Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot

Book vs. Movie:
I’m not going to sum up the book(s). I’m on book 3.  You can watch the movie for a summary (I know, I know– books before movies! But I watched the movie when it came out my senior year and liked it well enough, thought Michael was HOT, etc.) It’s pretty similar.

However, there are many differences between the books and the movie, including:

  • Mia’s father is alive in the books vs. dead in the movie, but he can’t have any more kids. She was illegitimate and they were hoping to keep it hush hush, since Mia’s mom preferred the Bohemian lifestyle.
  • In the movie, her parents are divorced, so she’s not illegit. It’s a Disney film, what do you want?
  • The book takes place in New York, and the movie takes place in San Francisco.
  • Mia is blonde in the novel, a look Anne Hathaway (hopefully) will not try. Other than the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland, just because Tim Burton can get away with everyone looking weird.
  • Also interesting, Lilly the BFF is described as having a smushed in pug face.  Disney was true to text and got an interesting looking actress (vs. “if you take off my glasses I’ll be hot! actress”) to play Lilly.

The book has more high school drama, more relationship drama, because she could drag it out into 10 books. The movies are a condensed form, except I kind of think the second movie came out of Disney’s head… don’t take that as Gospel, folks, I just don’t see it thus far in the books. (Editor’s Note: Book 6 or 7 she addresses the second movie and is all insulted that she and Michael broke up but was impressed by Chris Pine, her suitor in the film.)

Bookworm’s dilemma…
Ok, I guess this is where I want to be fair to everyone. I am hooked on these books. I realize it’s a very high school thing for me to be interested in, and I don’t care. I find the style (written as, you guessed it, a diary) draws me into the story.

It’s very late ’90s (published 2000), ie it has a TRL reference. She has an NSYNC calendar, which she got as a joke but one of them is hot (BTW, nice play— she didn’t name any, therefore she lets you pick), she asks why she can’t be homeschooled like the Hanson boys. And I don’t have a problem with it.  Why was I yelling at Trig last time about dated pop culture when I can look past that and go ok, we can tell when this was written, and move on with Cabot? Is it because I’m being nostalgic of my high school days versus being painfully aware of how teenagers today are going to look back on their teenage years?

In truth, I think part of its charm is that while it’s a bit dated even at publication date, the story itself is so unrealistic that it’s nice to have realistic comments like watching Baywatch reruns.

I think the key is she didn’t give us a year, and to top that off, she didn’t date it two days after it had been released to the public.
Another reason  in why I prefer Diaries over Viola is the awkward protagonist slant. I genuinely like Mia.  She whines a little, sure, but mostly she’s telling her story.  She includes English assignments and her to do lists, which are hysterical (1. Quit thinking of Michael. 2. Start acting more a. responsible, b.mature, c. royal. You get the point.)  Viola just didn’t engage me. She was awkward in the “I’m so city cool, you have no idea who you’re dealing with.”

I feel like a hypocrite for liking one while hating the other. Help?

Class stuff:
Grades:7/8 and up.
Some stuff in the book is if-y, but it’s not too terrible. It’s in a style this age would like.
Grade: B+. This may be Mia’s best grade actually, as she’s a C student. Just sayin’. I thought the conversational style was great, the story is addicting. Not bad, overall.

Maybe more Children’s Lit blogs to come, but I’ve been slacking. Sorry…


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s