the gory details


I picked up Sarah Quigley’s TMI after reading a post about it on Cupcakes Take the Cake. And if you’re asking yourself why a cupcake blog would post about a YA book, I’ll just tell you that there is a lot of cupcake baking in this book. At times you have to wonder if these kids do nothing but bake and watch 80s movies.

While I am a fan of the Princess Diaries and the Georgia Nicolson series, I am not generally a fan of the  confessional teen lit genre. I was totally drawn in by TMI‘s cover, and like the writer over at CTtC, I too wanted to know why there were cupcakes on the cover.

Like many other teen confessionals, the novel focuses on the mishaps of the diary’s wayward writer. What is different about TMI is that the diary is really a blog, raising all sorts of questions about privacy and how much teens (and adults for that matter) should share on the internet.

Labeled the “Overshare Queen,” Becca decides that it’s time to change her ways and stop sharing so many details. Instead, she decides to create a blog to write her “overshares”. Everything is going great for Becca, she has a medium for expression (and can control the need to blab all the time), and it’s completely anonymous. Except Becca’s anonymous blog isn’t as anonymous as she thinks. High school drama ensues!

For readers who enjoy teen chick lit, this is a quick, fun read.

And now for something completely different… sort of. I just started reading Frances Burney’s Cecilia, so I’m going to be on that one for a while since school is taking up much of my free time.

viking disco inferno

I was starting to wonder about this one…

The final installment in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series, Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? is due to be released on October 6, 2009 according to Amazon. I kind of can’t wait, though this means that this is the end of all those series I started reading when I was in high school :(.

Fairytale ending

After 10 volumes (and several half volumes) Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series has finally reached an end.34102897

Forever Princess is Cabot’s final installment in the series and manages to bring Mia’s story to a very satisfying end.

Returning to AEHS in the final weeks of Mia’s senior year, the story takes an unexpected shift, picking up nearly two years after Princess Mia ended.

Almost eighteen, awaiting to see if her father will win the first democratic election held in Genovia (after all, Mia is the one who introduced democracy to Genovia), trying to publish her first romance novel (under a pseudonym, of course), choosing a college that did not accept her because of her title, and dreading a prom invite from her too-perfect-to-be-true boyfriend, Mia is overwhelmed. A state that is not helped by Michael’s sudden return as a successful entrepreneur and scientist, and Lilly’s suspicious attempts to be nice to her.

Lies become Mia’s form of coping until these become so easy that Mia starts to believe them herself, resulting in a series of bad decisions that only complicate matters further. However, Mia soon learns that, as Dr. Knutz says, sometimes a horse only looks good on paper. Whatever that means.

Like other series that I have been following for years, I really wanted The Princess Diaries to end well and Meg Cabot did not disappoint. I was pleased that the novel picked up two years after the last installment, it made for a nice change and introduced a much more mature Mia, who may still have a lot to learn about being a princess, but is well on her way to becoming a strong, independent woman. That is one of the aspects that I most enjoyed about the series–Mia is no one’s idea of the perfect princess. She is almost never calm and collected, but then her diary would not be half as interesting if she were the perfect model of feminine poise.

a touch of honey and fire

I’m not exactly sure how I feel about Robin McKinley’s latest book, Chalice. On her blog, McKinley explains that, like Dragonhaven, Chalice started out as an attempt to write a Fire story for the second in the Elementals series that she co-writes with her husband and fellow writer, Peter Dickinson.

When I started Chalice, I had high hopes. I was unable to finish Dragonhaven–partly because I could not connect with the young male narrator’s non-stop whining, and partly because the dragon theme did not work for me in the way that The Hero and the Crown‘s dragon theme did.

I did not have such a problem with Chalice, Mirasol’s story is classic McKinley–the young heroine experiences a life-altering moment and finds a sense of empowerment that allows her to overcome a series of trials.

However, the story seems a little too familiar. At times, Chalice seems almost a less-developed version of Rose Daughter with beekeeping replacing the gardening motif. Mirasol struggles to adapt to the role that she must play as Chalice, but her development is not as satisfying as Beauty’s.

Or, perhaps I have just become too attached to Rose Daughter.

princess for a day [or three]

I can’t actually remember when I first started reading Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series. I think it was right before the first Disney movie came out, because I remember thinking, “Ha! Julie Andrews’s benevolent Granny is so not Mia’s Grandmere,” after I saw the film. So, if the movie came out in 2001, I must have read the first book when I was in 10th grade (?). Maybe that is why I still feel so attached to this series, even after I told myself I was losing interest because the high school trauma drama was getting tedious. I was wrong. I’ll admit it. Princess Mia still rocks!

After a very long break from the series, I came back to it this week. Though I read most of the books as soon as they were released, I stopped reading the series after book VII, Princess in Training, was published. But I was feeling nostalgic and decided to get through the last three before the final book, Forever Princess, comes out (I think part of that nostalgia has to do with my return to blogging, the diary novel just seemed to fit my mood).

So this is my one-minute summary of Party Princess, Princess on the Brink, and Princess Mia… (okay, maybe more than a minute):

Party Princess

Mia’s latest social hiccup:

a) Find the cash to make up for having spent the senior class’s commencement ceremony fund to rent Alice Tully Hall on high-tech recycling bins for AEHS.

b) Prove to her boyfriend Michael that she can be a party girl (despite evidence to the contrary)

c) Survive her grandmother’s latest scheme: an original musical called Braid!

The lyrics to Braid!, Mia’s letters to Dr. Carl Jung, and the introduction of The Guy Who Hates It When The Put Corn In The Chili kept me laughing aloud.

Princess on the Brink

Mia has a calling, she’s a writer… but her Intro to Creative Writing teacher disagrees.

Lilly wants Mia to run for student body president. Again. And she’s using scare tactics to get AEHS’s apathetic freshman to vote in her favor – even if she is the only one running.

Michael loves Mia, but he has to prove his love like Aragorn because the elf king (ie. Mia’s dad) doesn’t approve of him…. Except he has to go to Japan to do it!

Highlights: Mia’s “Precious Gift”. hehehe!

Princess Mia

(I really like the new cover design)

Mia and Michael are no more, Lilly is giving her the cold shoulder, and J.P. is being very nice about it all.

I have to say, this may be my favorite in the series. Going through a very believable emotional crisis, this volume shows a Mia who is finally able to stand on her own and find herself (without either of the Moscovitz’s help). It’s not always easy, and sixteen-year-old Mia already has a lot to deal with what with being a princess and all, but it’s the kind of lesson that a princess-in-training needs.

Well, now that I’m done with this series (for the moment), I can get back to some of my other reads… though it was a welcome break from all the Jungian theory I’ve had to read lately (ironic that Mia was reading up on Jung too).