I’m pleased to be back with a review of a cute, easy read today. From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot is a continuation of the Princess Diaries stories. I loved the Princess Diaries books as a teenager and was excited to here there was more to the story.
- If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be cute. The narrator, the drawings, the pre-teen diary style writing all added to the cuteness.
- I was surprised that the ending left so much open in the story for sequels.
- I’d like to be a princess now. 🙂
From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess follows the story of Olivia Grace Clarisse Harrison, an average girl growing up in New Jersey. She lives a normal, average life–until the most popular girl in school threatens to beat Olivia up for being a liar. That afternoon, Princess Mia of Genovia comes to Olivia’s school with an incredible surprise. Olivia is a princess too! Now she finally gets to meet her dad, her grandmother, and their cute poodles. Will Olivia finally find the family and the love she has always longed for?
The perspective in this novel is truly from a preteen girl. I say this because the language and the writing is very simple. We learn about Olivia’s story through her diary entries and pictures that she draws (she is a good artist, after all!). I enjoy her sweet and innocent story telling. But it also made most characters rather flat in their development. I understand that the primary audience for this book is young girls. So for them, the perspective and development is right on track.
With this simplified perspective, we get to see the simple joys and difficulties of a young girl. I love that she gets so excited about her breakfast with grandmother and counts the number of shirts she must try on while shopping. And I also love the way Olivia can feel Mia and her father’s love for her immediately and appreciates their hugs. Olivia is definitely a likable protagonist whom I found myself cheering for throughout the story. While she is young, she is also smart and observant.
The plot was less exciting than I anticipated. The main action occurs right at the start of the book–Princess Mia comes to Olivia’s school and announces Olivia is a princess! The rest of the story is less climactic. Yes, Olivia goes to New York City to meet her father and grandmother. And there’s the somewhat troubling guardianship dispute between her uncle and royal family. But overall, I expected more to happen. The synopsis of the book on the cover basically tells all. And the books ends surprisingly. I expected more of her life in Genovia but we only get a few pages on it.
I appreciated the good moral to this story. In the end, Olivia is able to go live with her family who loves her. We learn about her unhappy (albeit comfortable) life with her aunt and uncle as the story progresses. They do not love her like their own kids. For that I felt sorry for Olivia. And I was glad to see her reunited with her loving family. That is a great moral for young girls–we all deserve a family that loves us.
A cute read that younger readers will especially enjoy. I will probably check out the sequel this summer–its about Mia’s wedding after all!
Have you read The Princess Diaries series? Check this one out!