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The Princess Diaries

Princess Mia

The Princess Diaries
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US$ 7.99


A princess on her own . . .

Mia has been invited to speak at a gala for Domina Rei, an elite society of powerful businesswomen. But what could she possibly have to say? Now that Michael has broken things off, Mia can barely get out of bed, and her parents are making her see a therapist. School, where Lilly still refuses to speak to her and Lana suddenly wants to be bff, is a total nightmare. Even J.P.'s efforts to cheer Mia up (he's being really sweet!) aren't helping. What's a royal to do?

Just when things couldn't get worse, Mia uncovers an old family secret, a long-forgotten diary of a teenage princess of Genovia. It could be just the thing to help Mia write her speech—but it might also change the fate of the Renaldos forever.

HarperCollins; January 2008
290 pages; ISBN 9780061566479
Download in secure PDF format
Excerpt


Friday, September 10, 9 p.m., Beauty and the Beast,


Lunt-Fontanne Theater, ladies' lounge

He hasn't called. I just checked with Mom.

I don't think it's completely fair of her to accuse me of believing the entire world revolves around my breakup with Michael. Because I don't. Really. How was I supposed to know she'd just gotten Rocky down for the night? She should turn off the ringer if he's turning into that much of

a problem sleeper.

Anyway, there were no messages.

I guess I shouldn't have expected there to be. I mean, I checked on his flight, and he's not due to arrive in Japan for another fourteen hours.

And you aren't allowed to use cell phones or PDAs while you're actually in the air. At least, not for calls or text messaging.

Or answering e-mails.

But that's okay. Really, it is. He'll call.

He'll get my e-mail and then he'll call and we'll make up and everything will go back to the way it was.

It has to.

In the meantime, I just have to go on as if things were normal. Well, as normal as things can be while waiting to hear back from your boyfriend of two years with whom you've broken up, but to whom you sent an apology e-mail because you realized you were completely and unequivocably wrong.

Especially since if you don't get back together you know you'll only live a sort of half life and be destined to have a series of meaningless relationships with supermodels.

Oh, wait. That's my dad. Never mind.

But, you know. It's me, too. Minus the supermodels.

Watching Beauty and the Beast tonight with J.P. has made me realize how completely stupid I've been this past week.

Not that I hadn't realized it already. But the show has really driven it home.

Which is especially weird, since Michael and I have never exactly seen eye to eye on the theater. I mean, I could barely get Michael ever to go with me to see the kind of shows I like, which are primarily ones involving girls in hoop skirts and things that fly down from the ceiling of the theater (such as The Phantom of the Opera and Tarzan: The Musical).

And on the few occasions he DID go with me, he spent the whole time leaning over and whispering, “I can see why this show is closing. No guy would really stand around singing to a talking teapot about how much he likes some girl. You know that, don't you? And where is the full orchestra supposed to be coming from? I mean, they're in a dungeon. It just doesn't make any sense.”

Which I used to think actually ruined the whole experience. As did Michael's excusing himself every five minutes to go to the men's room on the pretense of having drunk too much water at dinner. But really he was just checking for World of Warcraft alerts on his cell phone.

But even though I'm having a nice time here with J.P. and all, I can't help wishing Michael were here to complain that Beauty and the Beast is just a cheesy Disney musical targeted at little kids, who are hardly discriminating viewers, and that the music's really bad and the whole thing is just to get the tourists to spend money on expensive T-shirts, sippy cups, and glossy theater programs.

It's especially sad he's not here, because I realized tonight that the story of Beauty and the Beast is really the story of Michael and me.

Not the beauty part (of course). And not the beast part, either.

But the part about two people who start out being friends and don't even realize they like each other until it's almost too late. . . .

That is totally us.

Except, of course, that Belle is smarter than I am. Like, would it really have mattered to Belle if the Beast, back before he ever held her captive in his castle, had hooked up with Judith Gershner, then failed to mention it?

No. Because that all happened BEFORE Belle and the Beast found each other. So what difference did it make?

Exactly: none.

I just can't believe how stupid I've been about all this. I swear, even as cheesy as it is—and, okay, I have to admit, I can see the cheese factor in it now—Beauty and the Beast has brought new clarity to my life.

Which shouldn't be all that surprising since it is, after all, a tale as old as time.

Anyway, I know in the past I've said my ideal man is one who can sit through an entire performance of Beauty and the Beast, the most romantic and beautiful story ever told, and not snicker in the wrong places (such as when the Beast is undergoing his onstage transformation into the Prince, or when the fake stuffed wolves come—well, they can't make them TOO scary, since there are little kids in the audience).

But now I realize that the only guy I've ever attended the show with who has passed that test is J.P. Reynolds-Abernathy the Fourth. He even—I couldn't help noticing— had a single tear trickling down his cheek during the scene where Belle valiantly exchanges her own life for her father's.

Michael has never cried during a Broadway show. Except in that scene where Tarzan's ape father is brutally murdered.

And that was only because he was laughing so hard.

But here's the thing: I'm starting to think that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think guys just might be different from girls. Not just because they actually care about things like whether or not there'll ever be a Nightstalkers movie starring Jessica Biel reprising her role as Abby Whistler from Blade: Trinity.

Or because they think it's okay to sleep with Judith Gershner and never mention it to their girlfriend because it happened before they started going out....