Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Princess Diaries 6-10 Reviews

Since this year's Meg-a-Readers is mainly about The Princess Diaries and how Meg Cabot and the series have changed my life, it only seemed appropriate to revisit my reviews for the first ten books.

For some reason there aren't any original thoughts for most of these either.

April 2005
Princess in Training (The Princess Diaries, #6)
Princess in Training by Meg Cabot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First in the series I wasn't crazy about, probably because of the way Lilly and Grandmere kept driving Mia crazy.
Not to mention Michael's admission at the end, the whole thing just felt awkward.

May 2013
Like with Princess in Pink, I did some even heavier skimming in this one. I didn't even acknowledge Lilly and Grandmere, this time it was Mia herself driving herself crazy. Over not wanting to have sex.
Is it a self-actualization thing that she just couldn't admit it to herself what she did and didn't want? Was she that obsessed with having a boyfriend that she would accept the fact that he only wanted her for sex?
Honestly I don't even think I want an answer to that. And how old was Michael? Almost 18? Mia was 15, she'd only had one boyfriend. There'd be a lot of backlash had she decided to do anything. (This was back in a time when teens didn't do that in books.)

February 2007
Party Princess (The Princess Diaries, #7)Party Princess by Meg Cabot
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm going to admit I was probably a little jealous of Mia, which would explain why I would get annoyed about her being so na├»ve. As for her insecurities; I can't say I was ever that far gone so it was hard to understand why she always expected her world to fall apart.
And I had my world fall away before. And at that point in my life I was 6 months away from it happening again.

June 2013
Party Princess (The Princess Diaries, #7)Party Princess by Meg Cabot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars [MAJOR Rating Change]

I enjoyed this more than I did the first time I read it, I don't know why. It might because of what I said after rereading Princess in Love, that now that I know what's coming at the end, everything is different.

January 2008
Princess on the Brink (The Princess Diaries, #8)Princess on the Brink by Meg Cabot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Unfortunately there's no original thoughts for this one; but I'm pretty sure I was mad at Mia for thinking that having sex with Michael would get her what she wants.

June 2013
Princess on the Brink (The Princess Diaries, #8)Princess on the Brink by Meg Cabot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars [MAJOR Rating Change]

I have to give this a 5 because I had a lot of emotions flying through my head while listening to this, (short of someone dying that's highly rare for me) probably because I knew what was coming.
I wish I had written something when I first read it, because my opinion has definitely changed. Although that's true for the first 5, so of course it's me that's changed in the last five to ten years.

Random observation: Much like my observation of Airhead in Princess in the Spotlight, we get another "coincidental tease" for a future book. This one in the form of a certain demon hunter.
While Mia is writing a screenplay of her life and writing what happened when her father told her she is a princess she decides to "color" things up by adding a demon attack and telling her father that she is a demon hunter for the Vatican.
I'm pretty sure I liked that story idea even before I met Alaric Wulf.

February 2009
Princess Mia (The Princess Diaries, #9)Princess Mia by Meg Cabot
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Again no original thoughts for this one, probably bored with it since half of it is Mia depressed in bed.

August 2013
4 of 5 stars [Rating Change]

I wish I could remember why I gave some of these books such low ratings the first time. I do know it was more me than the books themselves, I had just turned 19 when I read this, obviously a lot had changed from when I picked up the first at 13.
This time I really felt for Mia and her depression and I understood her "who cares" attitude a lot better.
And I know by the end of the series we're all probably suppose to hate J.P, at least a little, but looking back on his role in Mia's life; he did change her for the better. She learned from her mistakes because of him.

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, 2003/04) 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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