Sunday, July 3, 2011

Belated Books: MEG CABOT WEEK!

In preparation for the release of Meg Cabot's new book, Overbite, on July 5th, here's a glimpse into my minor obsession with Meg Cabot!  This week, I will feature some of her books- she has written A LOT...

The Princess Diaries series (and associated bonus books!)
The Insatiable series (my review)
How to Be Popular
Teen Idol
Nicola and the Viscount (my review)
The Airhead series (my review)
All-American Girl series
Queen of Babble series
Heather Wells series
The Abandon Series (my review)
The 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series (have only read the first two)
Pants on Fire (haven't read this yet)
Jinx (haven't read this yet)
The Boy series (have only read the first one)
She Went All the Way (haven't read this yet)
The Mediator series (haven't read these yet)
Victoria and the Rogue (haven't read this yet)
Avalon High series (have only read the first one)
Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls series (haven't read these yet)

The Princess Diaries Series- SPOILERS. but this is romance/drama, not a mystery, so you probs don't care.

I don't exactly remember how I got into The Princess Diaries, but I'm pretty sure that my mom took me to see the movie when it came out in 2001.  I would have been in... 7th grade?  Soon after seeing the movie, I picked up the first book at the library and loved it, although I was surprised at how different it was from the film.  I remember reading Volume III: Princess in Love while on a camping trip- this is still my favorite from the whole series, because the ending is so magical and Michael is so hot.

Yes, I have had a major crush on Michael, both in the movie and the books- I love dark haired guys, and my boyfriend of almost 8 years is Jewish, just like Michael.  Michael is a musician, a genius, and three years older- how dreamy!

I guess the reason I love The Princess Diaries so much is the characterization... Here's a rundown of my ten favorite characters:

  • Mia aka Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo (I definitely just wikied that- I forgot Grimaldi!)-  Princess Mia herself rocks for the self-discovery she goes through in the later books- she writes her own novel, Ransom My Heart, which is available for you to read!  Mia also has a lot of guts- she pulls a fire alarm, stomps on a cell phone, and eventually brings constitutional monarchy to her country.  In the books, Mia is actually blonde and looks nothing like Anne Hathaway. 2.  
  • Helen Thermopolis- Mia's mom is a crazy artist who is somewhat irresponsible (particularly when it comes to family planning) but cares about Mia more than anything else in the world.
  • Mr. G. aka Frank Gianini-  Mia's algebra teacher turned step-father is a stand-up guy.  He helps Mia with math, takes care of Mia's mom when he gets her pregnant, and is generally a fine male specimen. 
  • Lilly Moscovitz-  I spend a lot of time wanting to punch Lilly in the face- she's pushy, selfish, and too smart for her own good- but underneath it all, Lilly is a sensitive girl who needs Mia just as much as Mia thinks she needs her. 
  • Michael Moscovitz-  *dreamy*  I really would like to smell his neck, just once.  Michael is romantic, bossy, and nerdy enough to make me crazy.  I'm not sure why Michael works at a garage in the movie, because he is really just a member of the Computer Club until his band Skinner Box gets off the ground. 
  • Tina Hakim-Baba- I wish that I had a friend like Tina- her father is very rich, so Tina has a body guard just like Mia.  However, Tina is shy and super super nice- she loves all things romance- and Tina is so unselfish and pure-hearted.   
  • Grandmere-  HAHAHA Grandmere is a nightmare.  I can picture her with her tattooed eyeliner and cigarette, eye-balling the run in my stockings and cursing me in French.  Grandmere is the dowager princess, and she takes it upon herself to prepare Mia to be proper royalty. 
  • Lars-  Lars is the most hilarious body guard- he hides Mia's diary for her, exchanges knowing glances with Michael, and generally is a quiet sidekick to Mia's shenanigans, serving as a lookout on a couple occasions and pointing out obvious flaws in Mia's plans. 
  • Boris Pelkowski-  Boris is a violin virtuoso who drops a giant globe on his head because of his love for Lilly.  The globe scene alone makes him one of my favorite book characters of all times. 
  • Lana Weinberger-  Lana is a nasty nasty girl- at least in the first half of the series.  I would love to know who Meg Cabot based her off of and whether or not they know about it.  I hope no one ever makes me a mean character in a book!

There are other excellent characters that I omitted, but these are my favs!

However, there was a rough patch in my relationship with The Princess Diaries... In Volume VIII: Princess on the Brink, Michael and Mia have a huge fight and he leaves for Japan for an extended stay, essentially ending the relationship.  When I got my copy of the book, I was looking forward to a fun read, but I found this book super upsetting, and I cried hysterically for a long time.  When I finally stopped crying, I changed my Facebook profile pic:

I took it with my laptop, so I had to write the note backwards, which is why it looks all facacta.

I was so mad!  I wanted to write her a letter.  I was so upset that I didn't get the next book as soon as it came out, but when I did, I was relieved to find out that Mia sort of becomes less insane and makes good decisions with the help of her therapist.  Volumes IX and X were excellent, and by the end of the series, I felt that the story had come full circle with lots of character growth.

If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend it.  Mia's voice is authentic, the NYC setting is fun, and the situations Mia finds herself in are comedic and challenging.  Fans can continue to enjoy Mia's thoughts by following her blog- on which there may or may not be hints about a wedding to come!

As mentioned above, Meg Cabot also wrote a book as Mia Thermopolis: Ransom My Heart.  For Mia's senior project, she writes a historical romance novel- that we can actually read!

During BEA week, I went to the Scholastic Store in NYC to the This is Teen event, and I actually got to meet Meg, which was an amazing experience.  There were school kids in front of me (boys and girls who looked to be in middle school), and they were SO EXCITED to meet Meg- apparently they are reading her books for school.  It was great to see middle schoolers so excited about reading- especially boys.

Highlight of my year- maybe my decade, unless I get married before 30.

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