The Princess Diaries #4
“Never before has the world seen such a princess.
Nor have her own subjects, for that matter. Mia’s royal introduction to Genovia has mixed results: while her fashion sense is widely applauded, her position on the installation of public parking meters is met with resistance.
But the politics of bureaucracy are nothing next to Mia’s real troubles. Between canceled dates with her long—sought—after royal consort, a second semester of the dreaded Algebra, more princess lessons from Grandmère as a result of the Genovian parking—meter thing, and the inability to stop gnawing on her fingernails, isn’t there anything Mia is good at besides inheriting an unwanted royal title?”
Unfortunately, I didn’t like this book nearly as much as I liked the first three in the series. When I was reading it, it just felt like a middle book you know? Classic middle book syndrome. Here are the symptoms:
1. Lack of direction (and when the direction comes, it’s towards the next book). All throughout this book, we’re not really going anywhere. Sure, Mia is in Genovia and she’s learning about the country and what she has to do, but the main conflict is simply her trying to get back to the States, and ultimately, Michael. And when you get to end, you realize it’s all just leaning into the next book.
2. Character development is minimal at best. In this book, we don’t really see any changes in Mia besides the fact that realizes Michael isn’t going to run away from her.
Basically, middle books serve the purpose of getting the story from point A to point B and no more. They’re like buying a 20 year-old clunker to drive or a unique sort of vehicle. There are very few series’ that don’t fall prey to this terrible disease so I don’t hold it against this poor book at all. It was just an okay book.
There were things in it that made reading it an enjoyable experience such as Mia’s ever present personality that so vividly comes out through the writing. The ending of the book was equally hilarious and sweet and there were several times I couldn’t help but good-naturedly shake my head at Mia’s antics and their consequences.
The Final Verdict:
Though this book was enjoyable as always, it had the distinct feeling of middle-book-syndrome.
“Hello,” Lilly said.”Movie. Of your life.You were portrayed as shy and awkward.”
“I am shy and awkward,” I reminded her.
“They made your grandmother all kindly and sympathetic to your plight,” Lilly said.”It was the grossest mischaracterization I’ve seen since Shakespeare in Love tried to pass off the Bard as a hottie with a six-pack and a full set of teeth.”
“Really,Mia,”she said. “You know I don’t like to contradict your grandmother …”
This was the biggest lie I’d heard since the Prince of Liechtenstein told me I waltzed divinely,but I let it slide,on account of Mom’s condition.”
“But a sweater? I mean,that is so unromantic.It is the kind of thing I would get my dad — if he wasn’t so in need of anger-management manuals,which is what I got for him for Christmas.”
“French: why does this language even exist? Everyone there speaks english anyway.”
“I realized Michael was right. I mean, I am always writing in this journal. And I do compose a lot of poetry, and write a lot of notes and emails and stuff. I mean, I feel like I am always writing. I do it so much, I never even thought about it as a talent. It’s just something I do all the time, like breathing.”