Category Archives: Realistic Fiction

From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot

Cabot

Cabot, M. (2015). From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess. New York: Feiwel & Friends.

Olivia Grace Clarissa Mignonette Harrison thought she was just an average girl, until, one day, Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Renaldo Thermopolis shows up at her school, and Olivia’s whole life, and everything she thought to be true, changes.

I chose to read this book because it is a spin-off of Cabot’s The Princess Diaries series, with all of the same characters. In fact, the storyline parallels the newest book in the series, Royal Wedding (for adult readers). Because I am a huge fan of the series, I enjoyed this book. I wonder, however, if readers who haven’t read the original series would get as much out of the story as I did.

Notebooks features Cabot’s witty writing style and is full of cultural references, which makes the story relatable and humorous. It also includes Cabot’s own illustrations. The main character is likeable, and most young readers, especially young girls with princess fantasies, will be able to relate with Olivia.

Because Cabot is my favourite author, I loved this book. I will give this book a 4.5 out of 5, because the story is fast-paced, fun, and, for the most part, can stand alone from the original series.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Lockhart, E. (2013). We were liars. New York, NY: Delacorte.

we were liars

Cadence is part of the illustrious and beautiful Sinclair family. Every summer, three generations of the Sinclair family vacation on their private island. Every summer, Cadence reunites with her cousins, the Liars. But when something happens during her fifteenth summer on the island, Cadence loses her memory and must work to remember what happened.

This book is unlike anything I’ve read. The focus on wealth and power was somewhat similar to Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl series. Yet, it is different. Lockhart artfully weaves together prose and verse that grabs readers from the beginning and leaves them gasping at the end.

This book is of high literary quality, and it is highly acclaimed by adult readers. Because of this, it may not be the most readable book for young adults. This book would likely appeal to readers who enjoy experimental forms and complex books.

I would give this book a 4. The story is captivating and unexpected. The only thing keeping it from getting a perfect 5 is that, while it is of high quality, I do not see many young readers enjoying it. It may be a little too “schoolish” for them.