Meet Olivia, the not so orginary middle school princess: Notebooks of a Middle-School Princess by Meg Cabot.
Olivia Grace is your average half orphan, wildlife illustrator wannabe. These things combined together don’t make you think average, but that is what Olivia has grown to accept. She’s getting by quite happily until Annabelle “the most popular, prettiest girl in the sixth grade” and sort-of friend, turns on her. No one knows why, but Annabelle is going to teach her a lesson after school.
When it looks like there’s no way out, someone calls out Olivia’s name… and there, stepping out of a limo is Princess Mia Thermopolis. Almost like a fairy godmother, Mia whisks her away from the school yard antics and introduces her to a world she never knew. Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison, Princess Olivia of Genovia, sister to Mia. She is thrown into a whirlwind of new beginnings, a sister, a grandmother, a dog called Snowball and a father who she is meeting for the first time.
A future in Genovia awaits her, but happiness is fleeting when the true motives of people close to her become evident.
I read the original Princess Diaries when they first came out fifteen years ago. Cabot still has the ability to make an exciting tale out of every little girls dream… I wanted to be a ninja, but Princess was right up there too! With loveable characters and amusing situations you get the magical combination for great tween fiction. As much as I hate using the word “tween” it does pinpoint the age bracket appropriately.
I will nit-pick slightly here, but this is only because I’m a “grown adult” and have lost some of the childlike wonder I used to have. Would any child be okay with never seeing one of their parents and only being able to exchange letters? And do twelve year old girls really start fist fights because they’re jealous? Really? *shrugs shoulders* I’ll go with it!
This is a great off shoot of The Princess Diaries. A whole new generation can get hooked on the regular-teen-turns-princess storyline with this new character.
A little bit of dialogue at the beginning felt awkward and forced, but there are some fantastic gems too though. My favourite bit by far is Olivia’s first encounter with her father, it’s wonderfully understated yet still full of emotion. It was a very enjoyable read although did feel a little quick and like it had the potential to be longer. But with the promise of more in this series, and the addition to the Princess Diaries books too there will be lots to look forward to.