Just a disclaimer: I haven't read any of the Princess Diaries books. They aren't easy to find here, well ok, they are easy to find here if you don't mind reading it in Dutch. Which I do mind. I want to read them in English. Sadly only one library has them in English, but they only have one copy of each of the books, so yeah. :(
But, for most I knew the characters, the main idea and some other stuff (since I did do some research while searching for the books, so I wasn't confused that much. Just about Mia's boyfriend/fiancé and how all the family relations went.
Olivia was a terrific character and I really loved how she was. At first just normal, with quite a boring life and so-so family, to a extra-ordinary world of glitter and fame. However, Olivia stays calm and cool under all of this. For some reason, while she is stunned a bit, she is still acting normal even though she just found out she is a princess. I just wanted to cheer and clap, since a lot of times, as soon as a main character finds out they are royalty, well there goes the attitude, they demand stuff, they think stuff should be done at just a snap of the finger. So this was delightfully refreshing.
I also liked how brave she was. She was bullied (more on that later), but she just tried on her brave face, tried to stay herself. Even though it didn't help much, she still tried.
She also seems quite smart, and I love her ability to draw. It gives her an extra something. Smart, creative, brave, sweet, just a few words to describe Olivia.
Ah, and she is also a terrific friend. Her friendship with Nishi is just cute and I loved the two of them together. Nishi also seemed a bit stunned about the news, but she did take it normally, not like some crazy woman.
I didn't like the aunt or the uncle, especially after we find out some stuff. Bleh, some people take stuff a bit too literal. I am sure they had the best intentions, but it was just sad that she never once hugged or held Olivia. I can imagine that for Olivia this was shocking, to find out that people love her and want to hug and hold her. People who, when she comes in with a bloody nose, care about her and not the freaking carpet and whatever is spilled on there due to panic of seeing said bloody nose. *sighs*
I can imagine that the mom wanted Olivia to be normal, but I also feel that this isn't the way you are supposed to do it. Lying to child about her parents? Never seeing the living parent, it just was so sad. And Olivia felt alone, and really just wanted to see her dad.
The girl that bullied Olivia, sorry I forgot her name, I just disliked her too much. She was horrific. Bullying someone for that? Beating up people? What the hell is wrong with you girl? Someone needs to see a doctor, and fast.
I really enjoyed the story, how it went from normal average day life to all out crazy with all the press, the hidden stuff finally out in the open, and of course the princess stuff!
I also loved the added illustrations, they were a bit tiny (at least in my copy), but it was still fun and it gave the story just a little extra sparkle.
I can't wait for the next book, as that will probably all take place at Genovia. I am excited to see Olivia's first day at school, her travels across the country and much much more. Hopefully she will have a fantastic time there. I will be sure to follow her adventures!
Oh and I haven't talked about the cover yet. I love it! I love the colours and it matches with the story (though I don't think she ever really wore a tiara to school).
Would I recommend this one to people? Yes, yes I would. While a little basic background information is needed on Genovia, Mia and a few other things, you can easily just read this without having read the Princess Diaries. I am sure this series will be a fantastic series and I can't wait to see how long it will be.
Review first posted at http://twirlingbookprincess.com/