Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Review: Party Princess & Sweet Sixteen Princess by Meg Cabot

After a nice fall break, I somehow managed to drag home a nice flu bug that reared its ugly head the Sunday before heading back to school. By Sunday night I pretty much knew I was a goner, and have been home today and will be taking tomorrow off as well. Between sleeping, I've still been grading essays, but hate that reading any little thing gives me a headache. Regardless of my whining (and yes, I'm whining), I wanted to get my next reviews up. I decided to do another double feature from the Princess Diaries series, since Sweet Sixteen Princess was actually a short installment and easy to review alongside of Party Princess.

Synopsis: In Party Princess Mia is still reeling from the grown up world her boyfriend has moved into, being a college man now. After having the s-e-x conversation in the previous novel, Mia now feels unsophisticated next to her boyfriend, and believes that all college girls must be way more exciting and "free spirited" than poor Mia. Although Mia, as student body president, is struggling to raise funds for her high school (thanks to using them up on different pet projects), Mia is equally as concerned with a party her boyfriend has invited her to. Mia is sure that she will look silly next to his college friends, and agonizes over just how to look cool to him. Needless to say, in classic Mia-style, she does all the things that she thinks will make her look cool and ends up embarrassing everyone at the party, including her boyfriend. Will he forgive her and still like his high school girlfriend...as uncool as she has behaved?

As a quick follow-up to Party Princess we get Sweet Sixteen Princess. All Mia wants is a quiet night alone with her boyfriend, but if we've come to know and expect anything of Mia's life, it's that Grandmere just won't stand for her granddaughter to have something small and quiet for her 16th birthday!

Review: I have to say that I feel like these two books are setting up the obvious distance that comes between people of different age groups. When one person grows, and the other is left behind, it often causes conflict. This seems to be well represented in these books, and although Mia is growing up, it's obvious that her boyfriend is experiencing things as a college student that a sophomore in high school just can't understand yet.

I actually felt SO embarrassed for poor Mia in Party Princess when she humiliated herself at the party. It's not as if we haven't all made fools of ourselves in front of a group of people, but as an outside observer in this installment, I felt especially embarrassed for Mia and her obvious insecurity. Both books were cute books, and had funny little moments that struck me. The issues Mia faces do seem to get a bit more complex the older she gets (i.e. sex, drinking, divorce, etc.), and it feels natural to the story. These are simply a fun, quick read as an adult, and I can imagine that my teen students would really relate to Mia and her honesty in every situation!

Now, relating to Mia...can you remember a time that you really humiliated yourself at a party? To be honest, any humiliating moment I ever remember involved some stupid sport that we were all supposed to have fun playing together. Listen, I'm a HUGE college basketball fan, and I've enjoyed a few team sports I've played, but in general...NO WAY! Why did my most pitiful playing always take place in front of someone I was dating or liked at the time? Sigh. Give me something intellectually driven like a board or card game, and I'm top of my game. Put me in a sporting event, and I might as well have my hands tied behind my back and a mask over my eyes! Oh yes, but I showed them how much "fun" I was, right? Right.

For more information on either book, see: The Princess Diaries, Volume VII: Party Princess (Princess Diaries, Vol. 7) or Sweet Sixteen Princess (Princess Diaries, Vol. 7 1/2).

***Books reviewed were checked out from the local public library.

This review is also part of Book Review Wednesdays. Check out Cym Lowell's book blog for more information!


  1. Yuck to the flu! I hope you feel better soon. Personally I'd just enjoy it by vegging out and watching P&P, but that's just me. :)

    I had too many humiliating experiences in gym to catalog them all. Coordination and I are not friends. Plus I was like, "Am I actually learning anything right now?" I don't think I've ever had a severely humiliating moment at a party--yet. :P

  2. Anytime we played volleyball in gym was humiliating. I got hit in the head a lot.
    Great review. I love the Princess Diaries.

  3. Sorry you are sick! Hope you feel better soon!

    I have actually read the first 3 or 4 books in this series. It's not my thing, normally, but it's fun. I should make finishing the series a priority.

  4. So sorry to hear you are sick. Rest up and get well! Thanks for the tweets and support.


  5. I hope you feel better soon! I haven't read the series yet-it sounds like a fun, light read. I've embarrassed myself so many times at parties I can't remember them all. :)

  6. Hope you're feeling better. I'm a little behind in my commenting so I hope you're all over your flu now.

    I haven't read the Princess Diaries yet but they're on my wishlist. I love Meg's other books and plan to start these soon. It's always nice to see great reviews on them.