Mini Review: The Quarantine Princess Diaries

Format Read: eBook (NetGalley ARC)

Rating: 3 Stars 

Ahh, nostalgic returns to book series from my youth. I confess I kind of love the trend of authors like Meg Cabot revisiting their teenage protagonists to check in on their adult lives. 

During the early days of the pandemic, Meg Cabot released some blog posts letting us know what Princess Mia was up to. Naturally, these posts joined up with some new entries to eventually become an entire book — The Quarantine Princess Diaries. I kind of still can’t believe that I got approved for a digital ARC of this one, so a thousand thank yous to NetGalley and Avon for the pleasure.

This is a mini review in large part because I can’t quite make up my mind on how to feel about this book. On the one hand, I’ll never say no to a chance to catch up with Mia. On the other hand, it’s a bit hard to blend the humor and ridiculousness of Mia’s overreactive tendencies with something as serious as the COVID-19 pandemic. At times, I felt the tone was a bit of a miss in this regard.

However, in terms of seeing what all of our favorite characters would be up to during the pandemic, this book fully delivers. It was great to see Grandmere partying on yachts and Lilly in all her lawyer glory, not to mention a few appearances from a now very old Fat Louie. The nostalgia factor definitely delivers here, and Cabot doesn’t miss a single character callback that I can think of, even if some get more page time than others.

This is a quick read and manages not to make thinking back on the quarantine days of the pandemic too painful. I’m glad I had the chance to read it and definitely recommend it to anyone who grew up with Princess Mia. Would I say this is the best entry point to new fans? Probably not. Would I personally still read a hundred more diary entries from Princess Mia? Almost definitely. 

The Quarantine Princess Diaries comes out on March 28th and is available for preorder in all the places. 


“The Friendship Breakup” Shows How Much Friends Matter

(Full disclosure: This post uses affiliate links. I received a complimentary digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review).

I’m a firm believer in the importance of friendship, which often gets overlooked in favor of stories centering romantic relationships. Naturally, I immediately clicked “request” on NetGalley when I saw The Friendship Breakup. Many thanks to NetGalley and Alcove Press for the digital review copy of Annie Cathryn’s debut novel, in exchange for my honest review.

The Friendship Breakup follows Fallon Monroe, mom and aspiring chocolatier, as she navigates a confusing break with her mom friend group. Her former BFF, Beatrice, is suddenly ghosting her and she doesn’t know why! As Fallon tries to win back her friends and figure out what’s gone wrong, she also embarks on a journey of self discovery. 

There was a lot to like about this reading experience, and I definitely wanted to keep reading to get to the bottom of why Fallon’s friends abandoned her. This ultimately fell solidly in the middle for me, as a read I enjoyed but didn’t love. Let’s get into why that is. 

What I Liked

I loved this book’s emphasis on the importance of friendship. We see Fallon interacting with a variety of friends from different periods of her life and discussing the roles that friends can play in our lives. It was refreshing to see an acknowledgement that these relationships matter. 

Fallon is a complicated protagonist who feels very real. She has dreams and aspirations for her marriage, her life, and her career, but she doesn’t always make the right choices or go about things in the proper way. I enjoyed seeing her learn and grow throughout the course of the book. 

The book’s ending felt realistic in a way I appreciated, but I’ll say no more because no spoilers. 

What I Didn’t Like

At times, it felt like the book was trying to do a bit too much. There is a lot going on between the friendship breakup, the chocolate business, the marriage, and another storyline I won’t spoil. That is true to life in a way, but became a bit overwhelming at times in a book. 

Some of the writing felt a bit labored, with some rather forced metaphor and simile throughout. It was the sort of thing that made me think “I bet this is a debut novel.” That’s not to say the writing is bad, necessarily, just that it sometimes felt a little forced in a way that pulled me out of the story. 

Overall, I enjoyed The Friendship Breakup and will definitely be interested to see what this author does next. I recommend this book to fans of stories about female friendship and to moms who are struggling to balance their social lives, dreams, and parenthood.