*Warning – may contain spoilers*
I decided to re-live my teenage years and delve through my bookcase and I managed to find one of my favourite films growing up – before realising I have eight of the 10 books in the series, so I’m blatantly gonna read those next. Hold up, this was released in 2000, so I was 10 – god, I feel old!
Mia is totally average, she’s definitely a geek, she’s not part of the popular group at school and she lives in a ‘loft’ with her crazy artist mum and her fat cat. She’s never kissed a boy and she lusts over Josh Richter, only the most popular guy in school, who’s dating one of the cheerleaders. She writes a daily journal as a release from everyday life and has one best friend, Lily, who certainly isn’t normal either. But when her father and grandmere arrive in New York, her whole life is about to change. Her father isn’t just some political bigwig, he’s the Prince of Genovia (a tiny principality), meaning Mia is in face Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo – the only heir to the throne.
Understandably, Mia find the news hard to take. In her words, she’s SO not a princess – she’s five foot nine, flat-chested, with frizzy ‘triangle shaped’ hair, big feet and no sense of style. Her Grandmere orders her to have princess lessons, which don’t go well (and are nothing like the film – Mia most definitely doesn’t transform into Anne Hathaway). This isn’t the only struggle she has to come to terms with – it’s one problem after another: with her mum dating her algebra teacher (a subject she’s forever flunking) and then a major fall-out with Lily (difficult consider they spend most of the day together and Mia has a crush on her brother, Michael, who’s helping tutor her).
News soon spreads like wildfire that Mia is royalty – people quickly want to be her friend, TV and radio are after her at every opportunity – and she can’t go anywhere without her bodyguard, Lars; she even has a chauffeur. She makes friends with a girl called Tina Hakim Baba, who’s also a social outcast and has to stay under the watchful eye of her minder, Wahim. You see, Tina is also ‘different’, her father’s a Saudi Arabian oil sheik and her mother, a British former supermodel. But even Tina has a partner for the school dance. Mia doesn’t.
Mia soon finds that fame has its negatives. Mia convinces her parents to let her go to the dance, accompanied by Josh but when they arrive, Josh leads Mia in front of the press and kisses her. Realising he did it only to aid his popularity/ego, she realises the mistake she’s made – but she gets her happy ending. She apologises to Lily and they’re best friends once again. She spends the night dancing with Michael, who also plays a song he’s written for her (read about her) and stays over at the Moscovitzs' house. More importantly, due to a more important news story, the kiss never gets in the papers, saving Mia a scolding from her father.
The book definitely brings back memories of school days, of what growing up in a competitive environment with bitchy girls and guys that quite frankly were players, was like. It also rekindles that inner wannabe princess, which I think we all are. The diary format makes for such an easy read and you can easily come and go, reading the book in small chunks, rather than read for hours. All the problems she faces are easily relatable to those the 14 (read 16) year old me felt. Even if does make me look back and cringe.
To be continued...
Love, Lucy xx