Olivia Harrison lives with her aunt, uncle, and two step cousins. Her mother died when she was young, and although she is able to send correspondence to her father, she hasn’t ever met him. Olivia is treated like a second-class citizen in her home, but all of that, and actually her life as she knows it, is about to change.
First, her “friend” Annabelle has decided Olivia needs to meet her at the flagpole after school so they can fight, although Olivia has no idea why or what the trouble is. Annabelle seems to be mad and is spewing some nonsense about Olivia being a princess.
Second, thankfully just as the fight is about to begin, a limo pulls up and out steps Her Royal Highness Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia. Mia is there to take Olivia wherever she wants to go. Oh, and it seems Olivia is her sister!
Olivia’s boring, average life is about to change in a big way.
Why I read it: I’m a huge fan of Meg Cabot’s books and specifically The Princess Diaries series. The beginning of this book was slow for me, but I ended up liked it. [I’m so excited about the Royal Wedding coming in June!] I kept having to remind myself this is definitely the start of a new series, not written in Mia’s voice, and aimed at younger readers (middle grade to early middle school) who probably haven’t read any of the Princess Diaries. I’m excited to see what adventures Olivia will go on.
I enjoyed the family tree in the endpages and that the illustrations are created by Cabot. Glad that both Mia and Grandmere (along with other familiar human and animal characters) return and that both are true to character. What I love about the books is that Grandmere isn’t Julie Andrews in the books. She is not afraid to speak her mind.
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Review by Jenn, YA Librarian (View all my Goodreads reviews)