My inner 12-year-old was very happy these past few days, because I finally bought and read the latest Princess Diaries installment. I first read Princess Diaries when I was a bitty tween girl, and for the next seven or eight years, Princess Mia—very very different from the movie version—was a constant companion. An awkward princess with an obsession with Greenpeace and being self-actualized, Princess Mia was sassy, strong, wonderfully insecure, and had a vibrant voice that distinguished her from every other YA novel heroine.
And now, she’s back in the latest installment, the first one in six years, since we last left Mia reuniting with her high school boyfriend Michael Moscovitz and graduating high school, moving onto Sarah Lawrence. In this book, advertised as the first Princess Diaries book for adults, Mia is 26, getting engaged to Michael, reuniting with a long-lost little sister and finally inheriting the throne of Genovia. It’s enough to make me feel like I’m 12 again.
“People everywhere pray for a job where they can “work from home,” so I guess, going with the gratitude theme, I should be grateful for this opportunity. I wonder how, though, when people get one of these jobs, they keep themselves from spending the entire day going on YouTube and looking at videos about baby deer that have been adopted by golden retrievers. Because that’s all I’ve accomplished today so far.”
Did anyone else devour this series when they were younger? Because you’re totally going to want to read this one too. Mia’s voice is still very much the same despite her age and maturity. But it’s delightful to read in her voice again, which is so distinctive. She has truly grown up and is not as indecisive and whiny as she used to be, which is lovely to read. It’s almost like this character is real, a part of my childhood and adolescence that I forgot was so influential until now.
Truly, the only thing differentiating this installment from its YA predecessors is the fact that Mia is no longer a teenager, and is in an adult, romantic relationship with a “healthy sex life.” I find it strange that that detail alone means that it’s now being marketed to adults, because this novel has YA themes and excellent life lessons, and could absolutely be read by teenagers, especially if they’ve read the other installments.
As for me, I was delighted to leave reality behind in the 24 hours it took me to inhale this book, and rediscover one of my favorite book series. I’ll always have a place in my heart for the larger-than-life Princess Mia. (Really, the movies don’t do this girl justice!)