The Princess Diaries is the first volume of the critically acclaimed, best-selling series of the same name by Meg Cabot. It was released in 2000 by Harper Collins Publishers, and later became a film of the same name starring Anne Hathaway.
Mia Thermopolis is an average urban ninth grader. She lives in Greenwich Village with her single, liberal mother, who is a semi-famous painter, but Mia puts on her Doc Martens one at a time, and the most exciting things she ever dreams about are kissing senior Josh Richter ("six feet of hotness") and passing Algebra. Mia's father comes to town and drops a major bomb: he's not just a European politician as he's always led her to believe, but actually the prince of a small country. And Mia, his only heir, is now considered the crown princess of Genovia. She doesn't even know how to begin to cope: "I am so NOT a princess.... You never saw anyone who looked less like a princess than I do. I mean, I have really bad hair... and... a really big mouth and no breasts and feet that look like skis." Mia's troubles are worsened: her mother has started dating her algebra teacher (Frank Gianini), the paparazzi are showing up at school, and she has a fight with her best friend Lilly. After this they don't talk for a while and become distant from each other. Mia goes to her Grandmère's Plaza Hotel room in order to begin princess training, where she starts to develop into a great princess. Throughout the story Mia also makes another friend named Tina, who is shunned because of her overprotective father, who makes her have a bodyguard.
Mia Thermopolis: Describes herself as a five-foot nine, flat chested, freshman, freak; also known as Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo, Princess of Genovia. Mia loves to write, has a tendency to obsess over everything that happens to her, is a vegetarian, identifies as a feminist and is currently failing algebra and many other subjects.
Grandmere: Mia's grandmother, who loves Sidecars, is highly critical of everyone around her. She has a hairless poodle, Rommel, and she calls Michael Moscovitz that boy. Her full name is The Dowager Princess Clarisse Renaldo. Mia and her Grandmother don't get along with each other for most of the story.
Lilly Moscovitz: Mia's bossy activist best friend, who has her own television cable show, Lilly Tells It Like It Is.
Michael Moscovitz: Lilly's older brother, who is extremely smart and according to Mia, is attractive. Also Mia's crush.
Lana Weinberger: Head cheerleader, initially Josh's girlfriend, and the person Mia dislikes most at her school.
Josh Richter: Mia's crush, "six feet of unadulterated hotness." Originally dating Lana at the beginning of the story, he is shown to have manipulative tendencies.
Helen Thermopolis: Mia's quirky painter mother, who surprises Mia by dating her algebra teacher. She is described as irresponsible.
Philippe Renaldo: Mia's royal father, who is the prince of Genovia. He had Mia out of wedlock, and is constantly annoyed by his domineering mother, has many girlfriends, and tells Mia that she is a princess after he is no longer able to have children because he had cancer.
Tina Hakim-Baba: A girl whom Mia befriends throughout the novel. Her father is an oil man sheikh who is worried that she will get kidnapped. She originally is shunned because her overprotective father forces her to have a bodyguard (Wahim), but she and Mia quickly become close.
Lars: Mia's bodyguard. He follows her almost everywhere and lives in the Plaza. Has some serious blackmail on Mia, having followed her around everywhere.
Fat Louie: Mia's very fat cat who is attracted to anything shiny.