Monday, January 10, 2011

Favorites Monday: The Princess Diaries Series

Last week I blogged about the YA series that got me into historical romance back when I was actually a teenager. This week I figured it's time to talk about a YA series that didn't even even exist till I was an adult but is way too fun to limit to the kids.

The books in question? The Princess Diaries.

You wouldn't think they'd be my type of read. After all, they're lacking in epic scope, grit, and being set either 150+ years in the past, in a fantasy world, or in space.

For those of you not familiar with the series (which is quite a bit different from the movies, from what I understand), it's the story of a Greenwich Village high school student, Mia Thermopolis, who discovers that she's the heir to a European principality (fictional, but reminiscent of Monaco). So on top of the usual adolescent angst, she now has to deal with fame, paparazzi, and princess lessons from her autocratic grandmother. Mia is an engaging narrator, and the books are hilarious, effervescent fun.

In a strange way, they remind me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, another favorite of mine. Sounds goofy, I know, but work with me. Both take normal adolescent concerns and make them larger than life. BTVS amplifies the sense of danger and peril inherent in growing up by adding vampires and apocalypses, while The Princess Diaries takes that sense that you're living under a microscope and whatever you do is going to be picked apart by gossip and makes it paparazzi and tabloids instead of just those four nosy, talkative girls in your algebra class.

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