So, the good: everything you would want to happen and everyone you would want to read about is in this book. There are very few new characters introduced, and aside from Olivia, none of them are very important. Mia and Michael get married, JP truly 'gets his' in the end, Mia's mom and dad get back together, etc. Tina, Lilly, Boris, even Lana, the group from high school are still a group. Still. Eight years after high school ended. (Seriously? I hardly talk to anyone from high school anymore. Not because I don't like them, but because between then and now we've all met other people, moved far away from one another, etc. There's even good friends from college I don't talk to anymore. Maybe it is because I am 32, not 26, but even still. Come on.)
Anyway, that section rapidly started digressing to the not so good, so I might as well get started: everything you wanted to happen and everyone you would want to read about is in this book. Everything just magically worked out and there were no loose ends.
I know, I know. But it IS a bad thing. All of the characters are the EXACT same people they were in every other book. And of COURSE I wanted Michael and Mia to get married - but expecting twins? Seriously?
And what about this whole JP thing being the stalker? How did he go from being the random guy who screamed about corn being in the chili, to this douchebag psycho? It just doesn't make sense, because it is one thing to be a high schooler who is kind of just in it for the fame of dating a princess, to continuing to sulk and stew about it for eight years. It was pretty obvious once JP was introduced as the Lezarres-Reynolds guy that he was RoyalRabbleRouser. However, I had forgotten his last name was Reynolds, so it did not occur to me until this point.
The bummer is, Mia has not really changed. She still makes terrible decisions and by now, having been a recognized princess for 12 years, should know better than to go traipsing off to her half-sister's school when her family is already in the news non-stop. She did exactly the opposite of what she knew she should do and she always in hindsight realizes how poor her decisions are.
Mr. G dying sucks. He was a good guy and loved Mia's mom a lot. It bums me out for Rocky - who was one of the main (and only) reasons I laughed throughout the book, what with his farting/dinosaur obsession and all. No one seemed terribly upset about his death though it had only been a year. I mean, it wasn't as though it had JUST happened, but everyone seemed very blase about it. I specifically chose to not read any reviews of the book or even the summary before starting, and it was still plain as day that Mia's mom and dad would get back together by the end.
And speaking of her dad, seriously, what a mess! A constantly inebriated ruler of a small foreign country? I can't imagine for one second why he had, at one point, been losing so terribly in the polls.
I wish it would have been a straight novel, instead of Mia STILL talking about writing in her journal in the bathroom. She's an adult now, as are many of us who met her so many years ago. I get that the journal angle is her 'thing', but it just seemed awkward that it was most definitely a novel that just had dates scribbled at the top to make it SEEM like it was still a journal.
So, all in all, this was a hot mess of a book. It was exactly what I expected, because it had to have a happy ending. I just wish it had not been so predictable. And I can't shake the nagging suspicion that the only reason Cabot REALLY wrote it was to bridge to the Olivia series, which incidentally reads A LOT like the early Princess Diaries books. Though Olivia seems less high-strung than Mia.
I wanted to love this book, and maybe I can because it is exactly what I expected. But that doesn't mean it was GOOD.