Review: Forever Princess by Meg Cabot

Review: Forever Princess by Meg CabotForever Princess by Meg Cabot
Series: The Princess Diaries #10
Published by HarperTeen on December 29, 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance
Pages: 383
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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four-half-stars

What's a Princess to do?

It's Mia's senior year, and things seem great. She aced her senior project, got accepted to her dream college(s), and has her eighteenth birthday gala coming up . . . not to mention prom, graduation, and Genovia's first-ever elections. What's not to love about her life? Well . . . everyone adores her dreamy boyfriend, J.P., but Mia is not sure he's the one. Her first love, Michael, is back from Japan . . . and back in her life. That senior project? It's a romance novel she secretly wrote, and no one wants to publish it. And her father is losing in the Genovian polls--to Mia's loathsome cousin Rene!

With not just Genovia's but her own future hanging in the balance, Mia's got some choices to make. And what she decides might determine not just the next four years but . . . forever!

One of my bookish quirks has always been my hesitance to read a series out of order, even if they’re companions or the order really doesn’t matter (as in Discworld). In this one instance, I’ve intentionally and thoughtfully set this aside, and, yes, it does bug me a bit and I do have some misgivings. With Royal Wedding next on my TBR, the time had come to finish The Princess Diaries series, which I’d abandoned many years ago after book seven. I loathed the fact that Mia hadn’t grown or changed hardly at all in seven books, and I was done. Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) told me that 8 and 9 were not going to be any more enjoyable to me, with the ship all in tatters, so I decided to skip to Forever Princess. Part of me will always hate that I skipped those two books, but I’m very glad I decided to leap back into the series, and Forever Princess got back to what I loved about The Princess Diaries: Michael Moscovitz.

 photo gif royally flushed michael moscovitz princess diaries_zpskn4sjglk.gif

Reading Forever Princess was incredibly nostalgic. It’s amazing how much more I remembered then I expected to, though I’ll apparently never get my memories of Shameeka back. Those two books were also really good ones to skip, because it really didn’t feel like I missed anything. Forever Princess pretty much recaps what I’d missed: Mia getting even more neurotic, Mia going into therapy, Mia fighting with Lilly, and Mia dating J.P. It clearly wasn’t pretty.

Though Mia really probably should have changed more in those two years, Forever Princess is the book of change. Mia may not have changed yet, but she has reached the point where she knows she needs to. Even so, Mia flees decisions like they’re a hungry tiger. I’d forgotten how much I both love and hate Mia. She’s so funny, and I love a lot of things about her, but I also spend pretty much the entirety of every Princess Diaries book wanting to shake some sense into her.

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Nothing is ever a surprise in a Princess Diaries book. You always know what twists are coming a million miles away, because everyone knows but Mia. All of her friends are telling her something is up, and Mia’s like “what, no surely not, all good here.” I am grateful, though, is that, despite it taking her longer than it should, Mia does make her choices in this book eventually, before certain revelations come out. There is an actual character arc and progress made here, which is great and damn refreshing.

Also, I think it’s so great that Mia had gone into therapy, even if I don’t mind missing those books. Mia really stands in her own way a hundred percent of the time, expecting only the worst for herself. Her lack of confidence and willful determination to lie to herself really meant that she needed therapy, and I think it’s normalizing to show that. I also though it was wonderful that none of her friends made fun of her for it, even Lana. It was clear in Forever Princess that her therapist was really helping her and that she saw him as a safe space.

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The romance manages to be both immensely frustrating and incredibly fucking shippy. The love triangle is among the worst to be honest. Mia’s dating J.P. Mia does not especially like J.P. Yet she claims to be in love. You will spend the whole book headdesking every time Mia talks about this basically. Meanwhile, it’s hard to give a shit, because of all the amazing Michael moments. Now, they’re not a P&P-style ship, but some of his lines were SO Darcy that I swooned all over the place.

P.S. No need to thank me on behalf of your father or Genovia. I only sent it because I thought it might help out your dad in the elections, and that, in turn, would make you happy. So you see my motives were completely selfish.

This little email P.S. is straight up like what Darcy said after Elizabeth thanked him for helping with the whole Lydia-and-Wickham thing. I CANNOT EVEN.

It wasn’t until Michael saw me at the Columbia event that day and I acted so shy that he says he began to dare to dream that maybe Boris was wrong.

Columbia is their Lady Catherine De Bourgh. I have so many feelings. I will ship this ship for all of time and nothing can stop me.

There’s a lot of ridiculousness in Forever Princess. Michael’s a millionaire in the medical field at the age of 21, which okay. Mia gets her historical romance published pretty easily. Not to mention all the J.P. nonsense. Still, it’s hard to care about any of the drawbacks when Michael and Mia are Michael and Miaing. I thought I’d given this series up for good, and I’m glad that Cabot wrote Royal Wedding and Gillian convinced me to give this one a chance.

Favorite Quote:

But as you age, you lose other, even more important things, like friends-hopefully only bad friends, who maybe weren’t as good for you as you once thought. With luck, you’ll be able to hang on to your true friends, the ones who were always there for you….even when you thought they weren’t.

Because friends like that are more precious then all the tiaras in the world.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 photo gif princess diaries saw me when i was invisible_zps88puqp87.gif

10 responses to “Review: Forever Princess by Meg Cabot”

  1. Gosh I loved the Princess Diaries books! I love/d all diary-style books esp when I was a teen. I kinda want to read this one just for the rush of nostalgia!
    Alisa @ Papercuttts recently posted…Top Ten Books That I Will Never ReadMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I was all about diary formats as a wee thing. They were all the rage then. They’ve fallen rather out of favor but I’m now wondering why. I suppose because the action takes place off screen. Cabot has to take some liberties with time/memory, but eh it works.

  2. Alessandra says:

    I agree, books 8 and 9 in this series weren’t particularly enjoyable. And I totally despised JP, how he broke up with Lilly and so on. But I totally loved Forever Princess; it’s my favourite in the series. When Michael and Mia meet in the park and then he takes her on a carriage ride? Totally swoony.
    Alessandra recently posted…Book review: We Were Liars by E. LockhartMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I had no memory of JP. I assume he must have been around, though not with Mia, at the point when I quit reading, but he made zero impression on me. What I do know is that he’s a little shit. Even though Mia liked him at the start, or thought she did, I was not a fan.

      The park was great. I wish she’d dumped JP first, but also this is Mia and she fears decisions so it’s amazing she really chose at all.

      • Alessandra says:

        JP was The Guy Who Hated Corn in His Chili. That’s how Mia and Lilly called him when they didn’t know his name. Mia even wrote a short story about him, which ended in him committing suicide. Or something like that. She was supposed to publish it in the school paper, but then she actually got to know him and felt guilty… and I don’t think the story got published in the end.

      • Christina Franke says:

        Oh my god! You managed to trigger a memory. The Guy Who Hated Corn in His Chili! AHAHAHA. I don’t remember the short story at all though, but she talks about it in Forever Princess a bunch of times. I think she did manage to keep it from getting published.

  3. Hannah says:

    Ha – I read books 1-6 as a teen, and then Royal Wedding last month. Love your review – this series was an absolute fave of mine. THE SHIP. <3 Just wait till RW – can't wait to see your review for it!
    Hannah recently posted…Review: The Girl with All the Gifts – M.R. CareyMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Hahahaha, so you followed pretty close to the same pattern. It works pretty well. Review of RW went up today. GOOD TIMES. Michael would make a terrible firefighter though because he’s constantly setting us all aflame with his hotness, amirite.

  4. Gillian says:

    I NEED TO REREAD THIS AND SWOONSOBCRYSQUEAL OVER MICHAEL MOSCOVITZ AGAIN
    Gillian recently posted…Looking Forward: JulyMy Profile

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