Top critical review
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Tedious, but worth a look if you want a comfortable read
on 22 January 2007
I've read all the Princess Diaries books and I have to say I'm getting fed up with them now. The first was good - although I always think that these sort of teenage diary type books don't take all that much talent to write - and I still remember what happened in the second and third books, so I'm assuming they were good-ish too. But after that...they all merge into one. I KNOW she's a 16 year old girl, but she hasn't matured in any way at all since the first book (where she was two years younger) and I can't help but finding her increasingly annoying.
To me, it feels like Cabot is taking advantage of the success of this series, and is continuing writing them until they go out of favour. Her writing style is good, if not particularly unique, and Mia was an interesting enough character in the first three or four, but now Cabot's writing is becoming predictable, tiresome, and her plots always have the same basic storylines.
Still, I continue to read them, if only for a comfortable read that takes no effort and provokes no thought. They're not horrible - merely rather tedious after the first few. Cabot is a capable writer, and I'd like to see her attempt something different. All of her other books (Nicola & The Viscount, Victoria & The Rogue, etc) seem to be similar as well, and I don't see why someone who can obviously write doesn't try and push her boundaries.
This book is slightly different in that we finally get to the inevitable break-up with Michael, but as it's taken eight books to reach this point, the impact that could have had was sadly reduced. It's predictable, and I would have preferred to see a more imaginative break-up than the cop out idea that Michael has to go away for a year. I did like the reminder that he's nineteen, and we finally get to see some of those age issues (finally!).
I don't know...I'm rambling now, but I guess I think these characters are all a little two-dimensional. Mia's character hasn't grown at all throughout the series, and I just want to scream at her to stop being such a wet blanket and to stop overreacting.
I'll wrap it up here, because there's not a lot to say that I haven't already. In a nutshell these books aren't terrible, not by any means, but they're not particularly imaginative or unique and I want Cabot to try and stretch herself. Predictable, but easy to read and amusing enough if you switch your brain off.