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Princess in the Spotlight

Meg Cabot

  Meg Cabot

  The Princess Diaries, Volume II

  Princess in the Spotlight


  For my grandparents,

  Bruce and Patsy Mounsey,

  who are nothing like any

  of the grandparents in this book.


  When things are horrible—just horrible—

  I think as hard as ever I can of being a princess.

  I say to myself,

  “I am a princess.”

  You don’t know how it makes you forget.


  Frances Hodgson Burnett


  Title Page



  Monday, October 20, 8 a.m.

  Okay. So I was just in the kitchen, eating cereal,…

  Monday, October 20, Homeroom

  I am really trying to take this calmly, you know?

  Monday, October 20, Still Homeroom

  And what about that? Why weren’t she and Mr. Gianini…

  Monday, October 20, Algebra

  I can’t believe this. I really can’t believe this.

  Monday, October 20, English

  Great. Just great.

  Monday, October 20, Lunch

  Okay, Lilly knows.

  Monday, October 20, G & T

  And what about that, anyway? How many dates has my…

  Still Monday, October 20, Still G & T

  Lilly caught me looking up stuff about pregnancy on the…

  Monday, October 20, After school

  Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, suddenly, they did.

  Later on Monday

  Just got off the phone with Grandmère. She wanted to…

  Monday, October 20, 11 p.m.

  Some surprise that was.

  Still later on Monday

  My mom came in. I thought Mr. G had left, so…

  Tuesday, October 21, 1 a.m.

  Hey, I thought my mom was a feminist who didn’t believe…

  Tuesday, October 21, 2 a.m.

  Oh, my God. I just realized that if my mom…

  Tuesday, October 21, 9 a.m.

  When I woke up this morning, my throat hurt so…

  Later on Tuesday

  My mom stayed home from the studio today.

  Even later on Tuesday

  Lilly just stopped by. She brought me all of my…

  Wednesday, October 22

  This morning my mom called my dad where he’s staying…

  Thursday, October 23

  Oh, my God. Something so exciting just happened, I can…

  Later on Thursday

  This afternoon while I was lying around with icepacks under…

  Even later on Thursday

  After dinner I felt well enough to get out of…

  Friday, October 24, Algebra

  I AM BETTER!!!!!

  Friday, October 24, World Civ


  Friday, October 24, G & T

  It turns out that since I’ve been gone, Boris has…

  Later on Friday

  Talk about embarrassing! Principal Gupta somehow found out about my…

  Even later on Friday

  What am I supposed to do about this stupid English…

  Saturday, October 25, 2 p.m., Grandmère’s suite

  I am sitting here waiting for my interview. In addition…

  Saturday, October 25, 7 p.m., on the way to Lilly’s house

  Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God, oh, God, oh, God,…

  Sunday, October 26, 2 a.m., Lilly’s bedroom

  Okay, I just have one question: Why does it always…

  Sunday, October 26, 7 p.m.

  I was really afraid that when I got home my…

  Sunday, October 26, 8 p.m.

  You will not believe what got delivered to our house…

  Sunday, October 26, 9 p.m.

  Another e-mail from Jo-C-rox!

  Monday, October 27, G & T

  Unfortunately, it appears that Lilly is not the only one…

  Monday, October 27, Bio

  Mrs. Sing, our Biology teacher, says it is physiologically impossible to…

  Monday, October 27, After school

  I never thought I would say this, but I am…

  Monday, October 27, Later

  I figured as soon as I got home, I would…

  Tuesday, October 28, Principal Gupta’s office

  Oh, God! No sooner had I set foot in Homeroom…

  Tuesday, October 28, Algebra

  Principal Gupta is way concerned about my mental health.

  Tuesday, October 28, G & T

  Well, Mrs. Hill didn’t get fired.

  Tuesday, October 28, Bio

  I am winning friends and influencing people everywhere I go…

  Tuesday, October 28, 6 p.m., On the way back to the loft from Grandmère’s

  What with all the backlash about my interview on TwentyFour/Seven,…

  Tuesday, October 28, 10 p.m., The loft

  Well, it happened. The impending disaster is now officially a…

  Tuesday, October 28, 11 p.m.

  Another e-mail from Jo-C-rox!

  Wednesday, October 29, English

  Well, one thing is for sure:

  Wednesday, October 29, G & T

  I don’t believe this. I really don’t.

  Wednesday, October 29, World Civ

  Still no sign of them.

  Wednesday, October 29, Bio

  Still nothing.

  Wednesday, October 29, Algebra Review

  Lars says he thinks it would be precipitous at this…

  Wednesday, October 29, 7 p.m.

  It’s all right. They’re safe.

  Wednesday, October 29, 10 p.m.

  Okay, so I was just casually flipping through the channels,…

  Thursday, October 30, English

  Hank didn’t come to school with me today. He called…

  Thursday, October 30, World Civ


  Thursday, October 30, G & T

  I don’t believe this.

  Thursday, October 30, 7 p.m., Limo back to the loft

  Another huge shock. If my life continues along this roller-coaster…

  More Thursday, October 30, 9 p.m.

  Well, Mr. Gianini is all moved in. I have already played…

  Friday, October 31, Homeroom

  I woke with the strangest feeling of foreboding. I couldn’t…

  Friday, October 31, Algebra

  Mr. Gianini is not here today. Instead, we have a substitute…

  Friday, October 31, G & T


  Friday, October 31, French

  I borrowed Lars’s cell phone and called the SoHo Grand…

  Friday, October 31, 9 p.m.

  I am in shock. I really am.

  Saturday, November 1, 2 p.m.

  The evening wasn’t a total bust.


  About the Author

  Other Books by Meg Cabot



  About the Publisher

  Monday, October 20, 8 a.m.

  Okay. So I was just in the kitchen, eating cereal, you know, the usual Monday morning routine, when my mom comes out of the bathroom with this funny look on her face. I mean, she was all pale and her hair was kind of sticking out and she had on her terry cloth robe instead of her kimono, which usually means she’s premenstrual.

  So I said, “Mom, you want some Midol? Because, no offense, you look like you could use some.”

  Which is sort of a dangerous thing
to say to a premenstrual woman, but you know, she’s my mom, and all. It’s not like she was going to karate chop me, the way she would if anybody else said that to her.

  But she just said, “No. No, thanks,” in this dazed voice.

  So then I assumed something really horrible had happened. You know, like Fat Louie had eaten another sock, or they were cutting off our electricity again because I’d forgotten to fish the bill out of the salad bowl where Mom keeps stuffing them.

  So I grabbed her and I was like, “Mom? Mom, what is it? What’s wrong?”

  She sort of shook her head, like she does when she’s confused over the microwave instructions on a frozen pizza. “Mia,” she said, in this shocked but happy way, “Mia. I’m pregnant.”

  Oh, my God. OH, MY GOD.

  My mom is having my Algebra teacher’s baby.

  Monday, October 20, Homeroom

  I am really trying to take this calmly, you know? Because there isn’t any point in getting upset about it.

  But how can I NOT be upset? My mother is about to become a single parent. AGAIN.

  You would think she’d have learned a lesson with me and all, but apparently not.

  As if I don’t have enough problems. As if my life isn’t over already. I just don’t see how much more I can be expected to take. I mean, apparently, it is not enough that

  1. I am the tallest girl in the freshman class.

  2. I am also the least endowed in the chest area.

  3. Last month, I found out my mother has been dating my Algebra teacher.

  4. Also last month, I found out that I am the sole heir to the throne of a small European country.

  5. I have to take princess lessons from my paternal grandmother. Every day.

  6. In December, I am supposed to be introduced to my new countrymen and women on national television (in Genovia, population 50,000, but still).

  7. I don’t have a boyfriend.

  Oh, no. You see, all of that isn’t enough of a burden, apparently. Now my mother has to get pregnant out of wedlock. AGAIN.

  Thanks, Mom. Thanks a whole lot.

  Monday, October 20, Still Homeroom

  And what about that? Why weren’t she and Mr. Gianini using birth control? Could someone please explain that to me? Whatever happened to her diaphragm? I know she has one. I found it once in the shower when I was a little kid. I took it and used it as a birdbath for my Barbie townhouse for a few weeks, until my mom finally found out and took it away.

  And what about condoms??? Do people my mother’s age think they are immune to sexually transmitted diseases? They are obviously not immune to pregnancy, so what gives?

  This is so like my mother. She can’t even remember to buy toilet paper. How is she going to remember to use birth control????????

  Monday, October 20, Algebra

  I can’t believe this. I really can’t believe this.

  She hasn’t told him. My mother is having my Algebra teacher’s baby, and she hasn’t even told him.

  I can tell she hasn’t told him, because when I walked in this morning, all Mr. Gianini said was, “Oh, hi, Mia. How are you doing?”

  Oh, hi, Mia. How are you doing?????

  That is not what you say to someone whose mother is having your baby. You say something like, “Excuse me, Mia, may I see you a moment?”

  Then you take the daughter of the woman with whom you have committed this heinous indiscretion out into the hallway, where you fall on bended knee to grovel and beg for her approval and forgiveness. That is what you do.

  I can’t help staring at Mr. G and wondering what my new baby brother or sister is going to look like. My mom is totally hot, like Carmen Sandiego, only without the trench coat—further proof that I am a biological anomaly, since I inherited neither my mother’s thick curly black mane of hair nor her C cup. So there’s nothing to worry about there.

  But Mr. G, I just don’t know. Not that Mr. G isn’t good-looking, I guess. I mean, he’s tall and has all his hair (score one for Mr. G, since my dad’s as bald as a parking meter). But what is with his nostrils? I totally can’t figure it out. They are just so . . . big.

  I sincerely hope the kid gets my mom’s nostrils and Mr. G’s ability to divide fractions in his head.

  The sad thing is, Mr. Gianini doesn’t have the slightest idea what is about to befall him. I would feel sorry for him if it weren’t for the fact that it is all his fault. I know it takes two to tango, but please, my mother is a painter. He is an Algebra teacher.

  You tell me who is supposed to be the responsible one.

  Monday, October 20, English

  Great. Just great.

  As if things aren’t bad enough, now our English teacher says we have to complete a journal this semester. I am not kidding. A journal. Like I don’t already keep one.

  And get this: At the end of every week, we’re supposed to turn our journals in. For Mrs. Spears to read. Because she wants to get to know us. We are supposed to begin by introducing ourselves, and listing our pertinent stats. Later, we are supposed to move on to recording our innermost thoughts and emotions.

  She has got to be joking. Like I am going to allow Mrs. Spears to be privy to my innermost thoughts and emotions. I won’t even tell my innermost thoughts and emotions to my mother. Would I tell them to my English teacher?

  And I can’t possibly turn this journal in. There’s all sorts of stuff in here I don’t want anyone to know. Like how my mother is pregnant by my Algebra teacher, for instance.

  Well, I will just have to start a new journal. A fake journal. Instead of recording my innermost emotions and feelings in it, I’ll just write a bunch of lies, and hand that in instead.

  I am such an accomplished liar, I very highly doubt Mrs. Spears will know the difference.


  by Mia Thermopolis




  An Introduction


  Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo

  Known as Mia for short.

  Her Royal Highness the princess of Genovia or just Princess Mia in some circles.






  Haven’t had it yet. Ha, ha, just kidding, Mrs. Spears!

  Ostensibly female, but lack of breast size lends disturbing androgyny.


  Five foot nine

  Short mouse-brown hair (new blond highlights)

  Gray eyes

  Size ten shoe

  The rest is not worth remarking on.


  Mother: Helen Thermopolis




  Artur Christoff Phillipe Gerard Grimaldi Renaldo


  Prince of Genovia


  Because I am the result of a fling my mother and father had in college, they never married (each other) and are both currently single. It is probably better this way, since all they ever do is fight.

  With each other, I mean.


  One cat, Fat Louie. Orange and white, Louie weighs twenty-five pounds. Louie is eight years old, and has been on a diet for approximately six of those years. When Louie is upset with us for, say, forgetting to feed him, he eats any socks he might find lying around. Also, he is attracted to small glittery things, and has quite a collection of beer bottle caps and tweezers which he thinks I don’t know about, hidden behind the toilet in my bathroom.


  My best friend is Lilly Moscovitz. Lilly has been my best friend since kindergarten. She is fun to hang out with because she is very very smart and has her own public access television show, Lilly Tells It Like It Is. She is always thinking up fun things to do, like steal the foamboard sculpture of the Parthenon that the Greek and Lati
n Derivatives class made for Parents’ Night and hold it for a ransom of ten pounds of lime Starbursts.

  Not that that was us, Mrs. Spears. I am just using that as an example of the type of crazy thing Lilly might do.


  Ha! I wish.


  I have lived all of my life in New York City with my mother, except for summers, which I have traditionally spent with my father at his mother’s chateau in France. My father’s primary residence is Genovia, a small country in Europe located on the Mediterranean between the Italian and French border. For a long time I was led to believe that my father was an important politician in Genovia, like the mayor, or something. Nobody told me that he was actually a member of the Genovian royal family—that he was, in fact, the reigning monarch, Genovia being a principality. I guess nobody ever would have told me, either, if my dad hadn’t gotten testicular cancer and become sterile, making me, his illegitimate daughter, the only heir he’ll ever have to his throne. Ever since he finally let me in on this slightly important little secret (a month ago) Dad has been living at the Plaza Hotel here in New York, while his mother, my grandmère, the dowager princess, teaches me what I need to know in order to be his heir.

  For which I can only say: Thanks. Thanks a whole lot.

  And do you want to know what the really sad part is? None of that was lies.

  Monday, October 20, Lunch

  Okay, Lilly knows.

  All right, maybe she doesn’t KNOW, but she knows something is wrong. I mean, come on: she’s been my best friend since like kindergarten. She can totally tell when something is bothering me. We totally bonded in first grade, the day Orville Lockhead dropped trou in front of us in the line to the music room. I was appalled, having never seen male genitalia before. Lilly, however, was unimpressed. She has a brother, you see, so it was no big surprise to her. She just looked Orville straight in the eye and said, “I’ve seen bigger.”

  And you know what? Orville never did it again.

  So you can see that Lilly and I share a bond that is stronger than mere friendship.

  Which was why she took just one look at my face when she sat down at our lunch table today and said, “What’s wrong? Something’s wrong. It’s not Louie, is it? Did Louie eat another sock?”