An old friend who hasn’t changed much – Princess Diaries 11, Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts

  

Mia is 25 now but her crazy world shows no signs of slowing down – and her doctor has told her to start journalling again. She’s still with high school sweetheart Michael, but what is the dark look in his eye? And what is with everyone wanting her to get engaged all the time? And how on earth is she meant to try to live a normal kind of life with the embassy surrounded by reporters – let alone spend any time with Michael at all. Oh, and her Dad has been arrested, and Grandmere has a new dog.

I am quite pleased to say that initially I gave up on Mia six books in. By then I was hitting my annoyance saturation point with her teenage-ness and insecurity – but when I heard of this book I couldn’t resist. After seeing a review on the Just Another Belle blog saying I didn’t have to read the books in between I requested the book, and jumped right in. And despite myself, I loved it!

Mia hasn’t really grown up at all. She’s still as impulsive, neurotic, obsessed with image and swoony over Michael as ever. I suppose she must have grown up a bit but… so have I, so perhaps I didn’t notice. I’d definitely have hoped she would have grown out of a lot of this by now; her mixture of extreme suspicion of everyone and idiotic innocence, and seeming ability only to see things on a shallow level. But perhaps if she had, she wouldn’t be Mia?

Plus the characters are pretty much all the same! I’m not so keen on people marrying their high school guy in books… but then of fictional crushes, Michael Moscovitz was always one of the best, so I think I’m letting her off that one too. But all her friends were the same,

This also meant, that presuming this is going to be the last book (right? Mia at 35 in ten years?) that a load of loose ends were quite firmly tied. It was fun to jump back into the lives of characters I had loved more than ten years ago and see what had happened to them.

I liked Mia, because like me she wasn’t cool or coordinated or confident, and because (I think) she was largely an introvert. I could connect with her – but I would have hoped for better for my friend of years ago than this. She’s happy, sure, but I think bit more maturity would be good too.

One of the impressive things about The Princess Diaries, past and present, has always been the achievement of a real gripping pace to the story alongside the diary format. It’s achieved by some fairly unlikely moments of Mia hiding in toilets to scribble (it just sounds uncomfortable and unhygienic) but does really keep you gripped until the last minute.

If you were ever a friend of Mia, I’d definitely suggest this as a bit of a guilty pleasure and reconnection with the past. Probably don’t read the books in the middle though.

If not, probably leave well alone.

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