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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Being a teenage girl with divorced parents is hard enough without discovering you're the heir apparent to a small European country, that you must have a bodyguard tailing you at all times, and that your paternal grandmother is determined to turn you into a proper princess. Mia Thermopolis faces all that and more during her year as a high school freshman, and she shares the trials and tribulations of her hilarious life in The Princess Diaries.
As the subtitle to the second book in this series suggests, Mia finds herself "A Princess in the Spotlight" when she's tapped for an interview by a world-famous woman TV journalist. She doesn't want to do the interview, which will be broadcast nationwide, feeling that her flat chest, ski-sized feet, and royal heritage make her stick out plenty as it is, thank you very much. But her protocol- and publicity-obsessed grandmother, Grandmère, insists that the interview is a great idea, claiming the exposure will give their homeland, Genovia, the sort of attention it deserves.
Unfortunately, when time for the interview arrives, Mia is nervous and unfocused, rattled by her secret crush on her best friend's brother, anonymous emails from an unknown admirer, and the shocking news that her mother, Helen, is not only dating Mia's algebra teacher, Mr. Gianini, but (gasp!) is pregnant by him. Comments made during the interview earn Mia the scorn of several classmates, and when she accidentally lets slip the news about her mother's pregnancy, Grandmère goes into overdrive planning the royal wedding of the century -- despite Helen's desire for a simple, quiet ceremony.
In the meantime, Mia debates such weighty issues as her friends' inexplicable attraction to her hick cousin, the naturalness of a certain celebrity's boobs, and the grim outlook for her future love life now that she knows the meaning behind the term "royal consort." The story unfolds via Mia's comical diary entries -- telling lists, acerbic asides, and self-focused narratives -- in a voice that somehow manages to be both refreshingly unique and quintessentially adolescent. And in the end, a royal good time is had by all. (Beth Amos)