The Princess Diaries found me at the perfect time. I was fourteen, and as someone who kept a diary during my teens, I found myself drawn to a book that was written in a diary-style. I wasn't a huge reader at the time, but I gave it a try anyway. And then I didn’t stop. I faithfully followed the entire series right up until the last book was released. It sculpted my reading tastes, encouraged me to pick up more books, and gave me a genre to love. Since then, I haven’t stopped reading YA.
So The Princess Diaries holds a special place in my heart, and when Meg announced that she would be releasing an adult sequel, I was beyond excited. With Royal Wedding being released this June, (or July for us in the UK) I hope even more people will find their way to the series. I have so many reasons why you should fall into Mia’s world, but I’ve narrowed it down to ten.
10. The movie is good, but the books are way better.
I, like most of you, love The Princess Diaries movie. It’s cute, it’s heart-warming, and it’s perfect sleepover viewing (it also contains both Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews, and that’s really awesome). But the books offer SO MUCH MORE.
Seriously, you miss out on a lot. For example, if you have only ever watched the movie, and never read the books, you do not get to meet the wonderful gem on this earth that Tina Hakim Baba. And you also believe that Mia’s father is dead. But you are wrong. Very, very wrong.
9. The secondary characters are equally awesome
Like Boris, for example. Boris is that adorable, geeky guy that every good YA book series needs. He also provided one of my favourite scenes. It includes a world globe. That’s all I’ll say.
8. Grandmere is fierce
The Dowager Princess Clarisse Marie Grimaldi Renaldo is a spectacular character. When you think of grandmothers, you think of crinkled eyes and smiles, stories of the good old days, and baking cookies on a Sunday. Not this grandmother. She is intimidating, she is feisty, and if she doesn’t like you, she will tear you apart. She’s brilliant.
7. Lana Weinberger is more than just the cliché ‘bitch’ character
Lana is a cheerleader, she’s blonde, she dates the guys that every girl wants, and she is the girl that everybody wants to be. And, naturally, she’s Mia’s nemesis. But she becomes so much more than just the stereotypical, bitchy character that you first assume she is.
6. Mia may be a princess, but you can still relate to her
No, you can’t relate to her problem of having her every move followed by the world’s media, and you can’t possibly understand what it’s like to have the weight of an entire country on your shoulders, but you can relate to her as a person. She’s shy, awkward, and she messes up in front of the guys she likes. She's believable.
5. Family and friendship are important themes
There are arguments and dramas between friends and relatives, but this series shows how important the people closest to you are, and how, in the end, they will always be there to support you. A particular aspect of the series that I like is how much Mia’s friendship with Lilly is tested. It’s no secret that high school can be a challenging time for best friends, and Mia being a princess changes things. It causes strains on the pair of them. But it shows that whatever you’re faced with, your best friends mean the world to you, and you can overcome anything together.
4. The writing is seriously funny
Meg effortlessly puts humor into her stories, and The Princess Diaries is full of funny moments. You will laugh until you cry, and you will have a smile on your face whenever you join Mia in her forever chaotic world.
I like that Meg created her own fictional country for this series. The place sounds so absolutely gorgeous that I almost want it to be real. It’s exciting to watch Mia fall in love with the country she is princess of, and win its people over.
2. You WILL fall in love with Michael Moscovitz.
What is there not to love about Michael Moscovitz? He’s cute, he’s caring, and he has some seriously adorable romantic gestures up his sleeve. The love story between him and Mia is an epic one. But it’s not without its ups and downs, which only makes their relationship all the more believable. And most importantly, he adored Mia before he found out she had a crown. He’s dreamy and…wait, what do you mean he’s not real?
1. Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo
Of course, she is the number one reason why you need to immerse yourself in her diaries. She’s always entertaining, she’s a great friend, she’s brave, she’s fierce, and she’s basically everything you want in a character. But she isn’t faultless. I don’t know about you, but I’m always irritated whenever I read a YA book that has a seemingly ‘perfect’ protagonist. A girl that can do no wrong and is always selfless and positive. We all know life doesn’t work that way. We don’t always make the right decisions, and we’d be lying if we said we’ve never been selfish before. Mia has her flawed moments, especially when it comes to her relationship with Michael. She doesn’t always do or say the right things, but that’s okay. Part of why she’s a great character is because we get to see her learn and grow along the way. I loved joining her on her journey.
So there you have it. That is why you need to read The Princess Diaries (if you haven’t already). No matter how old you are, this series is timeless, and it’s just as entertaining to me now as it was when I was a teenager.
For other posts from this year’s Meg-a-Readers, check out the weekly roundup posts over on The Romance Bookie!