Sunday, September 16, 2018
"Royal Crown: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess" by Meg Cabot
*Note: There are spoilers in this review. If you haven't read the first three books in the series or Royal Wedding, read at your own risk.
Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison should be having fun. Her best friend is visiting from America, her sister’s royal coronation is only three days away (the first coronation of a female ruler in two centuries), and she’s even got a new boyfriend who is actually a very smart and charming prince!
But it’s hard to celebrate when her royal cousins are scheming to take over the throne. And with everyone running around, Olivia and her friends have been saddled with royal babysitting duties. Then, to make matters worse, Olivia's snobby cousin Luisa insists on gossiping about her, especially about things that should be personal . . . it's none of her business whether Prince Khalil and Olivia have kissed or not!
When did growing up royal get so complicated?!?
I would have to say that my obsession with books by Meg Cabot runs deep. I am not certain just how many times I have re-read The Princess Diaries series (it's September and I have read Royal Wedding twice this year, but we're not going to talk about that). I've reached a point in my life where shelf space is becoming precious and as I don't have as much time to re-read books like I used to, I don't buy nearly as many physical books as I once did, but Cabot's books tend to find room within that limited shelf space. So of course I had to read Royal Crown as soon as it came out.
To get you caught up, Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison Renaldi is Princess Mia's recently discovered sister. Olivia grew up with her aunt after her mother passed away and like Mia, she didn't know that she was a princess. To get the whole story, you'll naturally have to begin at the beginning with From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess. In this particular volume, we meet up with Olivia in the days before Princess Mia's coronation. A lot has been going between the new royal twins, Prince René contesting Mia's right to rule, and Olivia's guests; her best friend and her cousin Luisa. On top of that, Olivia is dealing with having her first "boy that's a friend" and the fun that comes with being a teenage girl.
If I'm being honest, I'm not the biggest fan of this series. There's nothing wrong with it, it just doesn't appeal to me the same way as the original series. I also find that I am more interested in what is going on in Mia and Michael's lives instead of Olivia's. As a character, she is fine and I think she's a great role model for young girls, I just don't find her plots as compelling. I get the impression that Cabot's strength is in writing for teens and adults and her crossover to children's literature is somewhat out of the comfort zone. I didn't really get into the Allie Finkle series either. However, I am glad that this series offers a starting place for younger readers and that it provides them with their own princess to look up to.