Project Princess by Meg Cabot


Project PrincesTitle: Project Princess
Author: Meg Cabot
Series: The Princess Diaries #4.5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Chic litEasy reading
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: OUR TENTS!!!!!!!!!!

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What on earth is that princess up to now?

Most princesses would prefer to spend their spring breaks in Gstaad, or some other equally unpronounceable European hot spot.

Not this one, though. Hammer in hand, Princess Mia embarks on an epic adventure for one so admittedly unhandy: along with her cohorts from school, she’s off to build houses for the less fortunate. It doesn’t take Mia long to realize that helping others—while an unimpeachably noble pastime—is very hard work. Will her giving spirit prevail? Will the house collapse due to royally clumsy construction? And most importantly, will Michael stop working long enough to kiss her?


As someone who grew up camping, I don’t think that there’s anything funnier than a city-slicker trying to camp. At university I remember teaching some of my friends how to pitch a tent – a skill that I had taken for granted. Which is probably what made me laugh so hard throughout Project Princess. The shock and unpreparedness that some people experience when camping is certainly akin to what Mia felt. The fact that she didn’t even really know that she was going to be camping just made it all the more entertaining and interesting.

One of the things that I did find annoying about this story though is Mia’s single minded obsession with Michael. Yes, we’ve all been there and it was kind of cute, but it was starting to grate on my nerves towards the end of the story. After all, she is a talented and independent girl who just wants to do things that involve her boyfriend. To be fair, probably something I would do at that age. Which is likely why it bothered me so much.

Throughout the series so far Mia has promoted her love for and obsession with Greenpeace and conservation. The allure of nature has been a large calling card for her throughout the story, but when she actually has to spend time in it, it becomes a much more realistic world. One that she maybe isn’t so keen to immerse herself in once she leaves high school.

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