Title: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess
Author: Meg Cabot
Source/Format: Won, Paperback
More Details: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Publisher/Publication Date: Square Fish, May 19, 2015
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
Return to the world of Meg Cabot's bestselling and beloved Princess Diaries series in From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess—this time through the illustrated diary of a spunky new heroine: Princess Mia's long lost half-sister, Olivia! Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison is a completely average twelve-year-old: average height, average weight, average brown hair of average length, average brown skin and average hazel eyes. The only things about her that aren't average are her name (too long and princess themed), her ability to draw animals (useful for her future career as a wildlife illustrator), and the fact that she is a half-orphan who has never met her father and is forced to live with her aunt and uncle (who treat her almost like their own kids, so she doesn't want to complain). Then one completely average day, everything goes wrong: the most popular girl in school, Annabelle Jenkins, threatens to beat her up, the principal gives her a demerit, and she's knocked down at the bus stop.... Until a limo containing Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia pulls up to invite her to New York to finally meet her father, who promptly invites her to come live with him, Mia, Grandmère and her two fabulous poodles. Maybe Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison isn't so average after all!
Told from the perspective of Olivia, the story basically follows her as she discovers the truth about her family. The discovery isn’t much of a surprise, because the title and the synopsis are more than suggestive—and I was a little disappointed by that. However, that wasn’t too much of a fault since there were other things going on that were more of a surprise. I also liked how family ties and friendships were dealt with alongside the many changes happening to Olivia at once. The writing was done in a way that captured Olivia’s voice and really showed her as a character, which was great.
Overall, From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess was pretty good. Since I have the second book, I look forward to seeing what happens next and maybe I’ll finally go back and give The Princess Diaries series a try.