Princess Forever by Meg Cabot
The Particulars: Contemporary Young Adult, final book in series (#10), 2009, in print
Why Was It In Wendy's TBR?: I read very little YA (good Lord, not enough hours in the day!) but I have been hooked on this series from the beginning (for the record: nothing like the Disney movies). When Lil' Sis moved to California....oh 2 years ago - she bought a copy of this to read on the plane and promptly gave it to me to read. Uh, which I've done. Finally. Two years later. Seriously, I suck.
The Review: So for those of you who know nothing about this series, it follows seemingly average New York City teenager, Mia Thermopolis, who one day, during her freshman year of high school, finds out her dad is a prince to a tiny (fictional) European country. Thereby, making her a princess. This 10th, and final book, in the series takes place on the cusp of Mia's high school graduation. She's worried about finals, the extravagant 18th birthday party her grandmother is planning for her, oh, and the fact that her boyfriend of two-years, J.P.Reynolds-Abernathy IV, hasn't asked her to prom yet.
On top of all this, her Dad is having problems back in Genovia (uh, which are sort of Mia's doing) and her ex-boyfriend, Michael Moscovitz, is back in New York after two years in Japan, where he has been working on a robotic surgical arm that has now made him a gazillionaire. The problem? Mia is still hung-up on Michael, even as she's trying to convince herself that she HAS a boyfriend. A boyfriend who loves her. He does, doesn't he?
When I first heard that this was going to be the last book in the series, I was a little bereft. There have been highs (the first four books) and lows (the less said about Party Princess the better), but it's been a lovely, charming series that has featured many laugh-out-loud moments. However after reading this book, I've realized that Meg Cabot is way smarter than I am. She made the right choice ending this series now. She really has. Part of the reason is that what made Mia charming as a teenager (she's what I call Teenage Dense, but in a sweet way), could get annoying in anyone over the age of 18. So best to wrap up the series now, give Mia her happy ending, and let those fond memories carry readers off into the sunset.
Speaking of happy endings, I also think this was Cabot's way of writing a love letter to the romance genre. It's actually very sweet. For her senior project, Mia has been telling everyone that she's writing a thesis on Genovian olive oil presses. In actuality? She wrote a 400 page romance novel (which Cabot got published, Ransom of My Heart). She's hidden this fact from everyone, even her BFF, Tina Hakim-Baba, who is obsessed with all things romance. Seriously, I love Tina. LOVE HER! Anywho, this book also details Mia's attempts to get her book published, and the reaction of people around her when they found out she ::gasp:: wrote a romance novel.
While I did feel at times that this book was a bit padded (it clocks in at almost 400 pages), it's a lovely send off to a series that I've really enjoyed. It ends the way I (and I suspect many fans) want it to end. It leaves me with the feeling that even if she is only 18, that Mia is going to be alright. She's gotten her happy ending, and even if she will always be a little clueless, she'll always continue to make the right decisions and choices in the end.
Final Grade = B+