She's just a New York City girl living with her artist mom...
News Flash: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that's why a limo meets her at the airport!)
Downer: Dad can't have any more kids. (So no heir to the throne.)
Shock of the Century: Like it or not, Mia Thermopolis is prime princess material.
Mia must take princess lessons from her dreaded grandm?re, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne.
Well, her father can lecture her until he's royal-blue in the face about her princessly duty--no way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind. But what's a girl to do when her name is Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo?
"This is how NOT a princess I am. I am so NOT a princess that when my dad started telling me I was one, I totally started crying." Raised in a Greenwich Village loft in New York City by her flaky-but-loving artist mother, ninth grader Mia Thermopolis is shocked to learn from her father that she is now the heir apparent to Genovia, the tiny European kingdom he rules. Her paternal grandmother further disrupts Mia's life when she comes to town to mold the girl into a proper royal. Cabot's debut children's novel is essentially a classic makeover tale souped up on imperial steroids: a better haircut and an improved wardrobe garner Mia the attention of a hitherto unattainable boy. (Of course this boy isn't all he appears to be, and another boyDthe true friend Mia mostly takes for grantedDturns out to be Mr. Right.) A running gag involving sexual harassment (including a foot fetishist obsessed with Mia's best friend Lilly Moscovitz and a sidewalk groper dubbed the "Blind Guy") is more creepy than funny, and the portrayal of the self-conscious pseudo-zaniness of downtown life is over the top (Lilly's parents, both psychoanalysts, get Rolfed, practice t'ai chi and attend benefits for "the homosexual children of survivors of the Holocaust"). Though Mia's loopy narration has its charms and princess stories can be irresistible, a slapstick cartoonishness prevails here. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) FYI: Plans are in the works for a Disney film to be directed by Garry Marshall and starring Julie Andrews as the grandmother.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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September 18, 2000
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Excerpt from The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
uesday, September 23
Sometimes it seems like all I ever do is lie.
My mom thinks I'm repressing my feelings about this. I say to her, "No, Mom, I'm not. I think it's really neat. As long as you're happy, I'm happy."
Mom says, "I don't think you're being honest with me."
Then she hands me this book. She tells me she wants me to write down my feelings in this book, since, she says, I obviously don't feel I can talk about them with her.
She wants me to write down my feelings? Okay, I'll write down my feelings:
I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE'S DOING THIS TO ME!
Like everybody doesn't already think I'm a freak. I'm practically the biggest freak in the entire school. I mean, let's face it: I'm five foot nine, flat-chested, and a freshman. How much more of a freak could I be?
If people at school find out about this, I'm dead. That's it. Dead.Oh, God, if you really do exist, please don't let them find out about this.
There are four million people in Manhattan, right? That makes about two million of them guys. So out of TWO MILLION guys, she has to go out with Mr. Gianini. She can't go out with some guy I don't know. She can't go out with some guy she met at D'Agostinos or wherever. Oh, no.
She has to go out with my Algebra teacher.
Thanks, Mom. Thanks a whole lot.
Wednesday, September 24, Fifth Period
Lilly's like, "Mr. Gianini's cool."
Yeah, right. He's cool if you're Lilly Moscovitz. He's cool if you're good at Algebra, like Lilly Moscovitz. He's not so cool if you're flunking Algebra, like me.
He's not so cool if he makes you stay after school EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY DAY from 2:30 to 3:30 to practice the FOIL method when you could be hanging out with all your friends. He's not so cool if he calls your mother in for a parent/teacher conference to talk about how you're flunking Algebra, then ASKS HER OUT.
And he's not so cool if he's sticking his tongue in your mom's mouth.
Not that I've actually seen them do this. They haven't even been on their first date yet. And I don't think my mom would let a guy put his tongue in her mouth on the first date.
At least, I hope not.
I saw Josh Richter stick his tongue in Lana Weinberger's mouth last week. I had this totally close-up view of it, since they were leaning up against Josh's locker, which is right next to mine. It kind of grossed me out.
Though I can't say I'd mind if Josh Richter kissed me like that. The other day Lilly and I were at Bigelows picking up some alpha hydroxy for Lilly's mom, and I noticed Josh waiting at the checkout counter. He saw me and he actually sort of smiled and said, "Hey."
He was buying Drakkar Noir, a men's cologne. I got a free sample of it from the salesgirl. Now I can smell Josh whenever I want to, in the privacy of my own home.
Lilly says Josh's synapses were probably misfiring that day, due to heatstroke or something. She said he probably thought I looked familiar but couldn't place my face without the cement block walls of Albert Einstein High behind me. Why else, she asked, would the most popular senior in high school say hey to me, Mia Thermopolis, a lowly freshman?
But I know it wasn't heatstroke. The truth is, when he's away from Lana and all his jock friends, Josh is a totally different person. The kind of person who doesn't care if a girl is flat-chested or wears size-ten shoes. The kind of person who can see beyond all that into the depths of a girl's soul. I know because when I looked into his eyes that day at Bigelows, I saw the deeply sensitive person inside him, struggling to get out.
Lilly says I have an overactive imagination and a pathological need to invent drama in my life. She says the fact that I'm so upset about my mom and Mr. G is a classic example.
"If you're that upset about it, just tell your mom," Lilly says.
"Tell her you don't want her going out with him. I don't understand you, Mia. You're always going around, lying about how you feel. Why don't you just assert yourself for a change? Your feelings have worth, you know."
Oh, right. Like I'm going to bum my mom out like that. She's so totally happy about this date, it's enough to make me want to throw up. She goes around cooking all the time. I'm not even kidding. She made pasta for the first time last night in like months. I had already opened the Suzie's Chinese take-out menu, and she says, "Oh, no cold sesame noodles tonight, honey. I made pasta."
Pasta! My mom made pasta!
She even observed my rights as a vegetarian and didn't put any meatballs in the sauce.
I don't understand any of this.
Things to do
1. Buy cat litter
2. Finish FOIL worksheet for Mr. G
3. Stop telling Lilly everything
4. Go to Pearl Paint: get soft lead pencils, spray mount, canvas stretchers (for Mom)
5. World Civ report on Iceland (5 pages, double space)
6. Stop thinking so much about Josh Richter
7. Drop off laundry
8. October rent (make sure Mom has deposited Dad's check!!!)
9. Be more assertive
10. Measure chest
Thursday, September 25
In Algebra today all I could think about was how Mr. Gianini might put his tongue in my mom's mouth tomorrow night during their date. I just sat there, staring at him. He asked me a really easy question--I swear, he saves all the easy ones for me, like he doesn't want me to feel left out or something--and I totally didn't even hear it. I was like, "What?"