Friday, August 9, 2013

The Princess Diaries Revisited: Forever Princess

And we've come to the last of The Princess Diaries series: Forever Princess.
Check out a recap of all things Meg-a-Readers for this week.

What's a Princess to do?

It's Mia's senior year, and things seem great. She aced her senior project, got accepted to her dream college(s), and has her eighteenth birthday gala coming up . . . not to mention prom, graduation, and Genovia's first-ever elections. What's not to love about her life? Well . . . everyone adores her dreamy boyfriend, J.P., but Mia is not sure he's the one. Her first love, Michael, is back from Japan . . . and back in her life. That senior project? It's a romance novel she secretly wrote, and no one wants to publish it. And her father is losing in the Genovian polls--to Mia's loathsome cousin Rene!

With not just Genovia's but her own future hanging in the balance, Mia's got some choices to make. And what she decides might determine not just the next four years but . . . forever!

February 2010
Forever Princess (The Princess Diaries, #10)Forever Princess by Meg Cabot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is probably the first time I didn't finish a book in the Princess Diaries series in less than three days.
There really is no reason why, it sure wasn't the fact that it was almost 400 pages; with any of Meg Cabot's books no matter how long or short you always get a story worth reading. And Forever Princess did not disappoint, it neatly ended the whole series and gave everyone the ending they wanted.

Having read The Princess Diaries when I was 13, I pretty much went through my teen years with Princess Mia by my side reading and rereading her diaries every year. Catching up to her age range and then passing it.
It really was a love or hate situation. As a reader I couldn't help but love the story and her relationships with her friends and family. But there were also some parts where you kind of get sick of her for being such a drama queen and I'll admit there might have been some points of jealousy, because, hello, she's a princess who doesn't realize how good she has it.

I think the real reason it took me longer to read this was because I didn't want it to end; like Mia and her friends saying goodbye to high school, readers also had to say goodbye to Mia and her diaries.

I know I said this before about past books in the series but this one was the best, probably because it was the last one and long time readers could see how much Mia has grown up.

August 2013
You know what's funny? In my review up there I say how I "went through my teen years with Princess Mia," considering that review was written four days after I turned 20 I'd say that comment is pretty accurate.

This is the only book in the series that I not only didn't reread for this week, (not counting the halves) but I haven't touched it since I first read it.
Looking back on it though I get the feeling had I read it this week I might have given it a 5. Which leads me to what I learned from my revisit of the series: I've changed and so have my views, ideas and what I know!

It's always weird finding things from your past and realizing all the way's you've grown and changed.

When I first read the first half of the series (ages 13-14, June - May) I was obsessed. Like call it a love affair, I couldn't live without it, it was the air I breathed, I lost sleep after finishing each, obsessed.
But then I had to wait a whole year for the sixth. I think that was one of the main things about my opinion change. When I started the series Princess in Waiting had just been published, so I had four books there just waiting to be read, I got lucky that two months after I read Princess in Waiting Princess in Pink came out - I didn't know about it at the time so it was a pleasant surprise to discover it in the bookstore. But after that I didn't have anything besides rereads - and enjoying and becoming equally, if not more, obsessed with Meg's other books.
That's when I had to start waiting.
Then finally Princess in Training was published. By this time I was 15 and in high school, not that either of those two facts should make a difference. I still loved Mia and I loved getting back into her world, but it wasn't the same.
By the time I read Party Princess I had just turned 17, by this point I had decided that I could wait for the paperbacks and save my money. I read Princess on the Brink a few weeks before I turned 18, Princess Mia a few weeks after I turned 19 and as I already mentioned Forever Princess when I turned 20.
I have no idea why most of these books were read around my birthday, that's just a weird coincidence.

That's a year gap for each book, of course I was going to grow and change, it's like trying to stay best friends with someone but only seeing them every few months and having to live on memories in between.
This is my main reason for waiting 'til a series is almost over before I begin it, less wait time between books.

The best way I can describe it is: the first half of the series was my life long friend in middle school and they introduced me to the second half, a friend that didn't really care for me and I in turn returned the feeling. But then we enter high school and the life long friend has moved on. Now it's just me and the second half and after some more time together, knowing what we know now, we end up being pretty good friends.
That's actually based on true events, with real people not books.

What I'm saying is books 1 through 5 will always have a special place, in my past. While books 6 through 10 are now, they'll never have that special place but they'll still be there. Like I said after a few reviews, I probably enjoyed them more this last time since I knew what was coming; I looked at the story through different eyes.

I think Derrolyn Anderson says it best: "Because with a really good book you get something new every time you read it. Because…Well…Because you're a different person each time.”

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