6788532Princess on the Brink (The Princess Diaries #8) by Meg Cabot
Release Date: December 26, 2006
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Audio via Library
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

At last, Mia is a junior. An upper classperson. Free of her responsibilities as student body president. So why is it that everything is going so terribly wrong? What is she doing in Intro to Creative Writing? When she has made it through Algebra and Geometry, why must she be faced with Precalculus? And for the love of all that is Genovian, why has Lilly nominated her for school prez again? All this is nothing compared to the news Michael springs on her, however. On top of all the mathematical strife, her beloved boyfriend is leaving for Japan for a year. Precalc has nothing on preparing for the worst separation ever!

Turns out there is one way she might convince Michael to stay. But will she? Or won’t she? No matter what, Mia seems headed for disaster..– Goodreads

Review:

Princess on the Brink begins with Mia finally being a junior and with a brand new short haircut and life going fairly well. Then…BOMBSHELL. Michael, Mia’s perfect boyfriend, is going to Japan. For possibly a year. He has a valid reason, he created a robot that can save lives and that is a good thing. She does know that. But he also leaves in about four days. Yes. Four days. While Michael loves her, he’s excited to go to Japan because the farther away he is from Mia, the easier that it will be to not have sex with her. While he is willing to wait, he is sick of taking cold showers.

This was a hard part for me to listen to. Part of me, nope, most of me was annoyed with Michael, but that is also partly because all I have is Mia’s point of view. And it seems that he is pushing her into it, because that’s what she feels. I’m fiercely protective of teenage girls, and I want to hold her. But Mia is also strong enough to support herself.

Mia who doesn’t think she’s worthy of Michael, and Michael, who knows everyone views him as worthless to Mia. He wants to be worthy, and she’s a princess. He wants to do something with his life. Adult Ashley understands where Michael is coming from, sixteen year old Ashley probably would have had the same break down that Mia had.

Mia also has other concerns, like the fact she bombed the math portion of the PSAT and was placed into intro creative writing, so to Mia, the world is ending. Particularly because she is not doing well in intro to creative writing. Her! As if that wasn’t enough Lilly wants Mia to run for class president again, and Mia just doesn’t have time for that.

What I also enjoyed in Princess on the Brink was that Grandmere was more human in this novel, not just someone that Mia loathes, but Grandmere was hilarious. She gave Mia her room key so Mia could have sex with Michael and Mia totally didn’t get it. I could feel Grandmere rolling her eyes, if she was ever to do that. I mean, it’s not princess-y. When it does dawn on Mia what it the purpose of the room key is, she freaks out, and then accepts how awesome this is. Because if Michael and Mia have sex, then Michael will stay and not go to Japan.

JP is also prevalent in this novel, after the last one. About half way through the novel, JP brings up the factoid that everyone is wondering: will Mia be dating when Michael is gone in Japan. Mia doesn’t see why she should…until she breaks up with Michael. Yes, Mia did the breaking up and Michael is confused and lost and possibly more heartbroken than Mia is. In the 1301153background JP is dating Lilly, who then breaks the heart of Lilly. Then…Mia accidentally kiss JP. And feels horrible, particularly because Mia finds out that her father has always loved her mother and it’s heartbreaking. The last fifth of this book broke my heart in ways I did not know was possible.

Princess Mia continues off right where Princess on the Brink left off and Mia is heartbroken, and depressed, she’s just not aware of the fact she’s depressed. She stops doing anything, she stays in bed all day, she doesn’t want to do anything she once loved and her and Lilly are still not talking. Even worse, Michael wants to be friends. Just friends.

While I never approve of depression being used as a plot device because it’s a real, human, emotion, Cabot makes it work. The psychologist was human, he was a fully developed character who made Mia figure out that maybe she pushed Michael away because she feared he would dump her first and wasn’t this easier? Even though it clearly was not. He also made Mia go out of her comfort zone, even if this included talking to and hanging out with Lana, Mia’s arch-nemesis throughout the series. I also enjoyed that Mia bonded more with Tina Hakim Baba, Mia’s romance novel obsessed friend who she originally bonded with because they both have bodyguards. It was nice to see Mia break out of her shell, even if this meant she had to be heartbroken to do this.

What Mia didn’t expect was everyone around her to care about her well-being including Principal Gupta, who takes away her journal and locks it up. Of course Mia, being Mia, continues to write, just in other notebooks and on assignments. I mean, it’s The Princess Diaries series, she has to! Things also Mia didn’t expect to happen: that she blew up part of the school and that JP loves her.5820680

To the outside perspective, it has been obvious that JP loves her. Obvious to everyone but Mia actually. Mia has to work that out, she has to also work out that her royal background may not be what she thinks it is.

Forever Princess starts out, two years after Princess Mia, with Mia being accepted to…ALL THE COLLEGES! No really, it seems every college wants a chance at having Princess Mia. It also seems that Mia has submitted a manuscript to be published under a pseudonym, which makes sense, because she really wants this for herself.

Mia also has found out that the telling the truth hurts, so she is telling everyone white lies, like oh, she didn’t really get into college because Mia feels like she didn’t work hard enough to get into college without the Princess attached to her name.

I found it fascinating to see the amount of growth Mia has gone through in these novels. For the longest time, when I read these, I didn’t feel like Mia had that much growth, but in Forever Princess I was very proud of the person that Mia had become. For example, for multiple books all Mia could think about was the fact that after her senior prom is that she and Michael were going to have sex for the first time. Of course then Mia and Michael broke up and now she’s dating JP, but Mia no longer cares about senior prom. She doesn’t mind going, she just doesn’t want to go with JP…Mia doesn’t love JP the way that she loved Michael and JP always wants to be with Mia..always. It’s kind of weird. Also, the paparazzi is very invested in Mia’s relationship with JP to almost an uncomfortable level. Something they never cared about when she was with Michael she is happy to point out.

Throughout Forever Princess I found it hard to believe that the book had skipped two years and that Mia was still with JP and that her and Lilly were still not friends.  However slowly, Lilly and Mia become friends again. Lilly even pushes Mia and Michael back in situations together. JP has never sat well with me, from the moment he showed up I wasn’t a fan of him and this isn’t because Mia is dating him instead of Michael. He has to do with him being a slimy creep and Mia never noticing. Even though he’s “perfect” and they would have the cutest babies, she knows in her hearts of hearts she feels nothing for him. He always turns everything into a big show and makes it hard to believe he cares about Mia because he cares so much about himself.

I actually found the final book, Forever Princess fairly perfect. While parts of it annoyed me, I did find the ending quite fitting of this series and am glad there will be a book about the upcoming Royal Wedding!

 

Princess on the Brink: 4 stars  | Princess Mia: 4 stars | Forever Princess: 5 stars