Following on from the hugely successful Princess Diaries stories for teen readers, this is the first in a series aimed at a younger audience. Olivia lives with her aunt’s family and is aware that she’s treated differently from her cousins, never enjoying outings and treats in the way they do. The family brings her up to believe that she’s ordinary, a non-entity of average ability. She’s also bullied at school. So imagine her surprise when glamorous Princess Mia – of The Princess Diaries fame – rocks up at school in a pink limo, seeks her out as her half-sister and whisks her away to her rightful, and exceedingly luxurious, home.
Written in the form of a notebook, the story incorporates lists, text messages and drawings, which help to break up the text and make reading easier. A rags-to-riches story with characters clearly defined as either good or bad, it taps into a world of consumerism and plays on children’s fascination with royalty and celebrity. The ending is happy, the baddies and bullies get their come-uppance and Olivia finds happiness, wealth and status – a fairy tale for our times, perhaps.