From the Notebooks of a Middle-School Princess by Meg Cabot is a charming spinoff to the author's popular Princess Diaries series.
Harrison is about to get the surprise of her life. Although, according
to one of the mean girls at her school, what she's about to get is the
beat-down she deserves, out by the flagpole after school. Just when
she's practically seeing her life flash before her eyes, she sees the
limo. The one with the princess in it -- Princess Mia, who has just
discovered that Olivia is her younger half-sister. That's right: Genovia
has another surprise princess. Olivia's journey will be similar to
Mia's in some ways, but also quite different (she manages to immediately
charm Grandmère and her little dog, too) -- but Olivia's aunt and
uncle, who have been responsible for raising her up until the grand
revelation, are not going to make the transition easy for anyone, since
giving up Olivia will also mean giving up the generous support checks
her father has been sending them each month.
I actually only read the first Princess Diaries
book -- it was fun, but not so much that I couldn't walk away. But I
think I actually like this story better, for one reason or another.
Olivia is a fun character, naive and optimistic, a little blunt, but
well-intentioned, and a dog lover, which gets points from me as well as
Grandmère, apparently. I might even keep up with the series -- but if I
do or not, I'll be sure to recommend it to the tween girls it was
actually written for!
(Reviewed from an advance copy, courtesy of the publisher.)