I said I'd talk more about Princess Mia today, so... heeeeeere we go!
Forever Princess by Meg Cabot
As I said in the last entry, I devoured the entire Princess Diaries series as fast as I possibly could back in the summer of 2010. I hadn't read any of Meg's YA works at that point, and I was very impressed with these. The gist of the series is this: Mia Thermopolis has always been one to refer to herself as "average." Sure, she's got her distinct qualities- her height, her combat boots, her vegetarianism, her backpack covered in Greenpeace patches- but she's just Mia, living in a loft with her never-married artist mother and her best cat Fat Louie. Then her father drops a bomb on her: she's actually the Princess of Genovia, the country where her father was born and still lives. The Diaries chronicle her high school years as she struggles through princess lessons with her cartoonishly awesome Grandmere, Algebra and the headaches it creates, her mother's dates with her Algebra teacher, and her enormous crush on her best friend's brother. Each of the 10 books (plus the occasional "half" books) detail a certain big event or important moment in Mia's life.
I adore Mia, in so many ways. She is so very authentic, and so very hilarious. She is just a heroine I can support because, despite being a princess, she's also uniquely her! She sounds like a real teenager. My favorite is when she and Lilly (her BFF) do one of their infamous lists, from their favorite movies (which always includes something from Lifetime) to the boys they think are the cutest (which are almost all fictional characters) to the most kick-ass ladies (Buffy Summers makes the cut!). And Mia and Michael? Oh, that's a love story for the ages.
I chose the last book in the series, Forever Princess, as my favorite for many reasons. First, it's a fantastic conclusion to an already fantastic story. Secondly, Michael Moscovitz returns from his long trip to Japan all extra genius-y and gorgeous and somehow even awesomer than before. Third and finally, the writing is perfection. Granted, I feel the entire series must be read to full appreciate how perfect the writing is in book 10, but I still think it's great. The reader has spent years with Mia, experiencing her voice, going through this journey with her, becoming her friend. This book starts 2 years after book 9, and Mia is more mature and just a little bit different. She's older, yes, but the way she writes is a bit... off. You can tell it's almost like a show, like she's trying to hide her nerdy self under her new, matured persona. Yet, as the story goes on, little pieces of the old Mia start to peak out, and it is like a breath of fresh air. The style itself is so subtle, but I think it's really a showcase of Meg Cabot's talent. It was one of the best endings I could have imagined for Princess Mia.