Monthly Archives: May 2015

Ten Things I Loved about Royal Wedding

Meg-A Readers 2015 Banner!As a Meg Cabot fan I have the privilege of participating in the 4th annual Meg-A Readers Blog Hop hosted by Mandy at the Romance Bookie and Diana at Little Miss Drama Queen. As an official “Meg-A Reader” can I tell you how thrilled I was to get an advanced reader copy of Royal Wedding? I know ARCs are common place for “real” book bloggers but not me! So when I actually got one from Meg Cabot’s publisher I let out a SQUEEEEE so loud I think the neighbors heard. I then had to put my Princess Diaries binge read into race gear so I could get my “Meg Cabotyness” on and enjoy Royal Wedding in full sequence.

Now that all the reading is done (sniff!) I wanted to share with you Royal Weddingthe ten things I loved about the book:

1. Limos – No Meg Cabot novel is complete without them and Royal Wedding is no different. Mia actually gets driven around in a Hybrid Electric Livery Vehicle now that she’s an environmentally conscious adult but Grandmère still uses a traditional limo and in this book we get details about what it’s like inside.

2. Food – I love the descriptions of food in fiction novels, especially the delicious meals the royals eat in the Princess Diaries novels. In Royal Wedding we get a delicious list of all the food Marie Rose, chef for the Consulate General of Genovia, leaves in Mia’s fridge. Yum!

3. Romantic Island Vacation – If you’ve read the synopsis of the book you already know that Michael proposes to Mia during a romantic Caribbean getaway. Just wait until you hear about this place! I’ve already gone back and read that section of the book twice in an effort to take a little fantasy vacation myself.

4. Olivia Grace – This is the name of Mia’s long lost half sister who gets introduced in this book. I loved her and you will too. In fact, if you want to get to know her better you can read the middle grade novel with Olivia Grace’s version of the story in From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess. It is of course not the whole story, but is delightful just the same.

5. Rocky – We actually don’t get to see much of him in Royal Wedding but we hear a lot about him. He’s not a baby anymore. He’s an adolescent boy and he’s obsessed with farts. I have a feeling that we may see more of Rocky in the Middle School Princess series. I hope so anyway!

6. Storyline hinted at in the previous books is finally resolved – I’m not going to tell you what storyline I’m talking about but if you think about it enough you’ll know which one I mean. It was just what I wanted to have happen.

7. Lilly – I was never really a fan of Lilly, even after she and Mia patched things up in book 10, Princess Mia. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find that she finally shows Mia a little respect and compassion in Royal Wedding. It also made up for my disappointment about Tina Hakim Baba whose storyline and lackluster personality at age 25 made me go “m’eh.”

8. Genovian drinking song – Yes there is such a thing. The lyrics are basically “Forgive me Mother for I am drunk again!” I won’t tell you who sings it though.

9. Grandmerè – She’s back and she’s better than ever!

10. And speaking of Grandmerè, she is, of course, the inspiration for my favorite quote: “In Grandmerè’s day, people didn’t take antidepressants or go see therapists when they were distressed about something. They had some sense slapped into them, or they had a drink ‘like a normal person.’” (I am clearly living my life as if it were in Grandmerè’s day.)

What were your favorite things from Royal Wedding?

Fifteen by Beverly Cleary

My last post talking about my gateway book got me thinking about my favorite Beverly

Cleary novel which I discovered in 6th grade, Fifteen. Beverly Cleary is probably best known for her middle grade books about Ramona Quimby but she also wrote several good teen reads. Fifteen is my favorite of these.

Even though it was written and set in the 1950s, I can see a lot of parallels between Fifteen and my own teenage years in the 1980s. Jane Purdy, the main character, meets dreamy Stan Crandall one summer afternoon while babysitting a rambunctious 8 year old. That was pretty relatable. While cute boys can be few and far in between, they can show up in the most unlikely places. Thanks to a family with two teenaged brothers who moved to our neighborhood the summer before my sophomore year, I too had similar babysitting capers. I even remembered meeting a boy at a church function once and a week later he called and asked me to go to the movies. Unlike Jane, however, I was not excited about the encounter, nor did I think he was dreamy so I told him no. Looking back I realize I was not only a brat to this poor boy but I probably missed out.

Jane’s approach to Stan was also very relatable. She spends entire days getting ready for their dates (the description of her clothes is fantastic) and

gets insecure when she doesn’t hear from him on a regular basis. She even displays some of my own bratty behavior when she turns down an invitation to a school dance from another boy because she was waiting for Stan to ask her. Karma comes back to bite her when she finds out Stan is taking another girl and poor Jane is faced with days of misery assuming that her time with dreamy Stan Crandall is over for good. She even displays some scandalous behavior (well, scandalous for back then) that she is immediately ashamed of.

If you are not familiar with this delightful teen novel I highly suggest you pick it up. In addition to taking a time capsule back to the 1950s, you may also remember some of the spark you had for similar experiences in your own teen days. You will also get to find out what Jane does to get her mojo back.

I will forever love Fifteen by Beverly Cleary and give it a permanent Shrimp Coma Mrs. B.

Mrs. B rating shrimp coma

*You can get this dress from pintuckstyle’s etsy shop

What Was Your Book?

What was your book? I’m talking about the book that got you reading. My friend Mandy at the Romance Bookie tells the story of when she first discovered the Princess Diaries books and those got her reading. Mine was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White read to class by my 3rdCharlottes Web grade teacher. I loved that book so much I wanted to read it over and over again so I asked for a copy of it that year for my birthday. I think I was eight.

I woke up early that year. My dad was eating breakfast and my mom went off and came back with my birthday present, a hard cove r copy of Charlotte’s Web. It wasn’t even wrapped. I still had an hour before it was time to get ready for school so I started what has become one of my favorite morning traditions. I sat down and read.

What an easy birthday that must have been! No special or extravagant gift. No party that I can remember. Even then I was a homebody loner and didn’t enjoy having more than a few friends over for a big birthday party. That year all I wanted was to read Charlotte’s Web.

Journey to AmericaReading became a regular part of my life. Back in the 1970s children’s literature was serious stuff! Dogs died and there were wars. I read a lot of books about Jewish children growing up in World War II Europe like Diary of Anne Frank, Journey to America and The Upstairs Room. I read the Little House books which established my love for historical fiction. I read the Betsy-Tacy books by Maude Hart Lovelace. I stayed away from fantasy books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. These were too weird for me. I did however enjoy A Wrinkle in Time. I think it was the chemistry between Meg and Calvin.

I loved making trips to the Livermore Public Library. I even got a job there when I was in high school. My friends Lisa, Lynda and I would spend summer afternoons sitting aroundLisa Lynda Karen reading reading. Even when our families went camping Lisa, Lynda and I would read while everyone else went off hiking or tubing. Sending me to my room was never a punishment because I would just pick up a book and read. My mom always said that my teenage rebellion was sitting in my room for hours reading Harlequin Romances.

My adult reading life has been sporadic. In college I could only fit pleasure reading in on winter and summer breaks. When I graduated and started commuting on public transit I discovered daily reading again. Several years later when I had to start commuting by car I was at a loss. Without public transit when would I read? It took me a long time to “figure out” how to read for pleasure when you are a busy working adult. Now I carry a book around with me and steal minutes while I’m standing in line or waiting for Jerry. And I also steal a few minutes in the morning before work, just like I did 40 years ago on my Charlotte’s Web birthday morning.

What was your book?