I found the first Princess Diaries book pretty difficult to review. I think the diary aspect, although somewhat original and gimmicky at the time, really makes it hard to comment on the plot of the book. A lot of the book is introspection, so thankfully Mia’s a really likeable character.
The bonus for me here, and I think it’s why I rated it higher than it probably deserves, is Anne Hathaway’s mind-blowing performance of narrator. Her Mia is so sweet and innocent and somewhat naïve, her Grandmere sounds like an old French woman who’s been smoking and drinking her entire life, even her impression of Mia’s father is decidedly masculine. I love Hathaway’s performance and it’s the only reason I want to continue on with this series, so long as I can get it in audiobook.
As for the plot, there’s not much to say. Mia’s mother falls pregnant and plans to marry her algebra teacher while Grandmere interferes and makes Mia’s already difficult life more difficult by pushing and pushing her to do things she doesn’t want to do, like give a big interview on national TV. So you see, the plot doesn’t sound very riveting, but it’s Hathaway’s performance of a very likeable Mia that makes me enjoy listening to thee audiobooks so much. And it’s so funny because I remember really disliking Mia early on in the first book, and yet now I think the strength of the novel rides on how much the reader likes her.