Thursday, October 13, 2011

Princess Diaries

Meg Cabot penned this young adult book back in 2001 and is the basis of the Disney movie. The story is about Mia Thermopolis who is raised as a normal teenager in New York City without ever knowing she is the heir to the throne of Genovia. The story is presented in a first person, journal style by Mia.

The story is cute and fast paced. It clearly shows the teenage angst of Mia and the difficulty she has transitioning into her role as a princess. I liked that the original story has her dad, who for some unknown reason is killed off in the movie. Unfortunately, her grandmother is not nearly as charming or likable in the book. The story does end rather suddenly, designed to get you to read the next book in the series.

Just as a warning to parents. The story does have some content that may be considered inappropriate for young teens. There is implied pre-marital sex between Mia's mother and her algebra teacher as well as some crude language. The story is for older teens. Also Mia is a supporter of nearly every liberal cause in existence including Green Peace, gay issues and other things. This may not be a problem for some parents, but something to keep in mind.

One last thing. The book is full of pop-culture from 2001. While it's hard to believe that much time has passed, some kids may not identify with some of it. For example being on the internet meant using the phone line, which caused a busy signal for anyone trying to call you. They may also not understand the debate between Xena Warrior Princess vs. Buff the Vampire Slayer, and many other things. This dates the book, unfortunately. If Meg Cabot had been a little more careful about some of those references, the book could have had a long shelf life. Instead, I think most people will remember the movie with fondness rather than the original story.

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

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