Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What am I reading?

Every author needs to be a reader first. A good book gives inspiration and helps guide your writing abilities. Sometimes it can be hard to find the time to read, but I've been trying to do just that more regularly. This weekend I finished rereading the first two books of the Princess Diaries series.

Princess Diaries and Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot

Why did I pick it up?
I read these books first when I was about 15. I don’t really remember why I picked them up other than it was about a princess and I was reading just about every YA novel the library had at the time. 

First impression
I vaguely remember being intrigued by the style. It was the first novel that I had ever read that was written as a diary. I kept my own diary at the time and I really wanted to start writing it as often as Mia does in the story. I never did, but obviously I felt an instant connection with the character.

What made me keep reading?
These books are so easy to read. Even though Cabot uses words such as “Like” and “Whatever” more often than some people might think is necessary, and she throws in a lot of pop culture references that makes the book dated, the writing feels natural. It really seems like a teenager’s diary.

What would I change?
The main character is really not very good at understanding other people’s feelings. Sometimes I just want to smack her. However that’s more of a character trait then a problem with the writing. There are points in the story where there are shopping lists and the like that can get a little boring, but it’s pretty easy to just skip over those parts, and they help make the story feel more like a notebook rather than a novel.

Final thoughts
I haven’t read the entire series yet, but I have read most of the books, including the final one which I really enjoyed. I really admire how Cabot was able to develop the character throughout the series so that she felt older and more mature by the end but was still the same person. Of course any book that I’m willing to reread is a good one. They are lots of fun and well worth the read.

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