P is for the Princess Diaries

Title:  The Princess Diaries (Vol 1)                                            
Author: Meg Cabot
Original Publication Date: 2000
Date I First Read: 2000
Basic Category: Teen/YA Fiction / Humor
Basic Summary:  Mia discovers she is a princess, even though she does not really want to be one.  The story is told in various formats (diary, IM, etc.) 
What I Remember About the Book:  I remember when it arrived, brand new, at the library where I worked.  I started reading it in the staff room during my fifteen minute afternoon break.  I didn’t want to put it down.  I remember laughing out loud.  I remember Mia’s mother painting.  Her friends.   Princess lessons!
What I Took Away From the Book:  It would be fun for a while to find out you are a princess. 
Rating (1-5 stars):  5

PS:  I had the opportunity to meet Meg Cabot in 2004, and also heard her give a most energetic presentation.  I had so much fun.  She took a picture with me.  This was before I had a digital camera.  I need to find the print, and scan it once and for all. I also got a couple of  books signed by Ms. Cabot.   I wore a dress to this conference, and felt like kind of a dork.  A couple of week later I wore the same dress to my great-aunt’s funeral. 


The Secret Circle Volume 3: The Power by L.J. Smith

The Secret Circle, Volume 3: The Power by L.J. Smith (1992)

First of all: the cover is upcoming! I need to scan the cover of my personal copy, so you can see how beat up and well-read it is.

Yes, I read this book as a senior in high school, after I’d read Smith’s Vampire Diaries series of four books. I actually discovered the fourth Vampire Diaries book (Dark Renion) in the adult-level horror paperback section of the public library. The library did not own the rest of the series. I ended up buying all of them to read, and then ended up buying The Secret Circle trilogy, as well. Anyway, I loved all of these books. My favorite of all of the books I’ve read by L. J. Smith is The Power. These are “teen” books, but even as a senior in high school, I loved all the magical powers in these books. I’ve always wanted powers. I still love the third book of The Secret Circle, because of the main character, Cassie. Cassie, at the beginning is rather shy and meek, which are traits I have always thought I’ve had (though not quite so much anymore. . . I feel I am less meek, anyway), and by the end, she discovers not only the magical witch powers she has had all along, but the just the strength and abilities for leadership she’s had all along without recognizing them. I always want to BE her. That is the power books can have.

The Secret Circle Trilogy is supposed to be released as an omnibus this fall. I think that means just a big book with all three books included. I think I would almost like another book with the characters. Actually, what I’ve always wished for, since the characters in the book were about my age (in high school when I was in high school), and I am now in my 30s, I would like a book more on the adult level and seeing what happened with Cassie, Adam, Diana, Faye and all the rest in the time since 1992 or so. Did they go to college? What happened with all their magic? Did any of them actually marry each other (since too much intermarriage really doesn’t work out well genetically in the long run, although maybe it’s different for witches, etc)? Any children/little witches running around?

That’s what’s fun about these books, too. . . the changes in what’s popular, technology, etc. Walkmans are mentioned a lot in these books. . . now it would be iods, of course. Beepers are involved, but no cell phones. Cell phones were still very – large – and expensive in the early 90s. (It was until maybe two or three years after this that my mom got a cell phone for her car. It was phone with a whole cord and console. I wish I had a picture!) No internet! No IMing! I am glad these things are not there . . . really, one of the themes of the book(s) is the friendship and camraderie of the group, coming together to solve problems.

As a teen, though, I really loved Cassie and Adam getting together in the end. The romantic side of me, dreaming of just such an occurance for myself, thought this was just wonderful. I did kind of feel sorry for Diana, just a little, but also felt like eventually she would find her own guy with a silver cord. That everything would turn out fine.