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Meg's Blog

SWEET 16 SNEAK PEEK

As promised, here's a sneak peek at SWEET SIXTEEN PRINCESS, due in US bookstores on May 23.

Sixteen is the magic number

Mia doesn't always have the best luck with parties, so even though it's her sweet sixteenth, she doesn't want a birthday bash. As usual, Grandmère has other ideas, and thinks a reality TV special is just the thing in order to celebrate royally. The whole scheme smacks of Lilly's doing — Lilly, whose own TV show is still only limited to local cable viewers.

Will Mia be able to stop Grandmère's plan? Will her friends ever forgive her if she does stop it, since it involves all of them taking the royal jet to Genovia for an extravaganza the likes of which would turn even Paris Hilton green with envy? Why can't Mia get what she really wants: an evening alone with Michael?

With a little luck, this sweet sixteen princess might just get her wish — a birthday that's royally romantic.

Wednesday, April 28, 10:30 PM, The Loft

At least I have the comforting words of my boyfriend to soothe my frazzled nerves when I get home after a long day of fighting for the rights of the unatheletically inclined students of Albert Einstein High. Even if I hardly ever get to talk to him—except via Instant Messaging–because he's so busy with his college courses, and I'm so busy with geometry, princess lessons, student council, and keeping my baby brother from sticking his tongue in a light socket:

SkinnerBx:
Do you realize it's only three days till the big day?

FtLouie:
What day would that be?

SkinnerBx:
Your sweet sixteen!

FtLouie:
Oh, right. I forgot. Sorry. Stupid school stuff is bumming me out.

SkinnerBx:
Poor baby. So what do you want for your birthday?

FtLouie:
Just you.

SkinnerBx:
Are you serious???? Because that can totally be arranged. Doo Pak is going to be gone for the weekend on a Korean Student Association campout in the Catskills….

Yikes! All I meant was that I wanted a little time alone with him—something that seems to happen more and more rarely, now that he's opted for accelerated graduation, doing all of his course work in three years instead of four, and his parents splitting up, and all, so that he has to have dinner every Friday night with either his mom or dad, so that each of them feels like they're getting their fair share of Michael time.

FtLouie:
I didn't mean that literally! I meant maybe we could have a nice dinner, just you and me.

SkinnerBx:
Oh. Sure. But you can have that any time. I mean, what do you REALLY want?

What DO I really want? World peace, of course. An end to emissions of the greenhouse gases that are causing global warming. For the Drs. Moscovitz to get back together, so I can see my boyfriend on Friday nights again. To not to be a princess anymore. To have things go back to the way they used to be, when things were simpler…like that time we all went ice-skating at Rockefeller Center, and I bit my tongue—only without the tongue-biting part.

And the part where Michael was there with Judith Gershner and I was there with Kenny Showalter.

But you know. Aside from that.

But none of these is something Michael can actually get me. He has no control over world peace, global warming, his parents, or the fact that they close the skating rink at Rockefeller Center on April 1, so I've never been able to go ice-skating on my birthday.

And he certainly has no control over the fact that I'm a princess. Unfortunately.

FtLouie:
Seriously, Michael. Except for a nice dinner, I don't want anything.

WomynRule:
POG, are you online with my brother again?

Crud. It's Lilly.

FtLouie:
Yes. What do you want?

WomynRule:
Just to remind you that LANA FLEW INTO HER SWEET SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY PARTY ON A HELICOPTER.

Iluvromance:
Mia, you HAVE to have a party. You HAVE to. I know you're upset about what happened at your birthday party last year.

Oh, great! Now Tina's getting in on it, too????

FtLouie:
Gang up on me, why don't you, everybody.

Iluvromance:
Lilly PROMISES what happened last year at your party won't happen this year. We won't play Seven Minutes in Heaven. We are way more mature than that now.

WomynRule:
And besides, I'm with J.P. now.

FtLouie:
You were with Boris then. But it still happened.

WomynRule:
But things with Boris were so boring. I mean, where could it go?

Iluvromance:
Um. Ahem.

WomynRule:
Sorry. I'm sure things with you and Boris are totally different.

Iluvromance:
Dang straight.

WomynRule:
But you know what I mean. Things with J.P. are still so….well. You know.

Did we ever. Because Lilly can talk of hardly anything else. I had never seen her so besotted for a guy. I suppose because J.P. keeps her guessing as to what his real feelings for her are. It seems like all I ever hear from her these days—when she isn't going on about her hatred for Andy Milonakis—is Do you think he likes me? I mean, we go out, and stuff, and we kiss, but he doesn't say stuff, you know, about how he feels about me. Do you think that's weird? I mean, what kind of guy doesn't talk about his feelings? Well, okay, I know MOST guys don't talk about their feelings. But I mean, what guy who goes to AEHS doesn't want to talk about his feelings? Who isn't gay, I mean?

As if I'm supposed to know.

Iluvromance:
Has he still not said the L word, Lilly?

WomynRule:
He hasn't even said the G word. As in, that I'm his girlfriend.

FtLouie:
Have YOU said the L word to HIM? Or the B word?

WomynRule:
Of COURSE not. We've only been going out for a little over a month. I don't want to scare him off.

FtLouie:
Faint heart never won fair lady.

WomynRule:
Stop quoting Gilbert and Sullivan at me. I want him to say the L word first. Is that such a crime? WHY WON'T HE SAY IT????

Iluvromance:
Well, you know J.P. has always been something of a loner. He probably just doesn't know how to act around girls.

WomynRule:
Do you really think so?

FtLouie:
Totally. Oh my God, you guys, check it out: J.P.'s like the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, you know, when Belle first comes to live in the palace, and the Beast is all mean to her? Because, just like the Beast was alone in his castle for all those years, J.P. sat by himself at a lunch table for a really long time, so maybe he isn't entirely sure how people are supposed to interact, because he hasn't had all that much experience with human interaction—JUST LIKE THE BEAST!!! So he may come off as gruff or nonemotional, when I'm sure the opposite is true—JUST LIKE THE BEAST!!!!

WomynRule:
Mia. I know Beauty and the Beast is your favorite musical, and all. But I think that's sort of stretching it.

Iluvromance:
No, I think Mia is right. All J.P. 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 be like an unstoppable volcano of passion.

WomynRule:
In that case why hasn't he exploded already? Unless you're implying I'm not the right woman to unlock his heart.

Iluvromance
:
I'm not saying that! I'm just saying that it won't be easy.

FtLouie:
Yeah. Like it wasn't easy for Belle to win the Beast's trust.

WomynRule:
Whatever! It took her like two songs!

Iluvromance:
Yeah, but real life isn't like a musical. Unfortunately.

FtLouie:
Maybe if you said you loved him first, it would cause the first crack in his hard outer shell….

WomynRule:
I AM NOT SAYING I LOVE HIM FIRST!!!!

SkinnerBx:
Mia? Are you still there?

My boyfriend! I had gotten so involved talking about Lilly's boyfriend, I totally forgot about my own!

FtLouie:
Of course I am. Hang on a minute.

FtLouie:
You guys, I have to go, but one last thing: I AM NOT HAVING A SWEET SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY PARTY AND THAT'S FINAL. GOT IT?

WomynRule:
God, all right already. You don't have to shout.

Iluvromance:
Mia, no one wants you to do anything you don't want to do. But your sweet sixteen IS a big deal…

FtLouie:
NO PARTY.

WomynRule:
Well, better make sure your grandma knows that, then.

FtLouie:
Wait. What is THAT supposed to mean?

WomynRule:
Nothing. I have to go now.

FtLouie:
LILLY!!! ARE YOU AND GRANDMERE PLOTTING SOMETHING BEHIND MY BACK????

WomynRule:
Terminated

FtLouie:
I'm going to kill her.

Iluvromance:
She can't help it. You know how upset she's been since her parents' separation. Not to mention the fact that Andy Milonakis got his own show on MTV and she didn't. And the fact that J.P. won't admit his true feelings for her. Oops, I hear my mom calling. I have to go. Bye!

Iluvromance:
Terminated.

Great. Just great.

FtLouie:
Michael, do you know if your sister and my grandmother are planning something for my birthday? Like a surprise party?

SkinnerBx:
Not that I'm aware of. Can you imagine what kind of party those two would come up with?

Actually, I can:

The kind of party I'd really, really hate.

That's it for now! I'm off to Book Expo America, where I'll be signing HOW TO BE POPULAR advanced reader copies from 2-3pm on Friday at Table 23; QUEEN OF BABBLE from 1-1:30 on Saturday at Table 20; TBA for the Romance Writers of America at their booth from 2-2:30 on Saturday; and GIRL'S NIGHT OUT for Red Dress Ink at their booth from 3-4pm on Saturday. Get there early, BEA attendees, before my hand cramps up and I have to ice it (just kidding)!

Hope to see you there!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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