Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Review: From the Notebooks of a Middle-School Princess by Meg Cabot

(Review copy from Netgalley)

Release date: May 19, 2015
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Age group: MG
Pages: 192
Pre-order the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

In FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCESS a new middle grade series, readers will see Genovia, this time through the illustrated diaries of a spunky new heroine, 12 year old Olivia Grace, who happens to be the long lost half-sister of Princess Mia Thermopolis.

I have been a fan of Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series since I read the first book when I was probably like 10 years old. Mia Thermopolis is still one of my favorite female fictional characters and I am still desperately in love with Michael. When I heard about the fact that Cabot is extending the series, writing a book about Mia as an adult, I seriously felt like throwing a party. When I was given the opportunity to review From the Notebooks of a Middle-School Princess, Cabot's first book in the spin-off series of Princess Diaries, which will be released a couple of months prior to the new Princess Diaries book, I jumped right in despite the fact that I normally do not review middle-grade novels.

From the Notebooks of a Middle-School Princess introduces us to Olivia Grace, a 12 year old girl living in New Jersey. Her mother died when she was only a baby and though she keeps in contact with her father, she has never seen him. Living with her aunt and her family, Olivia is trying to navigate through the halls of middle-school. As a result of a very unexpected chain of events, Olivia learns that her father is the prince of Genovia. Not only does she become a princess, she also gains a family – a sister, a grandmother and two adorable dogs. But becoming a princess does not come without problems and for the first time in her life, Olivia is really made to question what she wants from life.

This book was so adorable! This is exactly the type of book I know I would have loved reading back in the day. Olivia is funny and honest and it really was a pleasure to read her thoughts about herself and the people that surround her. I loved how Cabot brings diversity to the Princess Diaries world by portraying Olivia as a child of white father and a black mother and how she very gently points out to her readers that despite the fact that Olivia looks a bit different than her other family members, she still is essentially the same (which I think is a very important thing to note for young readers).

This book will be a brilliant extension of the Princess Diaries series for a new generation of readers – with an introduction of new main character in a very contemporary setting, Cabot not only gives old fans of Mia a chance to see her again through the eyes of a new character, but also makes it possible for new readers to first encounter this novel and then possible the original Princess Diaries novels. I really hope this one will be translated to Finnish so I can share it with my cousin's two girls – I bet they would love this one just as much as I loved Princess Diaries when I was their age.

1 comment:

  1. Meg Cabot wins at everything! She is just one of the best at writing relatable characters for young readers. I will have to be sure to give this one a go. I haven't read her in awhile.


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