Project Princess: Princess Diaries, Volume IV and a Half

( 60 )

Overview

What on earth is that princess up to now?

Hammer in hand, Princess Mia embarks on an epic adventure for one so admittedly unhandy: Along with her cohorts from school, she's off to build houses for the less fortunate. It doesn't take Mia long to realize that helping others — while an unimpeachably noble pastime — is very hard work. Will her giving spirit prevail? Will the house collapse due to royally clumsy construction? And most importantly, ...

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Overview

What on earth is that princess up to now?

Hammer in hand, Princess Mia embarks on an epic adventure for one so admittedly unhandy: Along with her cohorts from school, she's off to build houses for the less fortunate. It doesn't take Mia long to realize that helping others — while an unimpeachably noble pastime — is very hard work. Will her giving spirit prevail? Will the house collapse due to royally clumsy construction? And most importantly, will Michael stop working long enough to kiss her?

What comes between Volumes IV and V of The Princess Diaries? Volume IV and a Half, of course!

Princess Mia and her friends volunteer to build a house for the less fortunate during their spring break.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Princess Mia takes a socially conscious -- and royally hilarious -- spring break in this short paperback special edition in the Princess Diaries series!

Always looking to help the less fortunate, Genovia's princess is on her way to West Virginia to build homes with Housing for the Hopeful. Despite the problems she bravely faces -- sleeping in a tent on the ground, Port-O-Lets, insects, and corn at every meal -- Mia is focused on something much better: Michael's coming, and there will be much Grandmère-less time for making out. Thankfully, Mia gets plenty of kissing in with her hunky beau, and after a local family's new home brings the princess an extra dose of appreciation for hard work, she heads back to New York, where the conveniences of life remind her that there's "no place like home."

Short in length and sweet on every level, this quick read is another jewel in Meg Cabot's crown. Fans will get a kick out of reading about Mia's trials and tribulations with outdoor West Virginia life, and they'll see stars when she mentions secret smooching sessions with Michael. Another lighthearted Princess Mia gem that shouldn't be missed. Shana Taylor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060571313
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Series: Princess Diaries Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 242,177
  • Age range: 13 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1040L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to her adult contemporary fiction, she is the author of the bestselling young adult fiction series, The Princess Diaries. More than 25 million copies of her novels for children and adults have sold worldwide. Meg lives in Key West, Florida, with her husband.

Biography

Meg Cabot knows that one of the best cures for feeling gawky and conspicuous is reading about someone who sticks out even more than you do. Her books for young adults invariably feature girls who have extraordinary powers that carry extraordinary burdens. Cabot's Princess Diaries series offers up the secret thoughts of Mia Thermopolis, who discovers at age 14 that she is actually the princess of a small European country. This revelation adds significantly to her extant concerns about crushes, friendships, school, and other matters falling under adolescent scrutiny.

Cabot, a native of Indiana weaned on Judy Blume and Barbara Cartland, was already a successful romance novelist (as Patricia Cabot) before she began writing for young adults; her alter-alter ego, Jenny Carroll, began a new series shortly after The Princess Diaries debuted. The Carroll books are divided between the Mediator series, starring a girl who can communicate with restless ghosts; and the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU books, in which a girl struck by lightning acquires the ability to locate missing people.

Cabot writes her books in a conspiratorial, first-person style that resonates with her readers. She has obviously kept a grip on the vernacular and the key issues of adolescence; but what makes her books so irresistible is the mixing of the mundane with the fantastic. After all, who wouldn't like to wake up and be a princess all of a sudden, or a seer? Cabot takes such offhand notions and roots them firmly in the details of average, middle-class American life. She has also tiptoed into mystery and paranormal suspense with other YA novels and series installments.

Cabot continues to write adult novels under various permutations of her given name (Meggin Patricia Cabot): from 19th-century historical romances to contemporary chick lit. And, as with her books for teens, these romances have earned praise for their lighthearted humor and well drawn characters.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Cabot:

"I am left handed."

"I hate tomatoes of any kind."

"I really wanted to be veterinarian, but I got a 410 on my math SATs."

"Writing used to be my hobby, but now that it's my job, I have no hobby -- except watching TV and laying around the pool reading US Weekly. I have tried many hobbies, such as knitting, Pilates, ballet, yoga, and guitar, but none of them have taken. So I guess I'm stuck with no hobby.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Meggin Patricia Cabot (full name); Patricia Cabot, Jenny Caroll
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A. in fine arts, Indiana University, 1991
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Princess Diaries, Volume IV and a Half: Project Princess


By Meg Cabot

Harper Collins Publishers

Copyright © 2003 Meg Cabot All right reserved. ISBN: 0060571314

Chapter One

Thursday, March 10, the loft

I am completely exhausted. I don't know why, when I must already bear the burden of having been born a princess - even though I was not aware of it until recently - that I also have been cursed with such a trying family.

I mean, it is bad enough that they waited until I was nearly fifteen before letting me in on the whole "oh-by-the-way-you're-a-princess" thing. But now they can't even agree on whether or not I can spend my Spring Break with the rest of the Albert Einstein High School Gifted and Talented class in West Virginia, volunteering for Housing for the Hopeful.

As if doing good works for the less fortunate was not what being a princess is all about!

And okay, I can see how my whole Princess-Di-and-the-landmines argument didn't work on Grandmère - who thinks I spend enough time in my overalls as it is - but my MOM? I just spent an hour impressing upon my mother Housing for the Hopeful's "theology of the hammer": how partnerships founded on common ground - for instance, a lot of people from different cultural, religious, and socioeconomic groups getting together to build a house - bridge theological differences by putting caring into action. I mentioned how everyone, no matter howuneducated, can use a hammer, turning it into an instrument that manifests peace and love.

My pregnant mom - who was lying on her bed watching Stolen Women: Captured Hearts on the Lifetime Movie Channel with a carton of Häagen-Dazs chocolate-chocolate-chip ice cream balanced on her enormous belly (even though she is supposed to be limiting her saturated fat intake to less than twenty grams daily due to her more-than-thirty-pound weight gain in the past half year) - just looked at me and asked, "Mia, are you in a cult?"

OH, MY GOD! Only the extreme hormonal imbalance my mother is going through right now could make her believe that my working to provide affordable housing for the poor so that they can live in dignity and safety is in any way comparable to religious fanaticism.

When I mentioned that out loud, however, my mother shrieked, "Frank! Come here, quick! Mia's in a cult!"

Thank God Mr. Gianini came into the bedroom - he'd been in the living room, practicing his drums - and explained to my mother in a calm, reasonable voice that Housing for the Hopeful is not a cult, that it is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide. He also said that he himself had volunteered to escort students from Albert Einstein the past five Spring Breaks, and that the only reason he hadn't gone this year was on account of my mom being pregnant with his unborn child, the sex of which we do not know because my mom says if she knows it's a boy she won't have any incentive to push, men being the reason we even need organizations like Housing for
the Hopeful. Because male politicians make such bad decisions when they are elected to public office, such as starting expensive and unnecessary wars before making sure all their constituents have decent housing first, etc.

So then I pointed out to my mom that Tina Hakim Baba, who isn't even in Gifted and Talented, and whose father owns a bunch of oil wells and is always worried about Tina getting kidnapped by some rival oil baron's henchmen, has been given special permission to go. And that Lilly Moscovitz, resident school genius and my best friend, is going. Ditto her boyfriend, Boris Pelkowski, violin virtuoso and mouth breather.

Then I added that my own boyfriend, Lilly's older brother Michael, is going, as well. I tried not to look too eager as I stressed this last piece of information. I mean, really, there's no reason to belabor the fact that Michael and I would be together, without parental supervision, in the wilds of West Virginia for five whole days. I was pretty sure my mom wouldn't be too thrilled if she realized this was the primary reason for my wanting to go. I tried to make it sound like the primary reason for my wanting to go was my desire to help those less fortunate than me.

Which is completely, 100 percent true. But also ... well, I sort of want to make out with my boyfriend without having his parents or my mother or stepfather or grandmother barge in on us.

I stressed to my mom that the trip is totally a school sanctioned outing, and would be fully supervised by Dr. Juan Gonzales, the director of the Northeast Division of Housing for the Hopeful; Albert Einstein High School's principal, Principal Gupta; Mrs. Hill from my Gifted and Talented class (not that I am gifted or talented, but whatever); Mademoiselle Klein from French; and Mr. Wheeton, the track coach and Health and Safety teacher.

Oh, and that - hello - the Appalachian Mountains are only, like, seven hours away from Manhattan by bus, and the whole trip is only for five days, so what is the BIG DEAL????

But my mom still looked a little skeptical ...

... until I mentioned that Grandmère had declared that my wanting to go at all was entirely Mom's fault, for enrolling me in such a hippy-dippy school in the first place.

When I told Mom that, she got this look in her eye, and went, "Your grandmother said that? You know what, Mia? You can go. Now get out of the way, you're blocking Janine Turner."

It's a wonder I'm as well adjusted as I am, if you think about everything I have to put up with.

Well, whatever. After all that arguing, I'M GOING TO WEST VIRGINIA!!!!!!!!!!

(Continues...)


Excerpted from The Princess Diaries, Volume IV and a Half: Project Princess by Meg Cabot
Copyright © 2003 by Meg Cabot
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Thursday, March 10, the loft

I am completely exhausted. I don't know why, when I must already bear the burden of having been born a princess -- even though I was not aware of it until recently -- that I also have been cursed with such a trying family.

I mean, it is bad enough that they waited until I was nearly fifteen before letting me in on the whole "oh-by-the-way-you're-a-princess" thing. But now they can't even agree on whether or not I can spend my Spring Break with the rest of the Albert Einstein High School Gifted and Talented class in West Virginia, volunteering for Housing for the Hopeful.

As if doing good works for the less fortunate was not what being a princess is all about!

And okay, I can see how my whole Princess-Di-and-the-landmines argument didn't work on Grandmère -- who thinks I spend enough time in my overalls as it is -- but my MOM? I just spent an hour impressing upon my mother Housing for the Hopeful's "theology of the hammer": how partnerships founded on common ground -- for instance, a lot of people from different cultural, religious, and socioeconomic groups getting together to build a house -- bridge theological differences by putting caring into action. I mentioned how everyone, no matter how uneducated, can use a hammer, turning it into an instrument that manifests peace and love.

My pregnant mom -- who was lying on her bed watching Stolen Women: Captured Hearts on the Lifetime Movie Channel with a carton of Häagen-Dazs chocolate-chocolate-chip ice cream balanced on her enormous belly (even though she is supposed to be limiting her saturated fat intake to less than twenty grams daily due to her more-than-thirty-pound weight gain in the past half year) -- just looked at me and asked, "Mia, are you in a cult?"

OH, MY GOD! Only the extreme hormonal imbalance my mother is going through right now could make her believe that my working to provide affordable housing for the poor so that they can live in dignity and safety is in any way comparable to religious fanaticism.

When I mentioned that out loud, however, my mother shrieked, "Frank! Come here, quick! Mia's in a cult!"

Thank God Mr. Gianini came into the bedroom -- he'd been in the living room, practicing his drums -- and explained to my mother in a calm, reasonable voice that Housing for the Hopeful is not a cult, that it is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide. He also said that he himself had volunteered to escort students from Albert Einstein the past five Spring Breaks, and that the only reason he hadn't gone this year was on account of my mom being pregnant with his unborn child, the sex of which we do not know because my mom says if she knows it's a boy she won't have any incentive to push, men being the reason we even need organizations like Housing for the Hopeful. Because male politicians make such bad decisions when they are elected to public office, such as starting expensive and unnecessary wars before making sure all their constituents have decent housing first, etc.

So then I pointed out to my mom that Tina Hakim Baba, who isn't even in Gifted and Talented, and whose father owns a bunch of oil wells and is always worried about Tina getting kidnapped by some rival oil baron's henchmen, has been given special permission to go. And that Lilly Moscovitz, resident school genius and my best friend, is going. Ditto her boyfriend, Boris Pelkowski, violin virtuoso and mouth breather.

Then I added that my own boyfriend, Lilly's older brother Michael, is going, as well. I tried not to look too eager as I stressed this last piece of information. I mean, really, there's no reason to belabor the fact that Michael and I would be together, without parental supervision, in the wilds of West Virginia for five whole days. I was pretty sure my mom wouldn't be too thrilled if she realized this was the primary reason for my wanting to go. I tried to make it sound like the primary reason for my wanting to go was my desire to help those less fortunate than me.

Which is completely, 100 percent true. But also ... well, I sort of want to make out with my boyfriend without having his parents or my mother or stepfather or grandmother barge in on us.

I stressed to my mom that the trip is totally a school sanctioned outing, and would be fully supervised by Dr. Juan Gonzales, the director of the Northeast Division of Housing for the Hopeful; Albert Einstein High School's principal, Principal Gupta; Mrs. Hill from my Gifted and Talented class (not that I am gifted or talented, but whatever); Mademoiselle Klein from French; and Mr. Wheeton, the track coach and Health and Safety teacher.

Oh, and that -- hello -- the Appalachian Mountains are only, like, seven hours away from Manhattan by bus, and the whole trip is only for five days, so what is the BIG DEAL????

But my mom still looked a little skeptical ...

... until I mentioned that Grandmère had declared that my wanting to go at all was entirely Mom's fault, for enrolling me in such a hippy-dippy school in the first place.

When I told Mom that, she got this look in her eye, and went, "Your grandmother said that? You know what, Mia? You can go. Now get out of the way, you're blocking Janine Turner."

It's a wonder I'm as well adjusted as I am, if you think about everything I have to put up with.

Well, whatever. After all that arguing, I'M GOING TO WEST VIRGINIA!!!!!!!!!!

The Princess Diaries, Volume IV and a Half: Project Princess. Copyright © by Meg Cabot. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 60 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 27, 2014

    This was a very cute little short story about Mia's Spring Break

    This was a very cute little short story about Mia's Spring Break. I liked seeing her interactions with Michael, and I liked seeing a more human side to Grandmere. It was very short, but entertaining through to the end.

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  • Posted August 7, 2012

    my mom bought me this book when it first came out, this is book

    my mom bought me this book when it first came out, this is book 4 and 1/2 in the princess diaries series, this is a short book but it is still very good, on spring break Mia's gifted and talented class takes a trip to west Virginia to build houses for the less fortunate, on the way there in the bus Boris Lilly's boyfriend keeps getting car sick and when they stop to use the bathroom there prinicipal buys some medcine for Boris to take so he will not get sick anymore and than he falls asleep on Lilly's shoulder, and when they get there they meet the person in charge of it and than they get to pick who they want in there group Mia picks all of her friends and her boyfriend, and than after they pick there teams each team meets the Family that they are building houses for the family that Mia and her friends and her boyfriend are building the house for have a son and another baby on the way, and than after that it is dinner time, and after being there for a few days Mia gets tired of all of the corn that they cook for them they cook them some kind of corn for lunch and dinner both every day, on the first night Mia's and her friend's tent leaks when it rains, and while everyone is there they have to take showers in there 5 gallon solar shower bag if it rains they have to use wet wipes to take a bath with until they finish building the family's house for them, and they have no bathrooms so they have to use port-a-potty's until they build the family's home that they are building, this book is very good and very funny and very interesting, if you liked the other princess diaries book than you will like this one to but you need to read this book before you read book #5, i give this book 5 stars, i highly reccommeneded this book to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2006

    Princess Diaries

    I loved this book. It could have been longer. I love how she and Michael always make out. It makes it way more exciting. I love romance novals. I wish I had more romance in my life. That would be so cool. I too have cherry chap-stick and my ex-botfriend loved it too.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2006

    Amazing

    This book was totaly amazing. I have read all of the books by Meg Cabot and this one is the best!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2006

    To The Person who asked a question...

    Book 4 1/2 is part of the series. It is between books 4 and 5, so If you have read books 4 and 5, I suggest you read book 4 1/2. You can decide not to read it, because what I like is that the book following 4 1/2 doesn't make you feel confused since you didn't read the book before it. I agree with the people who said Mia is acting girly-girly. Her diaries are hilarious, but I think that she's getting to frantic about Michael and nature. She's supposed to be a simple girl who likes to write and is a vegetarian and wants to save the animals.I believe that she learned a good lesson in this book, even if it is only 50 pages.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2004

    Didnt enjoy this project

    This book could have been enjoyable...It was somewhat enjoyable but I didnt enjoy it that MUCH. Meg Cabot is a great writer but I didnt enjoy this short story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2004

    THIS WAS AWESOME

    THIS WAS AWESOME I THINK MIA IS AWESOME I LIKE HOW SHE IS ENVOLED WITH THE ENVIORMENT I LOVE THAT I NOW WANT TO HELP THE ENVIORMENT MORE BECAUSE OF HER

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2004

    Awesome!

    While waiting for Princess in Pink to come out this is a great book to read, its short and gives you a little more about Mia and Michaels relationship! its the best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2004

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#1

    This is one of the best books ever but the longer books are much better!!! Read these books !!!!!! they ROCK!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2004

    About the princess diairies...

    This was a wonderful book , i was just disappointed that it was only 50 pages. This would have been a 5 star book if it was a novel. Though I thank her for writing something while we waited for Princess in Pink, i my self having read the whole series about 6 times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2004

    TOTALLY AWSOME!

    I loved this book. It was great and I couldn't put it down. When I got it, I read it all the way home, and at school the next day!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    I loved it!!

    This book, while being short, did what it set out to do. It gave the reader a little story about what happens in between 4 & 5. I liked it a lot and I have nothing bad to say about it! Why everyone is giving this book such terrible reviews, I don't know. Princess in Pink, is awesme and this book gives the reader a little introduction to Mia and Michael's relationship in PIP. I liked it and recommend it if you are a PD fan!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2004

    Didn't like it

    Where did our Mia go! She is this tree hugging veggie eating girl and she screams when a centipede comes up her leg!! And the whole buissness with making out wiht michael she is like, like....Lana!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2004

    Great

    This is a great addition to the princess diaries series. I really didn't understand at first when I looked at it why it was so short, but I learned that it was probably because each of the books focuses on one event (ex. Princess in Love led up to the winter nondenominational dance). This book further proves what a great writer Meg Cabot is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2004

    okay where did the good stuff go???

    i think it was kinda sad that mia lost all hope she obsessed over kissing Michael and nothing else!!! she turned into Lana but i' still hopefull that the next one will be back to normal awesome mia and away from the whole lana scene i'm keeping up my hopes why don't you!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2003

    Offensive........

    I used to love the Princess Diaries series, but now that I've read Project Princess, I'm not such a fan. I live about five minutes away from West Virginia, and I think that a book talking about people in West Virginia living on the ground and all that is a load of bull!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2004

    hORIIBLE

    tHIS BOOK WAS JUST PLAIN BAD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2003

    Skeptisism

    I'm sorry, but this 'book' seems like an easy grabber at money. Not a teaser, not anything more, because the books are a little short to begin with (think about it: big font, sort of queezed in pages, ever wonder why it only takes 15 to 30 seconds to finish a page?), and you'd think she'd have wanted to lengthen the books a little more. I heard a lot of people express she's turning more into Lana and a girly-girl (a type of girl I cannot tolerate) and always wanting to make-out with Michael. Where'd her common sense go? I even noticed in Princess in Love she was dumbing down, so even though I haven't bought it or read it yet, I suggest you just read it in Borders or Barnes and Nobels next time you go. It'll probably only take fifteen minutes anyway. Sorry, but this series is going down hill, and fast. I'd rather suggest the Mediator series (even though all of her main characters seem to be the SAME, and she always has the super smart friend or person, the same conceited cheer-leader type, and the same boy she falls for everytime just with a little different plot.) But hey, I tend to be bored a lot, so why not just read them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2003

    gasp!

    well ive loved all the other princess diaries books and then i read this one. its really short, on 50 pages but i thought i could get past that. wen i finished reading, the only thing i thought was that mia is turning into lana! most of the time shes talking about how she wants to make out with micheal, and screaming when theres a bug on her leg when shes supposed to be a animal friendly nature loving save the whales kind of person. wats happened to mia????

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2003

    Princess diaries volume 4 and a half: project princess is........

    ...fantastic! It really grabes your attention right from the beginning. i didn't want to put it down. but warning: Dont read this in class, because when your laughing you head off over something mia had just wrote. you may get in trouble. like i did:( but i can't help it.

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