Royal Wedding (Princess Diaries #11) by Meg Cabot

For Princess Mia, the past 5 years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York, running her new teen community centre, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements, Mia's gorgeous long-time boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn't need to consult her diary to know 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 gather 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 just ready to wed but ready to rule as well? (from Goodreads).

Rating: ★

The Princess Diaries were an important part of my life growing up, and Mia was such a strong influence in my acceptance of being weird. Mia may have been a Queen, but she was awkward and a klutz and really felt like a normal person. I loved the series, and was so excited to see how things worked out for her in her adult life in an adult-fiction book. 

I was therefore surprised and a little disappointed to discover this wasn't adult fiction at all, and this book therefore falls short of the magic from the original series because of it. The whole point of the book is that Mia is now twenty-six and things have progressed from the original series, to a time when she is actually going to marry the love of her life and perhaps finally become Queen. These are very big grown-up decisions, and Mia's voice in the book doesn't really reflect that. 

Mia's life has remained the same since high school, despite the eight years between this and the end of the original series. She's still friends with the people she was friends with in school, still dating the same boy, still as neurotic as ever. I get that's how life goes for some people, but it just didn't feel very realistic she hadn't at least made a single new friend since the last time we saw her. For Mia, I understand she doesn't make friends easily because she is weary people are using her, but not even one person from her time at college? I wanted something new, something more mature about the woman who was possibly going to take the throne, and Cabot just didn't offer that. I don't get why though, because I've read a lot of Cabot's adult fiction books and they're so much more interesting and developed than Royal Wedding

The plot itself in the book was slow, and then would just skip through the truly interesting parts, like the wedding itself. The drama between Tina and Boris was just boring and stupid, because Tina is just so hung up on him and this made her character feel so one-dimensional in this book. Tina has so much to offer as a character, and it just made me really sad to see her so pathetic. Barely anything happened with Lily in the book, who just seemed to pop up to throw some sarcastic comments or make Mia see how dumb she's being. Michael may have been my favourite character in this book, because he's so excited to be marrying Mia, for their life to be moving forward. He adores her for all her flaws and quirks, always has. He was always enjoyable to read. 

The introduction of Olivia Harrison, Mia's surprise half-sister seemed truly ridiculous. This drama goes on for about half the book, because not much was happening beforehand. For the book to rest so heavily on the introduction of this character was a disappointment. Yes, I know I said earlier the problem I had was there were no new people in Mia's life, but there was a better way to do it. Olivia was not what I wanted. I actually got annoyed, because it seemed so money-grabbing as Cabot is writing a new middle-grade series starring Olivia. Cabot wasted so much time fleshing out Olivia's backstory, for an age group that weren't going to read a book for twelve year olds.

Royal Wedding was a good read, don't get me wrong. Everything works out as everyone knew they always would, and for the majority of people reading it I'm sure that's what they wanted. This book was about closure for fans of the original series. On its own, I probably would have enjoyed it. But it just wasn't up to scratch for me, because I wanted a truly captivating book about adult Mia, not just teenage Mia catapulted into an adult book. 
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