Book reviews

Posts tagged ‘Meg Cabot’

Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot


Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot is the latest instalment in The Princess Diaries series and is aimed at adults who grew up reading and loving the adventures of the main character, Mia, an ordinary teenage girl who turned out to be the heir to the Genovian throne.

In Royal Wedding, Mia is all grown up at 26, and still madly in love with her childhood crush, Michael. Mia and Michael’s romance is decidedly adult, which makes this book unsuitable for younger readers. (Mia’s favourite game is playing ‘Fireman’ with Michael). I expect my teenage nieces would enjoy The Princess Diaries books, but I wouldn’t want them to follow up with Royal Wedding for a few years yet.

Mia is now a fully fledged Princess, with plenty of royal duties to keep her busy. The paparazzi make her life a living hell, constantly rating her popularity on a Royal Rating website. The story is told via Mia’s journal, which she writes as a way of managing her stress.

Mia’s grandmother, Princess Clarisse, is a heavy drinking, smoking, manipulative, strong-willed tyrant. I can’t remember if I ever read The Princess Diaries, but I certainly watched the movie of the same name which starred Julie Andrews as Princess Clarisse, and Julie Andrews’ version of Princess Clarisse, although stern, was kind and loving. I could not reconcile Princess Clarisse’s character in Royal Wedding with my memory of Julie Andrews in the movie role.

Most of the characters from The Princess Diaries feature in Royal Wedding, Lily, Mia’s best friend from school and Michael’s sister, is studying to become a lawyer, Tina is about to finish medical school, Mia’s mother is now a widow and a single parent to 12 year old Rocky, Mia’s half-brother. Mia’s father, Prince Phillipe Renaldo, continues to get his name in the papers for all of the wrong reasons.

I didn’t love Royal Wedding, but I have a feeling that Honey-Bunny, who was a teenager when The Princess Diaries was published, and grew up reading the subsequent books in the series, is Royal Wedding‘s target audience, will love this book.

Teen Idol by Meg Cabot


As a diligent aunt, I like to keep up with what my nieces are reading, so took the opportunity to read Teen Idol by Meg Cabot which Miss S has been ploughing through. (Plus, I remember enjoying The Princess Diaries books and movies when my daughter, now grown up, was reading that series at least ten years ago).

Teen Idol was a very enjoyable read, even for a woman in her mid forties. The book is ten years old, but isn’t at all dated. The book is aimed squarely at teenage girls and has a lot of appeal for that age group.

The heroine, Jen Greenley, is a no-nonsense type, who has three big secrets. The first is, she secretly writes the problem page for her school magazine. As ‘Ask Annie,’ she provides advice to her fellow students regarding their romances, parents and relationships with their peers. Jen’s role as a confidante and giver of advice extends to her friends and classmates, who rely on her to smooth over their issues.

Jen’s second secret is that Luke Striker, an incredibly popular heart throb from Hollywood is attending her school to research his next movie role. Luke is in disguise, but Jen is tasked with helping him to stay undercover. Luke didn’t attend school as he was tutored on set as a child, and finds high school to be a place he doesn’t like. He can’t believe there is no coffee, but struggles even more with the bullying that goes on towards susceptible students and teachers.

Not surprisingly, Luke is outed when he takes off his shirt at a car wash, revealing a distinctive tattoo. He is mobbed by groupies and escapes with Jen. Before Luke returns to Hollywood, he pressures Jen to effect social change, by standing up to the bullies and providing more of a hands on approach to helping people rather than just giving them advice.

Jen’s third secret is that she has been in love with Scott Benson since primary school. Scott is the editor of the school magazine and goes out with one of Jen’s friends.

Teen Idol has good values for teens to follow and good advice for girls which are disguised in the story. The book was light and entertaining and I can highly recommend Teen Idol and other books by Meg Cabot to my other high school aged nieces.



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