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review 2019-08-07 01:36
Review: Eleanor by Kristiana Gregory
Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, France, 1136 - Kristiana Gregory

Title: Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine
Author: Kristiana Gregory
Series: Royal Diaries
Format: hardcover
Length: N/A
Rating: 3 stars

 

Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Eleanor lives in a palace in Poitier, France, with her father, Count William of Aquitaine, and her younger sister, Petronilla. Mischievous and daring, Eleanor's daily exploits are a constant source of frustration to her grandmother and ladies-in-waiting, who are the girls' caretakers. Eleanor's life is turned upside-down, however, as her father goes off to fight in the invasion of Normandy, and her safety, as well as that of her sister's, is at risk from his enemies. Then, at age fifteen, Eleanor is forced into a new role when her father dies and she is betrothed to sixteen-year-old Prince Louis VII of France. When Louis' father, King Louis VI, dies suddenly, Louis VII becomes King - and young Eleanor is now Queen of France!

 

Favourite character: Petra
Least favourite character: N/A

 

Mini-review: At the back of the book in the historical notes (which I love btw) it mentioned that Eleanor was spoiled, but I didn't see that. Except for the fact that she slaps about three people in the book, including her sister, there is no indication that she's spoiled. And I guess because it's from her point of view, maybe we wouldn't see that, but I feel like it should've been more implied than just slaps.

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review 2019-06-04 21:06
Review: Elisabeth: The Princess Bride, Austria by Barry Denenberg
Elisabeth: The Princess Bride, Austria - Hungary, 1853 - Barry Denenberg

Title: Elisabeth: The Princess Bride
Author: Barry Denenberg
Series: Royal Diaries
Format: Hardcover
Length: 151 pages

 

Synopsis: Author Barry Denenberg brings us into the whirlwind that is the life of Princess Elisabeth of Austria. A free and impetuous spirit, Elisabeth is chosen at the age of fifteen (over her older sister) to be the wife of Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria. From that moment on, she is thrown into an intimidating world of restrictions and tremendous responsibilities. Feeling lonely and alienated, Elisabeth is forced to rely upon her own personal strength, which eventually leads her down the aisle and into an uncertain future.

 

Favourite character: Elisabeth
Least favourite character: Aunt Sophie

 

Mini-Review: I loved how at the end, the last 1/2 to 3/4 of the book was historical notes about the real Elisabeth, with pictures of her and her husband, other family members. I loved finding out that her husband’s nephew and heir was the Ferdinand who was assassinated and basically started World War I.

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review 2016-01-09 11:00
Royal Rebel (The Princess Diaries) - Meg Cabot

This was a pretty great book in a (so far) shaping to be epic series.

 

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review 2015-08-11 18:05
Royal Wedding: Princess Diaries, Volume XI - Meg Cabot
Royal Wedding: Princess Diaries, Volume XI - Meg Cabot

Cabot successfully translates her YA heroine into a twentysomething involved in politics, celebrity, TMZ, stalkers, a weird family, and plenty more. I loved it. My 16-year-old, who had left off reading the Princess Diaries around volume 7 or 8, loved it. Really, just a tremendously fun book but particularly in the lasting friendships Mia has maintained, it has a steely backbone.

I'm always going on about the way Pratchett has worked within the conventions of genre (in his case, fantasy) and crafted novels that are not only funny, but are deeply kind, with a warm glow of secular humanism. Cabot is performing the same trick within the conventions of modern chick lit. “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?” A good writer can make a reader laugh at the foibles of others, but a great writer is one who can also allow us to empathize. The most helpful writers even show us ways in which we can act on that empathy to become better humans. Thus endeth the lesson.

Library copy

 

 

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review 2015-07-27 20:19
Royal Wedding/Meg Cabot
Royal Wedding: Princess Diaries, Volume XI - Meg Cabot

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding—but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.

For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia’s gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn’t need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.

But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother’s leaked “fake” wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia’s father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch.  Can Mia prove to everyone—especially herself—that she’s not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

 

I'm a longtime Princess Diaries fan. I've read all ten books at least three times since first finishing them, and Mia's always been one of my favourite literary characters. I may not be a princess, I may not live in New York, and I may be competent at algebra, but there's something about her that I've always been able to relate to. As such, I was ecstatic to hear that another Princess Diaries book was coming out.

 

Looking at this book critically, however, there's a reason that the series had ended after the tenth book--Mia had basically grown up, meaning most of the problems that had riddled her teenage years had been solved. And to have a plot, there needs to be conflict. In that regard, this novel fell short--there wasn't really a big conflict. There were multiple smaller conflicts as demonstrated by the blurb, but none of these were suspenseful or had me worried. I didn't cry in this book, and there were none of those moments where I felt absolutely weak all over or had my heart in my mouth (the tenth, Forever Princess, will remain my favourite of the series...) In particular, the whole "royal secret" part felt very forced, and the additional release of the middle school princess book feels like Cabot trying to earn money.

 

Despite this, I still devoured this book. Mia is just the same, though eight or so years older--and I must be at least six or so years older. Reading this makes me feel like we grew up together, like she's always been a couple of years older than me, and that's probably the charm in releasing this book now. I totally fall into that marketing trap, and I love it. She still reads like a beloved best friend.

 

I love the continuity between the previous ten and this book. Mia's friends still act like they did eight years ago, if a little bit more mature and a little bit more guided. Some details were absolutely perfectly slipped in, and some things I'd always wondered about and hoped for were resolved. I love that Fat Louie is still around. I love the way JP turned out. I love Tina's texts. I love Lana talking about childbirth. I love Mia telling Michael he's like her dad because he wants to sign a prenup agreement, and I love Michael telling Mia she's like his parents because she's always trying to help someone. I love it all--even the fireman and space alien...

 

I had always loved the parts of Mia's diaries that were more simple and everyday. Mia's appeal was always in her perspective and her heart, and in the way she views life. As such, this book was fantastic, like catching up with a best friend who's known you for years.

 

I do wish that some vices weren't used. I don't like that Mia must explain why she hasn't written because it never makes sense. (Well, maybe it did when she was writing her historical romance in high school, but that was different.) I'd rather that it just be blatantly said that parts of her diary were omitted. I wish that we'd heard more about college--while I understand she might not have made close friends due to being a princess, I think SLC would have had a big influence on her life and merited more than two mentions. And I'm not sure how adult readers who hadn't read the previous books would find it.

 

But overall, I love Mia and I loved this book. She'll forever be one of the best literary characters I've ever known.

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