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The Princess Diaries, Volume II: Princess in the Spotlight, by Meg Cabot (Read by Anne Hathaway)

The Princess Diaries: Volume II
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Every little girl probably dreams of being a princess at one time or another, but for Mia Thermopolis the dream is a reality, and it is more of a nightmare than a dream come true. In this second book of The Princess Diaries, Mia Thermopolis continues to adjust to her newly discovered status as the heir to the throne of a small European principality. Because she is to be a queen someday, her Grand'Mere, the current Queen of Genovia, is subjecting Mia to a crash course of "princess lessons". It's tough enough being a teenager without having to learn about royal etiquette and protocol. Mia's life is further complicated when her mother becomes pregnant and plans to marry Mr. G, Mia's algebra teacher. A disastrous interview on national television, a disagreement with her best friend and a series of mysterious electronic love letters all complicate this delightfully appealing young girl's life.

Meg Cabot's Princess in the Spotlight is an enchanting addition to her extensive body of work. Mia is a thoroughly likeable character who experiences all the demeaning and difficult circumstances of being a teenager. All the romantic and glamorous experiences she has as a princess in training are balanced by enough stressful and embarrassing situations to keep her character sympathetic. Of course, with Anne Hathaway as the narrator, listeners feel as if they are communicating personally with the real Princess Mia of movie and television fame. Her winsome voice is infused with enthusiasm as she takes listeners through her days of high school classes, family encounters, royal balls and teenage angst.

This is a superb audio book for a wide range of listeners. Although teen and preteen girls will most readily identify with the main characters, older listeners will also find them delightful and the plot intriguing. Cabot laces the dialogue generously with humorous comments and observations while Hathaway delivers the lines with excellent comedic flair. Mia's self-deprecating manner endears her to all. This audio book is perfectly enjoyable and highly recommended.

Ruth Mormon

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