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The Princess Diaries

Meg Cabot

  The Princess Diaries

  Meg Cabot

  “Whatever comes,” she said, “cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.”

  * * *






  Tuesday, September 23

  Sometimes it seems like all I ever do is lie.

  Wednesday, September 24, Fifth Period

  Lilly’s like, “Mr. Gianini’s cool.”

  Thursday, September 25

  In Algebra today all I could think about was how…

  Friday, September 26


  Later on Friday

  I was measuring my chest and totally not thinking about…

  Saturday, September 27

  I was asleep when my mom got home from her…

  Sunday, September 28

  My dad called again today, and this time Mom really…

  Monday, September 29, G & T

  Today I watched Mr. Gianini very closely for signs that he…

  Tuesday, September 30

  Something really weird just happened. I got home from school,…

  Wednesday, October 1

  My dad’s here. Well, not here in the loft. He’s…

  Notes from G & T

  Lilly—I can’t stand this. When is she going to go…

  Thursday, October 2,

  Ladies’ Room at the Plaza Hotel


  Later on Thursday,

  Penguin House, Central Park Zoo

  I’m so freaked out I can barely write, plus people…

  Even Later on Thursday

  Of course, I couldn’t hide out in the penguin house…

  Friday, October 3, Homeroom

  Today when I woke up, the pigeons that live on…

  More Friday, Algebra

  Lilly could tell right away something was up.

  Really Late on Friday,

  Lilly Moscovitz’s Bedroom

  Okay, so I blew off Mr. Gianini’s help session after school.

  Saturday, October 4,

  Early, Still Lilly’s Place

  Why do I always have such a good time when…

  Later on Saturday

  The whole way home from Lilly’s I worried about what…

  Saturday Night

  I can’t even believe what a loser I am. I…

  Sunday, October 5

  I can’t believe Mr. Gianini told her. I can’t believe he…

  Monday, October 6, 3 a.m.

  I’ve been up all night, worrying about getting caught cheating.

  Monday, October 6, 4 a.m.

  I tried washing the quadratic formula off my shoe, but…

  Monday, October 6, 7 a.m.

  Decided to wear my Docs and throw my high-tops away…

  Monday, October 6, 9 a.m.

  Realized in the car on the way to school that…

  Monday, October 6, G & T

  Okay. I admit it. I looked.

  Tuesday, October 7

  Ode to Algebra

  Wednesday, October 8

  Oh no.

  Thursday, October 9

  I found out why.

  Friday, October 10

  Princess lessons.

  Saturday, October 11, 9:30 a.m.

  So I was right: Lilly does think the reason I’m…

  Saturday, October 11

  I can never go to school again. I can never…

  Later on Saturday

  Well, I don’t know who Lilly Moscovitz thinks she is,…

  Past Midnight, Sunday, October 12

  She still hasn’t called.

  Sunday, October 12

  Oh my God. I am so embarrassed. I wish I…

  Later on Sunday

  Oh, okay. According to my mom, who just came into…

  Even Later on Sunday

  I just turned on my computer to look up some…

  Even Later on Sunday

  Just when I thought things might be looking very slightly…

  Monday, October 13, Algebra

  When Lars pulled up in front of Lilly’s building to…

  Later on Monday, French

  So even if Lilly and I weren’t in a fight,…

  Later on Monday

  Oh my God. I am in so much trouble. Nothing…

  Monday Night

  Well, I don’t know what I’m going to do now.

  Tuesday, October 14, Homeroom

  No Lilly again this morning. Not that I expected there…

  More Tuesday, Algebra

  Oh my God. I can’t even believe this. But it…

  More Tuesday, English

  No boy will ever ask me out. Ever. EVERYONE has…

  More Tuesday, French

  Today in G & T, in between showing me how to…

  Tuesday Night

  Grandmère says Tina Hakim Baba sounds like a much better…

  Wednesday, October 15, Homeroom

  No Lilly again today. Lars suggested we’d make better time…

  Later on Wednesday, Before Algebra

  This totally weird thing happened. Josh Richter came up to…

  Wednesday, Principal Gupta’s Office

  It’s over.

  More Wednesday, English

  It isn’t fair.

  More Wednesday, French Class

  I guess I should have my picture on the front…

  Wednesday Night

  No wonder my dad was so mad about Carol Fernandez’s…

  More Wednesday

  My mom thinks the person who tipped off Carol Fernandez…

  Thursday, October 16, Homeroom

  Well, this morning my face was on the covers of…

  Thursday, Algebra

  Today in Algebra Mr. Gianini was totally trying to teach us…

  Thursday, G & T

  So I was eating lunch with Tina Hakim Baba and…

  More Thursday, French

  When I went to my locker after lunch to get…

  Thursday Night

  Grandmère says: “Well, of course the boy likes you. What…

  Friday, October 17, English

  OH MY GOD!!!

  More Friday

  You will not even believe what just happened. I was…

  Friday, G & T

  Okay, so I don’t know who Lilly Moscovitz thinks she…

  Friday Night

  Abbreviated lesson with Grandmère today because of my spending the…

  Saturday, October 18

  When I got home, the first thing I did was…

  More Saturday

  Well, I’m sitting here in my new dress, my new…

  Saturday Night,

  Ladies’ Room, Tavern on the Green

  Okay, so I lied. I brought this book anyway. I…

  Later Saturday Night,

  Girls’ Room, Albert Einstein High School


  Sunday, October 19

  I just woke up from the strangest dream.

  Sunday Night

  Grandmère showed up at the loft today with Dad in …

  About the Author



  About the Publisher


  The author wishes to express her gratitude to the people who contributed in so many ways to the creation and publication of this book: Beth Ader, Jennifer Brown, Barbara Cabot, Charles and Bonnie Egnatz, Emily Faith, Laura Langlie, Ron Markman,
Abigail McAden, A. Elizabeth Mikesell, Melinda Mounsey, David Walton, Allegra Yeley and, most especially, Benjamin Egnatz.

  Tuesday, September 23

  Sometimes it seems like all I ever do is lie.

  My mom thinks I’m repressing my feelings about this. I say to her, “No, Mom, I’m not. I think it’s really neat. As long as you’re happy, I’m happy.”

  Mom says, “I don’t think you’re being honest with me.”

  Then she hands me this book. She tells me she wants me to write down my feelings in this book, since, she says, I obviously don’t feel I can talk about them with her.

  She wants me to write down my feelings? Okay, I’ll write down my feelings:


  Like everybody doesn’t already think I’m a freak. I’m practically the biggest freak in the entire school. I mean, let’s face it: I’m five foot nine, flat-chested, and a freshman. How much more of a freak could I be?

  If people at school find out about this, I’m dead. That’s it. Dead.

  Oh, God, if you really do exist, please don’t let them find out about this.

  There are four million people in Manhattan, right? That makes about two million of them guys. So out of TWO MILLION guys, she has to go out with Mr. Gianini. She can’t go out with some guy I don’t know. She can’t go out with some guy she met at D’Agostinos or wherever. Oh, no.

  She has to go out with my Algebra teacher.

  Thanks, Mom. Thanks a whole lot.

  Wednesday, September 24, Fifth Period

  Lilly’s like, “Mr. Gianini’s cool.”

  Yeah, right. He’s cool if you’re Lilly Moscovitz. He’s cool if you’re good at Algebra, like Lilly Moscovitz. He’s not so cool if you’re flunking Algebra, like me.

  He’s not so cool if he makes you stay after school EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY DAY from 2:30 to 3:30 to practice the FOIL method when you could be hanging out with all your friends. He’s not so cool if he calls your mother in for a parent/teacher conference to talk about how you’re flunking Algebra, then ASKS HER OUT.

  And he’s not so cool if he’s sticking his tongue in your mom’s mouth.

  Not that I’ve actually seen them do this. They haven’t even been on their first date yet. And I don’t think my mom would let a guy put his tongue in her mouth on the first date.

  At least, I hope not.

  I saw Josh Richter stick his tongue in Lana Weinberger’s mouth last week. I had this totally close-up view of it, since they were leaning up against Josh’s locker, which is right next to mine. It kind of grossed me out.

  Though I can’t say I’d mind if Josh Richter kissed me like that. The other day Lilly and I were at Bigelows picking up some alpha hydroxy for Lilly’s mom, and I noticed Josh waiting at the checkout counter. He saw me and he actually sort of smiled and said, “Hey.”

  He was buying Drakkar Noir, a men’s cologne. I got a free sample of it from the salesgirl. Now I can smell Josh whenever I want to, in the privacy of my own home.

  Lilly says Josh’s synapses were probably misfiring that day, due to heatstroke or something. She said he probably thought I looked familiar but couldn’t place my face without the cement block walls of Albert Einstein High behind me. Why else, she asked, would the most popular senior in high school say hey to me, Mia Thermopolis, a lowly freshman?

  But I know it wasn’t heatstroke. The truth is, when he’s away from Lana and all his jock friends, Josh is a totally different person. The kind of person who doesn’t care if a girl is flat-chested or wears size-ten shoes. The kind of person who can see beyond all that into the depths of a girl’s soul. I know because when I looked into his eyes that day at Bigelows, I saw the deeply sensitive person inside him, struggling to get out.

  Lilly says I have an overactive imagination and a pathological need to invent drama in my life. She says the fact that I’m so upset about my mom and Mr. G is a classic example.

  “If you’re that upset about it, just tell your mom,” Lilly says. “Tell her you don’t want her going out with him. I don’t understand you, Mia. You’re always going around, lying about how you feel. Why don’t you just assert yourself for a change? Your feelings have worth, you know.”

  Oh, right. Like I’m going to bum my mom out like that. She’s so totally happy about this date, it’s enough to make me want to throw up. She goes around cooking all the time. I’m not even kidding. She made pasta for the first time last night in like months. I had already opened the Suzie’s Chinese take-out menu, and she says, “Oh, no cold sesame noodles tonight, honey. I made pasta.”

  Pasta! My mom made pasta!

  She even observed my rights as a vegetarian and didn’t put any meatballs in the sauce.

  I don’t understand any of this.


  Buy cat litter

  Finish FOIL worksheet for Mr. G

  Stop telling Lilly everything

  Go to Pearl Paint: get soft lead pencils, spray mount, canvas stretchers (for Mom)

  World Civ report on Iceland (5 pages, double space)

  Stop thinking so much about Josh Richter

  Drop off laundry

  October rent (make sure Mom has deposited Dad’s check!!!)

  Be more assertive

  Measure chest

  Thursday, September 25

  In Algebra today all I could think about was how Mr. Gianini might put his tongue in my mom’s mouth tomorrow night during their date. I just sat there, staring at him. He asked me a really easy question—I swear, he saves all the easy ones for me, like he doesn’t want me to feel left out or something—and I totally didn’t even hear it. I was like, “What?”

  Then Lana Weinberger made that sound she always makes and leaned over to me so that all her blond hair swished onto my desk. I got hit by this giant wave of perfume, and then Lana hissed in this really mean voice:


  Only she said it like it had more than one syllable. Like it was spelled FUR-REEK.

  How come nice people like Princess Diana get killed in car wrecks but mean people like Lana never do? I don’t understand what Josh Richter sees in her. I mean, yeah, she’s pretty. But she’s so mean. Doesn’t he notice?

  Maybe Lana is nice to Josh, though. I’d sure be nice to Josh. He is the best-looking boy in Albert Einstein High School. A lot of the boys look totally geeky in our school’s uniform, which for boys is gray pants, white shirt, and black sweater, long-sleeved or vest. Not Josh, though. He looks like a model in his uniform. I am not kidding.

  Anyway. Today I noticed that Mr. Gianini’s nostrils stick out A LOT. Why would you want to go out with a guy whose nostrils stick out so much? I asked Lilly this at lunch and she said, “I’ve never noticed his nostrils before. Are you gonna eat that dumpling?”

  Lilly says I need to stop obsessing. She says I’m taking my anxiety over the fact that this is only our first month in high school and I already have an F in something, and transferring it to anxiety about Mr. Gianini and my mom. She says this is called displacement.

  It sort of sucks when your best friend’s parents are psychoanalysts.

  Today after school the Drs. Moscovitz were totally trying to analyze me. I mean, Lilly and I were just sitting there playing Boggle. And every five minutes it was like, “Girls, do you want some Snapple? Girls, there’s a very interesting squid documentary on the Discovery channel. And by the way, Mia, how do you feel about your mother starting to date your Algebra teacher?”

  I said, “I feel fine about it.”

  Why can’t I be more assertive?

  But what if Lilly’s parents run into my mom at Jefferson Market or something? If I told them the truth, they’d definitely tell her. I don’t want my mom to know how weird I feel about this, not when she’s so happy about it.

  The worst part was that Lilly’s older brother Michael overheard the whole thing. He immediately started laughing his head off, even though I don’t see anything funny about it. />
  He went, “Your mom is dating Frank Gianini? Ha! Ha! Ha!”

  So great. Now Lilly’s brother Michael knows.

  So then I had to start begging him not to tell anybody. He’s in fifth period Gifted and Talented class with me and Lilly, which is the biggest joke of a class, because Mrs. Hill, who’s in charge of the G & T program at Albert Einstein, doesn’t care what we do as long as we don’t make too much noise. She hates it when she has to come out of the teachers’ lounge, which is right across the hall from the G & T room, to yell at us.

  Anyway, Michael is supposed to use fifth period to work on his on-line webzine, Crackhead. I’m supposed to use it for catching up on my Algebra homework.

  But anyway, Mrs. Hill never checks to see what we’re doing in G & T, which is probably good, since mostly what we’re all doing is figuring out ways to lock the new Russian kid, who’s supposedly this musical genius, in the supply closet so we don’t have to listen to any more Stravinsky on his stupid violin.

  But don’t think that just because Michael and I are united against Boris Pelkowski and his violin he’d keep quiet about my mom and Mr. G.

  What Michael kept saying was, “What’ll you do for me, huh, Thermopolis? What’ll you do for me?”

  But there’s nothing I can do for Michael Moscovitz. I can’t offer to do his homework, or anything. Michael is a senior (just like Josh Richter). Michael has gotten all straight A’s his entire life (just like Josh Richter). Michael will probably go to Yale or Harvard next year (just like Josh Richter).

  What could I do for someone like that?

  Not that Michael’s perfect, or anything. Unlike Josh Richter, Michael is not on the crew team. Michael isn’t even on the debate team. Michael does not believe in organized sports, or organized religion, or organized anything, for that matter. Instead, Michael spends almost all of his time in his room. I once asked Lilly what he does in there, and she said she and her parents employ a don’t ask, don’t tell policy with Michael.

  I bet he’s in there making a bomb. Maybe he’ll blow up Albert Einstein High School as a senior prank.

  Occasionally, Michael comes out of his room and makes sarcastic comments. Sometimes when he does this he is not wearing a shirt. Even though he does not believe in organized sports, I have noticed that Michael has a really nice chest. His stomach muscles are extremely well defined.