright 2002 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.
Kirkus Reviews
What's a high-school freshman to do when she learns she's a princess? The frenzied scribblings of an American girl who discovers she's royal continue in the second installment of the Princess Diaries. Fourteen-year-old Mia's "diary" begins as she learns that her free-spirited artist mother is pregnant by her algebra teacher. Mia's problems don't end there. She's tormented by unrequited love for her best friend's brother, Michael, excited about mysterious e-mails from a secret admirer (could it be Michael?) and dominated by her imperious royal grandmother. When "Grandmere" forces her into a television interview, Mia babbles her mother's secrets to the world. Worse, Grandmere insists on throwing a jet-setter-style wedding for Mia's entirely uninterested mother. Throughout, the turmoil of high-school friendships and persistently undeveloped mammary glands plague Mia's life. Cabot writes with a deft touch for humor as well as the convincing voice of a 14-year-old. Mia emerges as a vibrant girl who may become a good princess no matter how much she dislikes the prospect. True, young readers will deal with little more profound than the burning question of who will ask Mia for a date, but that's what interests the target audience. Teenage girls will love it. (Fiction. 12-16) Film rights to Disney

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Princess Diaries Series, #2
Product dimensions:
4.54(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Sunday, October 26, 2 a.m., Lilly's bedroom

Okay, I just have one question: Why does it always have to go from bad to worse for me?

I mean, apparently it is not enough that

1. I was born lacking any sort of mammary growth gland
2. My feet are as long as a normal person's thigh
3. I'm the sole heir to the throne of a European principality
4. My grade point average is still slipping in spite of everything
5. I have a secret admirer who will not declare himself
6. All of America is going to know it after Monday night's broadcast of my exclusive interview on TwentyFour/Seven

No, in addition to all of that, I happen to be the only one of my friends who still has yet to be French kissed.

Seriously. For next week's episode of her public access TV show, Lilly Tells It Like It Is, Lilly insisted on shooting what she calls a Scorsesian confessional, in which she hopes to illustrate the degenerate lows to which today's youth has sunk. So she made us all confess to the camera our worst sins, and it turns out Shameeka, Tina Hakim Baba, Ling Su, and Lilly have ALL had boys' tongues in their mouths. All of them.

Except for me.

God, I am such a reject. The only boy who has ever kissed me did it just so he could get his picture in the paper.

Yeah, there was some tongue action, but believe me, I kept my lips way closed.

And since I have never been French-kissed, and had nothing good to confess on the show, Lilly decided to punish me by giving me a Dare.She didn't even ask me if I would prefer a Truth.

Lilly dared me I wouldn't drop an eggplant onto the sidewalkfrom her sixteenth story bedroom window.

I said I most certainly would, even though of course, I totally didn't want to. I mean, how stupid. Somebody could seriously get hurt. I am all for illustrating the degenerate lows to which America's teens have sunk, but I wouldn't want anybody to get their head bashed in.

But what could I do? It was a Dare. I had to go along with it. I mean, it's bad enough I've never been Frenched. I don't want to be branded a wimp, too. And I couldn't exactly stand there and go, well, all right, I may never have been French-kissed by a boy, but I have been the recipient of a love letter that was written by one. A boy, I mean.

I guess the knowledge that somewhere in the world, there is a boy who might like me gave me a sense of empowerment — something I certainly could have used during my interview with Beverly Bellerieve, but whatever. I may not be able to form a coherent sentence when there is a television camera aimed in my direction, but I am at least capable, I decided, of throwing an eggplant out the window.

Lilly was shocked. I had never accepted a Dare like that before.

I can't really explain why I did it. Maybe I was just trying to live up to my new reputation as a very Josie-and-the-Pussycats type of girl. Or maybe I was more scared of what Lilly would try to make me do if I said no. Once she made me run up and down the hallway naked. Not the hallway in the Moscovitzes' apartment, either. The hallway outside of it.

Whatever my reasons, I soon found myself sneaking into the kitchen, then creeping back into Lilly's room again with a giant ovoid fruit hidden under my shirt.

Then, while Lilly narrated gravely into the microphone about how Mia Thermopolis was about to strike a blow for good girls everywhere, and Shameeka filmed, I opened up the window, made sure no innocent bystanders were below, and then....

"Bomb's away," I said, like in the movies.

It was kind of cool seeing this huge purple eggplant — it was the size of a football — tumbling over and over in the air as it fell.There are enough streetlamps on Fifth Avenue, where the Moscovitzes live, for us to see it as it plummeted downwards, even though it was night.Down and down the eggplant went, past the windows of all the psychoanalysts and investment bankers (the only people who can afford apartments in Lilly's building) until suddenly — SPLAT!

The eggplant hit the sidewalk.

Only it didn't just hit the sidewalk. It exploded on the sidewalk, sending bits of eggplant flying everywhere — mostly all over an M1 city bus that was driving by at the time, but quite a lot all over this Jaguar that had been idling nearby.

While I was leaning out the window, admiring the splatter pattern the eggplant's pulp had made all over the street and sidewalk, the driver-side door of the Jaguar opened up, and a man got out from behind the wheel, just as the doorman to Lilly's building stepped out from beneath the awning over the front doors, and looked up — And suddenly, someone threw an around my waist, and yanked me backward, right off my feet.

"Get down!" Michael hissed, pulling me down to the parquet.We all ducked. Well, Lilly, Michael, Shameeka, Ling Su, and Tina ducked. I was already on the floor.

Where had Michael come from? I hadn't even known he was home — and I'd asked, believe me, on account of the whole running-down-the-hallway-naked thing. Just in case, and all. But Lilly had said he was at a lecture on quasars over at Columbia and wouldn't be home for hours.

"Are you guys stupid, or what?" Michael wanted to know. "Don't you know, besides the fact that it's a good way to kill someone, it's also against the law to drop things out a window in New York City?"

"Oh, Michael," Lilly said, disgustedly. "Grow up. It was just a common garden vegetable."

"I'm serious." Michael looked mad. "If anyone saw Mia do that just now, she could be arrested."

"No, she couldn't," Lilly said. "She's a minor."

"She could still go to juvenile court. You'd better not be planning on airing that footage on your show," Michael said.

Oh, my God, Michael was defending my honor! Or at least trying to make sure I didn't end up in juvenile court. It was just so sweet.

Lilly went, "I most certainly am."

"Well, you better edit out the parts that show Mia's face."

Lilly stuck her chin out. "No way."

"Lilly, everybody knows who Mia is. If you air that segment, it will be all over the news that the princess of Genovia was caught on tape dropping projectiles out the window of her friend's high-rise apartment. Get a clue, will you?"

Michael had let go of my waist, I noticed, with regret.

"Lilly, Michael's right," Tina Hakim Baba said. "We better edit that part out. Mia doesn't need any more publicity than she has already."

And Tina didn't even know about the whole Twenty-Four/Seven thing.

Lilly got up and stomped back toward the window. She started to lean out — checking, I guess, to see whether the doorman and the owner of the Jaguar were still there — but Michael jerked her back.

"Rule Number One," he said. "If you insist on dropping something out the window, never, ever check to see if anybody is standing down there, looking up. They will see you look out and figure out what apartment you are in. Then you will be blamed for dropping whatever it was. Because no one but the guilty party would be looking out the window under such circumstances."

"Wow, Michael," Shameeka said, admiringly. "You sound like you've done this before."

Not only that. He sounded like Dirty Harry.

Which was just how I felt when I dropped that eggplant out the window. Like Dirty Harry.

And it had felt good — but not quite so good as having Michael rush to my defense like that.

Michael said, "Let's just say I used to have a very keen interest in experimenting with the earth's gravitational pull."

Wow. There is so much I don't know about Lilly's brother. Like he used to be a juvenile delinquent!

Could a computer-genius-slash-juvenile delinquent ever be interested in a flat-chested princess like myself? He did save my life tonight (well, okay: he saved me from possible community service).

It's not a French kiss, or a slow dance, or even an admission he's the author of that anonymous love letter.

But it's a start.

The Princess Diaries, Volume II: Princess in the Spotlight. Copyright © by Meg Cabot. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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