I just found out that Meg Cabot is writing a new Princess Diaries novel for adults. Now, it’s strange because actually I think Meg Cabot has almost no talent as a writer, but The Princess Diaries books I actually liked! Don’t get me wrong: they were really annoying. Mia was kind of whiny and insecure, but I liked her voice and I did really enjoy reading all of the books in the series. When the last one came out, I felt like the series had finally ended in a place that made sense, and I liked all of the characters as the story concluded.
That must have been…five years ago, maybe. I was 17 when I read the last book in the series, and with Cabot’s new announcement, it makes me think back to when I first picked up The Princess Diaries when I was around 12 years old. I read the book because of the movie, obviously. But I quickly found out that despite the same title, the two stories had little to nothing in common. That was one of the first instances I had of “but why do they have to change things that are so unimportant to the story?!?!?!” Instead of a brunette, frizzy-haired Mia who get a hair straightener and suddenly becomes gorgeous, the book’s Mia Thermopolis is constantly going through periods of insecurity.
She’s strange and smart and kind of annoying the way teenagers always are. Her grandmother is foul-mouthed and more Joan Rivers than Julie Andrews, but it’s hysterical. She’s got blonde hair that she describes as triangular and shaped like a Yield sign. And she’s a lot more complicated than the Disney version (even though that movie is kind of awesome).
So I really am looking forward to reading the new book when it’s released, but I wonder what it will feel like revisiting a series that I loved almost in spite of itself. Re-reading a book you loved as a kid when you’ve gotten older is always a strange experience: almost like traveling back in time to meet your younger self. So many emotions you felt then come back to you, caught in the pages and held there like flies in amber. Having a new book in the series will also be an emotional experience, revisiting characters I used to love when I was a very different person.
What do you guys think of having a new book in a series come out so much after you read the original? Have you ever experienced anything like this intense novel nostalgia?