Synopsis (from Goodreads)
My thanks go to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for providing me with this e-Arc.
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Released: 19th of May 2015
Olivia Grace is completely average. Or so she thinks . . . until Her Royal Highness, Princess Mia Thermopolis turns up at her school one day and whisks Olivia away to New York City! In a limo, no less! Where you can eat all the cookies you want and the ceiling lights up pink and purple - like a disco! But discovering that your father is actually the Prince of Genovia is quite a shock. Especially since it means you're a descendent of the Kingdom of Genovia, and a princess. Olivia's got a lot to learn about her long-lost family - and everyone's got a lot to learn about her!
Olivia chronicles her transformation from ordinary girl to princess in her notebook, with illustrations from Meg Cabot, who studied Fine Arts as an undergraduate.
What I Have to Say
I grew up with Princess Diaries. I have very fond memories of buying the books and reading them on the same day and just loving them. So obviously I was going to be excited about this book.
Olivia is very different from Mia, but she was so sweet. I felt that maybe the book was written a bit young, but I loved her naivety and excitement. It was a nice contrast to Mia's story and the way she found out about being a princess.
I really want to make a big deal about the fact that Olivia is black as well. Although I do wonder about the fact that she is accepted without question as the princess of a European country, as it's a middle grade book, maybe the tales of Olivia and the fight against racism in the government of Genovia is something for another book. The fact is, this is wonderful and having a black character so clearly on the cover of an American Middle Grade book is a brilliant step for diversity.
The illustrations were also adorable. They tied in so beautifully with Olivia's ambition to become an animal illustrator. I also love the detail that was put into making the drawings with a subject more detailed and advanced than the ones of things done from imagination/memory.