Pages: 192 Paperback
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Buy it From: Amazon - Waterstones
The first in a brand-new, funny, heart-warming illustrated Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot.
Olivia Grace is completely average. Or so she thinks . . . until Her Royal Highness, Princess Mia Thermopolis turns up at her school one day and whisks Olivia away to New York City! In a limo, no less! Where you can eat all the cookies you want and the ceiling lights up pink and purple - like a disco! But discovering that your father is actually the Prince of Genovia is quite a shock. Especially since it means you're a descendent of the Kingdom of Genovia, and a princess. Olivia's got a lot to learn about her long-lost family - and everyone's got a lot to learn about her!
Olivia chronicles her transformation from ordinary girl to princess in her notebook, with illustrations from Meg Cabot, who studied Fine Arts as an undergraduate.
I usually only post reviews for books that are specifically YA, but of course, Meg Cabot is always an exception.
This story follows Olivia as she discovers that she is the half-sister of Princess Mia, and is a Princess of Genovia herself. After living with her aunt’s family since her mother’s death, she feels like she doesn’t have a true family of her own to be a part of.
After word gets out about her being a princess, courtesy of her jealous classmate, the infuriating Annabelle Jenkins, she discovers the truth about her life. After years of having only letters as her source of communication with him, Olivia finally gets to meet her father, Prince Phillippe.
This is a spinoff series of The Princess Diaries for the younger generation, and it will hopefully introduce a whole new batch of readers to Meg Cabot’s wonderful work. Since I spent my own teenage years reading The Princess Diaries, I adored getting to hear from some of my favourite characters again in this new series. The tone of the book and Olivia's voice reminded me why I fell in love with the original series.
It was also great to see the discovery of being a princess from a twelve-year-old’s perspective. Everything is exciting and dramatic. I loved the texts between Olivia and her best friend, Nishi. They are realistic voices for children growing up in the smartphone generation. That’s another reason why kids are going to adore this story, it’s filled with modern references that they’ll be able to recognise and relate to.
Olivia is such a cute protagonist, and her journey throughout this story is one filled with innocence and the beauty of finally finding a place to belong. Her narration of the story is believable and captures attention from the very beginning. And the sketches throughout the book are also super adorable!
This is a fast paced read that’s filled with fun, and I think younger readers are really going to love Olivia. Fans of The Princess Diaries will also enjoy getting the chance to have a little catch-up with Princess Mia before the release of the first adult addition to the original series. I look forward to what the future has in store for Genovia’s latest little princess.