About the Book

Heartbroken Princess Finds New Love!

From The New York Post:

Is it splitsville for New York's own Princess Mia Thermopolis (of Genovia) and her longtime boyfriend Columbia University student-and commoner--Michael Moscovitz?

If so, her Royal Highness doesn't appear to be pining for her onetime love-or wasting any time getting back into the dating scene. Her former beau has already been replaced by a mystery man who accompanied the young royal to a performance of the long-running Broadway show Beauty and the Beast Friday evening. Undisclosed sources say that the young man is none other than John Paul Reynolds-Abernathy IV, son of the wealthy theater promoter and producer John Paul Reynolds-Abernathy III.

A fellow theater patron who observed the young couple in their private box asserted, "They certainly seemed cozy up there," while another stated, "They make a very attractive couple. They're both so tall and blonde."

When asked for a statement, a Genovian Palace spokesman has said, "We do not comment on the Princess's personal life."

Extra, extra, read all about it: Princess Mia of Genovia is single at last!

Mia Thermopolis has hit a new all-time low: Her best friend isn't speaking to her. Her grandmother's counting on her to get her into the world's most exclusive women's society. Someone is posting horrible things about her on www.ihatemiathermopolis.com. And, oh yeah: Her longtime boyfriend has just dumped her.

But despite what the New York press seems to believe, this princess has more on her mind than recruiting a new Prince Charming, including finally snagging some self-actualization for herself, and--thanks to Grandmere--solving a four-hundred-year-old royal mystery that's about to set Mia on a one-woman mission that could bring BIG changes to the little principality of Genovia.

But is Mia really ready to get rid of her tiara…especially if it means destroying a dynasty? Read the ninth--and next to last--installment of the Princess Diaries series to find out for yourself!

Excerpt

Friday, September 10, 9:00 PM
Beauty and the Beast, Lunt-Fontanne Theater, Ladies Lounge

He hasn't called. I just checked with Mom.

I don't think it's completely fair of her to accuse me of believing the entire world revolves around my break up with Michael. Because I don't. Really. How was I supposed to know she'd just gotten Rocky down for the night? She should turn off the ringer if he's turning into that much of a problem sleeper.

Anyway, there were no messages.

I guess I shouldn't have expected there to be. I mean, I checked on his flight, and he's not due to arrive in Japan for another fourteen hours.

And you aren't allowed to use cell phones or PDAs while you're actually in the air. At least, not for calls or text messaging.

Or answering emails.

But that's okay. Really, it is. He'll call.

He'll get my email and then he'll call and we'll make up and everything will go back to normal.

It has to.

In the meantime, I just have to go on as if things were normal. Well, as normal as things can be while waiting to hear back from your boyfriend of two years with whom you've broken up, but to whom you sent an apology email because you realized you were completely and unequivoquably wrong.

Especially since if you don't get back together you know you'll only live a sort of half life and be destined to have a series of meaningless relationships with supermodels.

Oh, wait. That's my dad. Never mind.

But, you know. It's me, too. Minus the supermodels.

Watching Beauty and the Beast tonight with J. P. has made me realize how completely stupid I've been this past week.

Not that I hadn't realized it already. But the show has really drove it home.

Which is especially weird, since Michael and I have never exactly seen eye to eye on the theater. I mean, I could barely get Michael ever even to go with me to see the kind of shows I like, which are primarily ones involving girls in hoop skirts and things that fly down from the ceiling of the theater (such as Phantom of the Opera and Tarzan: The Musical).

And on the few occasions he DID go with me, he spent the whole time leaning over and whispering to me, "I can see why this show is closing. No guy would really stand around singing to a talking teapot about how much he likes some girl. You know that, don't you? And where is the full orchestra supposed to be coming from? I mean, they're in a dungeon. It just doesn't make any sense."

Which I used to think actually ruined the whole experience. As did Michael's excusing himself every five minutes to go to the men's room on the pretense of having drunk too much water at dinner. But really he was just checking for World of Warcraft alerts on his cell phone.

But even though I'm having a nice time here with J.P. and all, I can't help wishing Michael were here to complain that Beauty and the Beast is just a cheesy Disney musical targeted at little kids, who are hardly discriminating viewers, and that the music's really bad and the whole thing is just to get the tourists to spend money on expensive T-shirts, sippy cups, and glossy theater programs.

It's especially sad he's not here, because I realized tonight that the story of Beauty and the Beast is really the story of Michael and me.

Not the beauty part (of course). And not the beast part, either.

But the part about two people who start out being friends and don't even realize they like each other until it's almost too late….

That is totally us.

Except, of course, that Belle is smarter than I am. Like, would it really have mattered to Belle if the Beast, back before he ever held her captive in his castle, had hooked up with Judith Gershner, then failed to mention it?

No. Because that all happened BEFORE Belle and the Beast found each other. So what difference did it make?

Exactly: None.

I just can't believe how stupid I've been about all this. I swear, even cheesy as it is-and, okay, I have to admit, I can see the cheese factor in it now--Beauty and the Beast has brought new clarity to my life.

Which shouldn't be all that surprising since it is, after all, a tale as old time.

Anyway, I know in the past I've said my ideal man is one who can sit through an entire performance of Beauty and the Beast, the most romantic and beautiful story ever told, and not snicker in the wrong places (such as when the Beast is undergoing his onstage transformation into the Prince, or when the fake stuffed wolves come-well, they can't make them TOO scary, since there are little kids in the audience).

But now I realize that the only guy I've ever attended the show with who has passed that test is J. P. Reynolds-Abernathy the Fourth. He even-I couldn't help noticing-had a single tear trickling down his cheek during the scene where Beauty valiantly exchanges her own life for her father's.

Michael has never cried during a Broadway show. Except in that scene where Tarzan's ape father is brutally murdered.

And that was only because he was laughing so hard.

But here's the thing: I'm starting to think that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think guys just might be different from girls. Not just because they actually care about things like whether or not there'll ever be a Nightstalkers movie starring Jessica Biel reprising her role as Abby Whistler from Blade: Trinity.

Or because they think it's okay to sleep with Judith Gershner and never mention it to their girlfriend because it happened before they started going out.

But because they are just programmed differently. Like to be unmoved by the sight of a guy in a gorilla suit getting pretend-shot onstage.

Whereas they completely fall for that scene in the movie Notting Hill where Julia Roberts's character goes back to that guy played by Hugh Grant, even though in a million years a snotty movie star like that would never fall for a lowly bookstore owner.

And I say that as a princess who is in love with a college student.

The thing is, I finally get it now: Guys are different than we are.

But that's not always a bad thing. In fact, as my ancestors would say, Viva la difference. Because, okay, a lot of guys don't like musicals.

But those same guys might also give you a snowflake necklace for your fifteenth birthday to represent the Nondenominational Winter dance where you first declared your love for one another.

Which, you have to admit, is way romantic.

Oh. The lights just flickered. It's time to go back to my seat for the second act.

Which, truthfully, I'm not really looking forward to. It would be all right if J.P. didn't keep asking me if I were all right.

I totally get that he's concerned about me as a friend, and all, but--what does he expect me to say? How can he not know that the answer is no, I'm not all right? Do I need to remind him that not two nights ago I idiotically ripped OFF that snowflake necklace and THREW it at the guy who gave it to me? Does he think you just automatically rebound from something like that, just because you are attending a musical with dancing teacups in it?

J.P. is totally sweet, but he's a little clueless sometimes.

Although Tina is completely right, it turns out: J. P. really is a pent up volcano of passion. The single tear proves it. All he needs is the right woman to unlock his heart--which up until now he has kept in a cold, hard shell for his own emotional protection--and he will explode like the simmering caldera that makes up part of Yellowstone National Park.

And obviously this woman wasn't Lilly (who by the way also hasn't called or emailed me, even to yell at me some more for being a boyfriend-stealer. Which isn't a bit like her).

On the other hand, maybe J. P. isn't clueless. Maybe he's just a guy.

They can't all be like the Beast, I guess.

Friday, September 10, 11:45PM, The Loft

Inbox: 0

No phone messages, either.

But Michael's plane is still in the air for another eleven and a half hours. He'll call me when he lands.

I mean, he has to. Right?

Okay, not thinking about that now. Because every time I do, I get these weird heart palpitations and my palms get sweaty.

Meanwhile, a hand-delivered envelope did arrive for me while I was gone. Mom told me about it (not very happily) when I woke her up to ask if Michael had called (honestly, I didn't realize she was asleep. Usually she's up watching David Letterman until the musical guest comes on at twelve-thirty. How was I supposed to know the musical guest was Fergie, so Mom went to bed early?)

The hand-delivered envelope obviously wasn't from Michael. It was on fancy ivory stationery with a big red wax seal with the letters D and R stamped in the middle. There was something about it that just screamed Grandmere.

So I wasn't very surprised when Mom said, all crabbily, "Your grandmother says to open it right away."

I was surprised, however, when she added, "And she said to call her when you do. No matter what time it is."

"I'm supposed to call Grandmere after eleven o'clock at night?" This didn't make any sense. Grandmere goes to bed right before the eleven o'clock news every night without fail, unless she's out partying with Henry Kissinger or somebody like that. She says if she doesn't get her full eight hours of beauty sleep, she can't do a thing with the bags under her eyes the next day, no matter how much hemorrhoid cream she puts on them.

"That's the message," Mom grumped, and pulled the covers back over her head (though how she can sleep with Mr. Gianini snoring away like that next to her is a mystery to me. It can only be true love).

I wasn't liking the look of that envelope, and I definitely wasn't liking the idea of having to call Grandmere at eleven thirty at night.

But I went to my room and ripped open the seal and pulled out the letter and started reading….

And nearly had a heart attack.

I was on the phone with Grandmere in about two seconds flat.

"Oh, Amelia," she said, sounding completely awake. "Good. Finally. Did you receive your letter?"

"From Lana Weinberger's MOM?" I practically screamed. I only remembered to keep my voice down because I live in a loft and my little brother was sleeping in the next room and I didn't want to risk the wrath of Mom if I woke him up. "Asking me to give the keynote speech at her women's society's big charity event to raise money for African orphans? Yes. But…how did you know? Did you get one, too?"

"Don't be ridiculous," she scoffed. "I have my ways of finding out these things. Now, Amelia, I must know. This is very important. Did she mention issuing you an invitation to join the Domina Reis when you come of age?" You could practically hear her salivating, she was so excited. "Did she say anything about asking you to pledge when you turn eighteen?"

"Yes," I said. "But, Grandmere, I've never even heard of these Domina Reis before. And I don't have time for this right now. I am going through a very stressful time at the moment, and I really have to concentrate on just staying centered--"

This was totally the wrong thing to say, however. Grandmere was practically breathing fire when she replied in her princessiest tone, "For your information, the Domina Reis are one of the most influential women's societies in the world. How can you not be aware of this, Amelia? They are like the Opus Dei of women's organizations. Only not religiously affiliated."

I had to admit, this got me kind of interested, in spite of myself. "Really? Opus Dei? That secret society in The Da Vinci Code? The one where the members whip themselves? Lana's mom keeps a weird metal spike wrapped around her leg?"

"Of course not," Grandmere said, with a sniff. "I meant figuratively."

This was disappointing to hear. I have never met Lana's mom (and she clearly knows nothing about me, because in her letter, she mentioned how much Lana has appreciated my friendship over the years, and how regrettable it is that my busy royal agenda has kept me from attending more of the parties she knows Lana has invited me to at their place. Um. Yeah), but the idea of any member of the Weinberger family with possible spikes digging into her fills me with great joy.

"And," Grandmere went on, "I know I've told you about the Domina Reis before, Amelia. The Contessa Trevanni is a member."

"Bella's grandmother?" Grandmere hasn't mentioned her arch-enemy the Contessa much since the Contessa's granddaughter, Bella, delighted the entire Trevanni family by running off last Christmas with my pseudo-cousin Prince René and getting, well, knocked up by him (Grandmere says it's more polite to say enceinte, which is the French term, but the truth is, he really did knock her up. I mean, hello, has no onein my family heard of condoms?).

After a stern talking to by my dad (and, I suspect, an exchange of cash: René was just days from signing a television deal for a new reality show, Prince Charming, in which a number of young single girls were to compete for the chance to date a real life prince…namely, René), René finally married Bella. Sadly for her grandmother, the wedding took place in a quiet private ceremony, since René took so long to finally pop the question that Bella was obviously showing, and they're still sensitive about that kind of thing in Majesty Magazine.

Now Bella and René are living on in the Upper East Side in a penthouse the Contessa bought them as a wedding present, attending Lamaze classes together, and looking as if neither of them could be happier.

Grandmere is so jealous that Bella got René instead of me-even though I'm still in high school, hello--she could plotz. Basically, we never speak of it.

"Audrey Hepburn was a Domina Rei, as well," Grandmere went on. "As well as Princess Grace of Monaco. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Even Oprah Winfrey."

A hush fell over our conversation then, as it always does in polite society whenever Ms. Winfrey's name is mentioned.

Then I said, "Well, that's all very nice, Grandmere. However, like I said, this really isn't the best time for me. I-"

But Grandmere, as usual, wasn't even listening. "I, of course, was asked to join years ago. However, due to a complete misunderstanding involving a certain gentleman who shall remain nameless, I was ruthlessly blackballed."

"Oh," I said. "Well, that's too bad. I--"

"Fine. If you must know, it was Prince Rainier of Monaco. But the rumors were completely false! I never even looked at him twice! Was it my fault he was so fascinated by me that he used to follow me around like a puppy? I can't imagine how anyone could have thought it was anything other than what it was…a simple infatuation a much older man bore for a young woman who couldn't help sparkling with wit and joie de vivre."

It took me a minute to figure out who she was talking about. "You mean…you?"

"Of course me, Amelia! What is wrong with you? Why do you think he married Grace Kelly? Why do you think his family allowed him to marry a movie actress? Only because they were so relieved he agreed to marry anyone after the heartbreak he experienced when I rejected him…."

I gasped. "Grandmere! You turned him gay?"

"Of course not! Amelia, don't be ridiculous. I-Oh, never mind. How did we even get on this topic? The fact is, the Contessa Trevanni will eat her own head if you give the keynote address at her women's society's charity gala. They've never asked her granddaughter to speak. Of course, why would they? She's never accomplished anything, except to get pregnant, which any half-wit can do, and she's such a namby-pamby, she'd probably freeze up at the sight of those two thousand impeccably-groomed successful businesswomen staring up at her--"

I gasped again…but this time for a different reason. "Wait…two thousand?"

"We'll have to make an appointment at Chanel right away," Grandmere blathered on. "Something subdued, I think, yet youthful. I do believe it's time we fitted you with a suit. Dresses are fine, but you can never go wrong with a really good wool suit--"

"Impeccably groomed, successful businesswomen?" I echoed, feeling slightly faint. "I thought they were all like Lana's mom…society wives with full-time nannies and cooks and maids--"

"Nancy Weinberger is one of the most sought-after interior decorators in Manhattan," Grandmere interrupted, coldly. "She completely furnished the apartment the Contessa bought for René and Bella. Let me see, now, the Domina Reis colors are blue and white…blue's never been your best color, but we'll have to make do…."

"Grandmere," I said. Panic was rising in my throat. It was sort of the way I felt every time I thought about Michael, only without the sweaty palms. "I can't do this. I can't give a speech in front of two thousand successful business women. You don't understand-I'm going through a romantic crisis at the moment, and until it's resolved, I really think I need to keep a low profile…in fact, even after it's resolved, I don't think I can speak in front of that many people."

"Nonsense," Grandmere said, crisply. "You spoke in front of the Genovian Parliament about the parking meters, remember? As if any of us could forget."

"Yeah, but they were just old guys in wigs, not Lana Weinberger's mom! I don't know about this, Grandmere. I think maybe I should--"

"Of course, Lord only knows what we'll do about your hair. I don't suppose it will have grown in by then. Maybe Paolo can fashion some sort of extensions. I'll phone him in the morning…."

"Seriously, Grandmere," I said. "I think I--"

But it was too late. She'd already hung up, still muttering about hair extensions.

Great. This is all I need.

Saturday, September 11, 9AM, The Loft

Inbox: 0

Which isn't weird. I mean, he's still got another three hours in the air. And then he has to go through customs.

So I just need to be patient. I just need to be calm. I just need to-

FtLouie: TINA!!!! ARE YOU THERE???? If you're there, write back. I AM DYING!!!!

Iluvromance: Hi, Mia! I'm here. Why are you dying?????

Oh, thank God. Thank God for Tina Hakim Baba.

FtLouie:
Because while I know the bond Michael and I have is too strong to be torn asunder by a simple misunderstanding, and that he's going to call when he gets to Japan and tell me he forgives me and everything is going to be all right-what if it isn't? What if he doesn't?

Oh, God-my palms won't stop sweating!!!!! And I think I might be having a heart attack…. Iluvromance:
Mia! It's going to be all right! Of course Michael is going to forgive you! You guys will get back together, and everything is going to be just like it used to be. Better, even. Because couples who go through hard times together always come out stronger for it….

FtLouie:
That's right! And whatever, right? My ancestresses have faced far harsher adversity. Such as marauding invaders and abductions and being forced to drink wine out of their murdered fathers' skulls and all of that. Michael and I will be fine!

Iluromance: Totally! So I take it you're not going tonight, then?

FtLouie:
Going to what?

Iluvromance:
To the victory party.

FtLouie:
What victory party?

Iluvromance:
You know. Lilly and Perrin's victory party. For winning the student election.

FtLouie:
I wasn't invited to any victory party.

Iluvromance:
You didn't get the email?

FtLouie:
Noooooo….

Iluvromance:
Oh.

FtLouie:
Oh, what?

Iluvromance:
I didn't think she was serious.

FtLouie:
Who? What are you talking about?

Iluvromance:
Lilly. She was saying she was never speaking to you again…But I thought she was joking.

!!!!!!

FtLouie: WHAT???? HOW CAN SHE SAY THAT??? IT WAS ONLY A PECK!!! IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE CHEEK!!! I ONLY GOT HIS LIPS BY MISTAKE!!!!

Iluvromance:
Right. But didn't you go see Beauty and the Beast with J. P. last night?

FtLouie:
Well, yes. But it was perfectly innocent. We just went as FRIENDS.

Iluvromance:
But didn't you say in the past that your ideal man is one who can sit through an entire performance of Beauty and the Beast, the most romantic and beautiful story ever told, and not snicker in the wrong places?

FtLouie:
Yes. But that was a long time ago. And I've realized since then that I was wrong. Now my ideal man is now one who snickers.
Iluvromance:
Well, you'd better tell Lilly that.

FtLouie:
Why? What's she saying? Wait a minute--how does she even KNOW what J. P. and I did last night? How do YOU even know?

Iluvromance:
Oh…you haven't seen it?

FtLouie:
SEEN WHAT????

Iluvromance:
The giant photo of you and J. P. coming out of the theater that's on the front of The New York Post this morning, with the headline Heartbroken Princess Finds New Love?

Heartbroken Princess Finds New Love

AP--It looks like splitsville for New York's own Princess Mia Thermopolis (of Genovia) and her longtime boyfriend Columbia University student-and commoner--Michael Moscovitz.

Moscovitz is rumored to have accepted a year-long appointment at a Japanese robotics firm in Tsuksuba, where he'll be working on a top secret project.

But her Royal Highness doesn't appear to be pining for her onetime love-or wasting any time getting back into the dating scene. Her former beau has already been replaced by a mystery man who accompanied the young royal to a performance of the long-running Broadway show Beauty and the Beast Friday evening. Undisclosed sources say that the young man is none other than John Paul Reynolds-Abernathy IV, son of the wealthy theater promoter and producer John Paul Reynolds-Abernathy III.

A fellow theater patron who observed the young couple in their private box asserted, "They certainly seemed cozy up there," while another stated, "They make a very attractive couple. They're both so tall and blonde."?

When asked for a statement, a Genovian Palace spokesman has said, "We do not comment on the Princess's personal life."

Saturday, September 11, 10AM, The Loft

Well. At least now I know why I haven't heard from Lilly.

Which is so messed up on so many levels. I mean, first of all, it was only a peck. And second of all, they were already broken up when the peck took place. And third of all, WE WENT TO THE SHOW AS FRIENDS. How could anyone in their right minds think I'm GOING OUT with J. P. Reynolds-Abernathy the Fourth?

I mean, sure, he's funny and cute and a nice guy and all. Don't get me wrong.

But my heart belongs to Michael Moscovitz, and always will!

None of this makes any sense. Lilly is supposed to be my best friend. How can she believe something so horrible of me?

And it's true, I was pretty awful to her brother this week. But that was only because I (stupidly) didn't realize what a great thing we had, until I went and lost it.

But I APOLOGIZED to him. It's only a matter of time (two hours) until he gets my email and calls me (please, God) and we patch things up and he sends me back my snowflake necklace and we're back together and everything's fine again.

Unless he happens to check Google News and sees the giant article about me and J. P..

But why would he believe it? He never believed any of the lies the paparazzi was always reporting about me and James Franco. Why would he believe THIS one?

He wouldn't. He can't.

So what is Lilly's problem?

Anyway. I am not going to freak out. It's true that in the past, I would be hysterical over something like this. I'd be calling my dad and begging him to have our lawyers demand a retraction. I'd be trying to get to the bottom of who'd tipped the papers off-as if I didn't know (Grandmere). I'd be frantically e-ing Michael, hysterically explaining that none of it's true.

But not now. I'm way too mature for all that. Also, I'm used to it.

And besides: I am way too freaked out as it already is. How could I possibly freak out anymore? I can barely hold onto my pen to write this, my hand is so drenched in sweat.

So…whatever. I'm going to allow Lilly a little cooling off period. I'm sure when she's having her party and everyone is there but me (I called Tina after I ran out and got the paper. I told her that of COURSE she has to go to Lilly's party, even though she was going to boycott out of solidarity with me. But I actually need her to go so I can find out what Lilly is saying about me. I swear, if Lilly's bad-mouthing me, I will call the Federal Communications Commission and report the fact that she used the S word on last week's episode of Lilly Tells It Like It Is, while she was describing the current state of affairs in Iraq), she'll start missing me and call and invite me over.

And then I'll go and we'll hug it out and it will all be fine.

I'll just sit here and do my Calculus homework until then. Because God knows I didn't pay much attention last week, so I have NO IDEA what's going on in that class. Or any of my classes, really. The last thing I need, on top of everything else that's going on, is to flunk out of high school.

And I think while I'm doing that, I'll finish off the rest of the pork dumplings leftover from Number One Noodle Son.

Because that's how a mature person would handle the situation.

TWO HOURS TILL HE LANDS!!!!!!!
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