ARC Review: Bridesmaid-in-Training (Notebooks of a Middle School Princess #2) by Meg Cabot10:00
Series: Notebooks of a Middle School Princess #2
Author: Meg Cabot
Published April 21st 2016 by Macmillan Children's Books
Bridesmaid in Training is the second in the Notebooks of a Middle-School Princess, a funny, heart-warming illustrated Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot.
Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison still finds it hard to believe that she's a princess! Not only does she get to live in an actual palace with her newly discovered family and two fabulous poodles, but she also gets her very own pony!
Of course, not everything is going exactly as she imagined . . . her half-sister, Mia, is very busy learning how to run the country while trying to plan a wedding, and her father is getting remarried himself - to Mia's mother! - and spends most of his time 'renovating' the summer palace, although Grandmère says he is just hiding from the wedding madness. Olivia hardly gets to see either of them.
Fortunately Grandmère has her own plans for Mia's wedding, and needs Olivia's help to pull them off. Just when Olivia starts to think that things are going to work out after all, the palace is invaded by a host of new cousins and other royals who all seem to be angry at Olivia (although Grandmère says they are just jealous).
As the day of the wedding gets closer and closer, Olivia becomes more and more worried. For such a carefully planned event, it seems as if a LOT of things are going wrong . . . Can Olivia keep this royal wedding from becoming a royal disaster?
Olivia chronicles her transformation from ordinary girl to princess in her notebook, with illustrations from author Meg Cabot, who studied Fine Arts as an undergraduate.
See my review of book 1, here.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.
Bridesmaid-in-Training is the second book in Cabot's new MG series, following the life of Mia's long lost sister, Olivia. This book takes place roughly during the second half of Royal Wedding, if you've read that one. Olivia is now in Genovia with her family, and is learning about the ins and outs of being a princess, at the same time as learning how to be the best bridesmaid for her wonderful sister. She's has a nice time with her Grandmère (as shown in the little e-short, Royal Day Out), but now her cushty time is about to change. Even though there's only a few weeks left of the school year, Olivia has to start at the prestigious Royal Genovian Academy, home to many of the world's young prince and princesses, and she soon learns that not all royals are as nice as her new family.
As Olivia grows in Genovia, she really grows as a person. I'll admit, I had to ask twitter how old she was, cause the American grade school system has always confused me, but for a 12 year old, she seems really mature. She's still a little insecure in her new family, not really feeling as if she fits in yet, because it's all new, and she is trying to be perfect. But the thing is, she doesn't need to be. The whole extended family, including her soon to be step-brother, Rocky, love her, as she is, and when she finally realises this, it's perfect.
Once she starts at the Academy, she realises that not everyone is nice, and not everyone like her new found status as princess. Her 'cousin', Luisa, who should be helping her, is trying to sabotage her, and any new friendships she might make, including with the kind Prince Khalil. Even though Olivia is only 12, her feelings are starting to blossom, and seeing her little case of puppy love grow into something a bit more, was sort of like seeing Mia falling in love with Michael all over again.0
Yes, this series is a little young for me, but I've always loved Cabot's writing, and Olivia is sort of like the little sister I've never had, but would have loved. Seeing her, and Mia, is a return to my childhood, and I can't wait to see more from their growing relationship, and growing family.