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The Princess Diaries (Princess Diaries Series #1)

The Princess Diaries (Princess Diaries Series #1)

4.4 621
by Meg Cabot

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The first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot.

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’


The first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot.

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?

The Princess Diaries is the first book in the beloved, bestselling series that inspired the feature film starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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
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.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Princess Diaries Series
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Sales rank:
920L (what's this?)
File size:
371 KB
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:


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?”

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.

Meet the Author

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

Brief Biography

New York, New York
Place of Birth:
Bloomington, Indiana
B.A. in fine arts, Indiana University, 1991

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The Princess Diaries (Princess Diaries Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 621 reviews.
Samantha Sheppard More than 1 year ago
This book was sooo good. Once I picked it up, I could not put it down. the second i finised it, I bought the next one! I totally recomend it.
bookgirl888 More than 1 year ago
Mia Thermopolis is in for tons of big surprises when she likes her BFF's brother, her mom is dating her algebra teacher and she is princess of Genovia. This book was fun and hilarious, and something girls ages 10-17 would like.
tHeBo0kWOrM More than 1 year ago
Ok, no doubt i thought the movie was awesome! But the book is like 20% like the movie! The book is way better, and has no ending, you have to read it in the next book, and its the fact that the father never died, she never had a ball, and the book was way more interesting! It had many more details about her best friend, mom and grandma! So i do reccomend this book! Boys and girls! Dont get tricked by the title, not bout PRINCESSES!!
xXxLeahxXx More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much I couldn't stop reading! I would definaly read it if I was you!! Meg Cabot is a great writer and I am definaly going to read some more of her books!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book, and the movie! l would suggest it to anyone who loved the movie! Read the sequals two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great! Its about a high school girl named Mia who finds out she is a princess! But she is not happy about it. She has some other problems like her mom is dateing her algabra teacher! ( dont worry i didnt spoil the plot! ) anyway i love this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this my senior year of high school, and could totally relate to everything Meg Cabot talked about. Also, the journal style writing reminded me very much of my own! A definite read for anyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Absolutely wondetful. Note to kid readers: if you do not know what certain words mean, look them up on your nook or ask your friend. Do not ask your mom or dad what they mean, for god's sake! Note: Ages 12+ Granted I was eleven when I read this series, but trust me. Parents dont like it when kids ask what the word... nevermind. Just don't let your mom or dad read this till you finish the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have barely read the sample & I already want the whole entire series
Grace Mcmahon More than 1 year ago
this book is the best book ever! boys do not need to read it because it has some sierius girls stuff. I would reccomend this book to 10 and up! It will be the best book of your life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book after seeing the movie, and I was VERY surprised. it is SO different!!!!!! i think that the movie is very good, but I really like the book. i think that the only similarity between the book and the movie is that mia thermopolis is going to be princess of genovia.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was in fifth or sixth grade when Princess Diaries came out as a movie, and I immediately wanted to read the book. I borrowed the first one from my best friend and finished it shortly thereafter. I was completely hooked and stayed on for the entire ten book series. I even bought all of the novellas innermitten between the ten main books, as well as the "life guide" type books Cabot produced. Mia is such a wonderfully awkward and hilarious character. I don't see what's not to love! There are a lot of over the top things that happen to her, but those things are what make the series so smashing. Mia's relationships with people feel so real that you almost become Mia as you read, and her relationship with Michael is an incredibly driving reason to stay on board for the entire series. Cabot created something wonderful, and reintroduced the teen world into "fantasy" settings so effortlessly, that I would almost say she started the phenomenal obsession with teen fantasy lit period. Definitely worth the read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good I started reading it yesterday and can't put it down! I am in Middle School-5th grade- and I bring this book to every period and read whenever possible! ( every period except lunch, recess, and science. My science teacher won't let us read anything in her class if it isn't science related.) I am really into this book, and I'm very picky about books. I love a lot of books, but a lot of books don't get on the memo. In Life Skills - Health - I got in trouble for being to addicted to this book! Definatly reccomend if you like books with things you can relate to. It is like reading a letter from your friend, it's so realistic. It is a must read for girls like me. Hope you like it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg best book ever. I loved everything about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Verry good book nithing like the movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really cute book Meg Cabots books are really good try the princess diaries and also watch the movie its really good to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the whole series!!!!!!!!
Leer19 More than 1 year ago
The Princess Diaries was an exceptional read with quirky remarks and charming characters. Mia is a total reject just trying to survive high school. She has a very lovable personality and a natural ability to write, judging from "her" numerous quirky remarks made in the diary entries. I loved reading the Princess Diaries and cannot wait for the next book, Princess in the Spotlight.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Night night
Anonymous 4 months ago
I totally loved this book. As a recycled teenager a few times over, I can relate to Amelia. I'm also a princess-in-waiting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Samie Valentino (sister wanted to choose last name -_-) <br> age: just turned 17 <br> hair: dark brown <br> eyes: grey-blue <br> skin: completely clear and a little tan ish (barely) <br> Cloths: usually wears a t-shirt and black jeans nothing special.and black converses <br> RP's at: only war and peace <br> I feel like I'm missing something. Whepatever tho. Bye!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SO cute. As someone who originally wanted to read this because of the movie with the same title, I was not disappointed. Yes, there are MANY differences, but I almost prefer that because it's not the same ole script that I could probably quote to its entirety right now if I had to. One more thing: you cannot go into this book expecting anything serious. It's a light hearted read with many truly "laugh out loud" moments, which is exactly what I was looking for.