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Literature / From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess

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From The Notebooks of A Middle School Princess is a Spinoff Series by Meg Cabot of The Princess Diaries.

Olivia Grace is a Cheerful Child, who thinks her father is an archaeologist while she lives with her aunt and uncle. She loves to draw, talk to her friend Nishi, and read. Worried about her family moving to Qalif and being only "average", things only get worse when Alpha Bitch Annabelle threatens to beat her up for being a liar, only Olivia has no idea what she's talking about. Annabelle reveals that she knows Olivia is another Princess of Genovia, which even Olivia doesn't know. Then a lady from a limo steps up, stops the fight, and whisks Olivia into a new world. This lady happens to be Princess Mia, and she shows Olivia that the latter is more than "average".

The series consists of:

  • From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess (2015)
  • Royal Day Out (free e-short) (2016)
  • Royal Wedding Disaster (2016)
  • Royal Crush (2017)
  • Royal Crown (2018)

Tropes for this series include

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Olivia gets one in Prince Gunther, even when on her advice he drops his more disgusting habits, she doesn't have any feelings for him, only liking him as a friend.
  • Abusive Parents: Rather, abusive aunt and uncle. It comes to a head in the first book when Catherine ignores Olivia bleeding in favor of trying to clean up the coffee a distraught Mia spilled in her horror, Rick laughs about Annabelle's dad being able to use his position to help his daughter bully others and hurt Olivia to the point of risking a concussion and then they both try to defend their children laughing about the assault and not raising a finger to defend, let alone protect, Olivia from Annabelle.
  • Adults Are Useless: Every single adult at Olivia's school save her art teacher let Annabelle get away with anything and everything she does because her dad spoils her to no end and uses his career as a lawyer to get her off scot-free while trapping her victims (as demonstrated by him preventing Olivia's security team from protecting her from Annabelle, leading to the below-mentioned Laser-Guided Karma for both him and Annabelle) and Catherine and Rick are such terrible guardians it's not remotely funny.
  • Alpha Bitch: Annabelle in the first book, Luisa in the rest.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Catherine tries to defend the way she raised Olivia by claiming her sister, Olivia's mother, wanted her to be a normal girl. Then Philippe stops her cold with one sentence.
    Normal or average?
  • Bear Hug: Mia apparently gives rib-cracking hugs, which Olivia adores.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Prince Gunther becomes infatuated with Olivia when she defends him from getting blamed for drawing a rude picture of her (which he didn't do), and because, even though she doesn't have feelings for him, Olivia is always kind and polite to him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Olivia in Royal Day Out suggests to call the cops on the white collar criminals there since it would be a great gift for Mia. Since their wives, mothers, daughters, nieces, and aunts made the mistake of kicking Grandmere out of the Purple Lady, Grandmere realizes it's the perfect revenge. She starts off with this trope in her scathing "Reason You Suck" Speech to her relatives, outright telling her aunt that she never actually cared and she wants to be a better person than they could ever teach her to be.
    • With Mia, it's a bad idea to threaten Olivia in her presence. She's normally a nice, conscientious princess, but boy does she get Brutally Honest.
  • Big Brother Bully: Olivia's cousins, most notably Justin.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mia saves Olivia from getting a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Annabelle towards the beginning of the book.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Mia towards Olivia, and for Olivia, this is Mia's Establishing Character Moment.
    • Despite not being related by blood, Olivia has this towards Rocky when Luisa complains about him going to the school when he's not a royal or noble.
  • Break the Cutie: Olivia when she briefly has to return to live with her aunt and uncle. She cries to sleep when it happens.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Olivia holds this view and is horrified to hear Nishi’s boyfriend Dylan cheated on a test back in the fifth grade and instantly dislikes him despite never even meeting him.
  • Children Are Innocent: Played With
    • Olivia is relatively innocent and tries to believe in the best of people. She doesn't intuit that her grandmother wanted to keep her a secret, for example, or that her dad was too ashamed to meet her because of doing it for a lifetime. With that said, she quickly realizes why her aunt and uncle wanted to keep her for the child support checks.
    • Annabelle is a middle-school Alpha Bitch and a Spoiled Brat. She gets it from her Amoral Attorney of a dad.
  • Cool Big Sis: Mia and Olivia take immediately to each other and utterly adore every minute of their time together.
  • Cool Old Lady: Grandmere in Olivia's eyes, starting with her having two poodles.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Mia decides to name her children Frank and Elizabeth after her half-siblings' respective parents.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Grandmere expresses these, as usual. The sports events with rifles are eliminated from the Royal School Winter Games for modern safety reasons. Grandmere spends a long time complaining about this in public.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Annabelle clearly didn't think about the ramifications of punching Olivia in the face and thus assaulting a royal. For more karma, the press gets footage of the event and circulates it for weeks.
    • Similarly, the O'Tooles didn't think about the consequences of committing Financial Abuse of Olivia or teaching their kids that Olivia is inferior to them.
    • Prince Rene didn’t think through The ramifications that graverobbing far from endearing himself to the judge would make him look even less fit for the throne.
  • Dramatic Irony: Olivia has no idea that her grandmother wanted to keep her a secret while her father was campaigning, or that her father kept her a secret because her mother wanted it to be that way. She also thinks that Tina and Lilly, who are Mia's friends, are her ladies-in-waiting, though she's technically right.
    • Olivia claims that her aunt and uncle treat her pretty well, citing Harry Potter as an example of someone who had it worse. Not only does Mia point out that her tiny bedroom is pretty darn close to a cupboard under the stairs but her aunt and uncle are committing Financial Abuse on her, a commonly held Fanon belief for something the Dursleys do to Harry.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone can see Olivia is crushing hard on Prince Khalil long before she admits it to herself.
  • Evil Redhead: Olivia's Uncle Rick and her cousins, given their low regard for Olivia and how Rick and Catherine use the money meant for Olivia.
  • Financial Abuse: Aunt Catherine and Uncle Rick only have custody of Olivia to take her child support checks; none of the money is spent on Olivia, but rather on Rick's construction business and Ferraris (as well as spoiling their kids utterly rotten while leaving Olivia in the cold while convincing her she deserves it). Olivia doesn't even have a cell phone, a computer in her room, or permission to attend a scholarship art academy. Nishi lampshades this once she and Olivia are able to text.
  • Foil: Given the nature of the series, a few examples crop up.
    • Unlike Mia, who had a rather different reaction to finding out she was a princess, Olivia is only relieved to be saved from Annabelle, is thrilled to finally meet her father, and instantly bonds with Grandmere. This stems from another Foil trait between the sisters; while Mia had a happy home life all things considered and a caring mother to look after her, Olivia is completely alone at home and her guardians are only interested in using her child support checks on themselves so Mia focused on the strings that came with being a princess ruining her life while Olivia was just thrilled that she had a family that wanted her.
    • Nishi is also a better friend to Olivia than Lilly was; while Nishi is smart and has intuition, she isn't an Insufferable Genius or a Jerkass and cares about Olivia's well-being. Also while Lilly was vehemently anti-royalist at first and broke friends with Mia over it, Nishi is firmly in the Princess Phase and thrilled on Olivia's behalf regarding her royal heritage.
    • While Prince Khalil is a Nice Guy like Michael, he’s not a Deadpan Snarker, though that might be because of being a kid and not a teenager like Michael was. Also he’s a prince in his own right.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: While Olivia feels bad her cousin Luisa is suffering from her parents divorcing and they are fighting over who doesn’t get custody of her and so she really has only her distant and snobby grandmother Bianca as a role model, Olivia notes this doesn’t give her a right to act like a brat.
  • Generation Xerox: In the Royal Genovian Academy, Olivia has a rivalry with her cousin Luisa Ferrari, just like their grandmothers: Clarisse and Bianca.
  • Grave Robbing: Subverted. Graverobbing in order to prove him and his son are the rightful heirs to the throne aren’t going to make the courts look kindly on Rene. They not only deny his claim, but also fine him for desecrating a national monument.
  • Hate Sink: Annabelle and her father and Olivia's family are widely hated by fans and it's not hard to see why nor is it hard to understand why those same fans cheer when karma strikes.
  • Hero of Another Story: Mia and Olivia are mutually this, as seen in Mia's series.
    Grandmere: I have no doubt your sister is going to save the country, of course. But we're the ones who are going to save this wedding, Olivia.
  • I'm Not Pretty: Olivia starts off this way; more sympathetic than most examples as she's been raised to think this way by her guardians rather than suffering teenage Wangst.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Annabelle's reasons for bullying Olivia, since the latter is a princess and thus would be higher on the social totem pole.
  • Karma Houdini: Annabelle starts off as one, declaring her intent to get Olivia a demerit if she tries to tell a teacher that Annabelle intends to pummel her for something Olivia doesn't even know and having a reputation for threatening to have her dad sue the school if things don't go her way. Thankfully ultimately subverted
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Annabelle's able to get away with her appalling behaviour because her dad's a top notch lawyer who can easily whip up legal red tape and lawsuits. However, his refusal to control his bratty daughter means she ends up punching Olivia, a member of the Genovian royal family, hard enough to make her bleed - which is recorded and circulated by the press, and which gives the royal Genovian lawyers plenty of ammunition to sue her father.
    • Olivia's aunt and uncle use the child support Philippe sends to fund their business and live the high life while just providing the basics for Olivia. Once Olivia figures out why they want to keep her around, she tears them a new one for turning their kids into Spoiled Brats while denying her absolutely everything she asked for and the only reason Philippe and Mia don't sue the life out of them is because they relinquish custody of Olivia. Then to add insult to injury, Catherine and Rick move to Qalif months before civil war breaks out, and they find themselves unable to leave.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Genovian Guard can't restrain Annabelle while they're on school grounds, thanks to her father threaning to sue the school. When Annabelle punches Olivia in full view of the press, who get endless footage,, however, the Guard chases her off school grounds so that they can administer medical attention to Olivia without having to physically restrain Annabelle. Genovia also has some of the toughest lawyers. By the end of the book, the Genovian lawyers are suing Annabelle and her father, using the press footage as evidence.
  • Meaningful Name: Olivia's first name and the most commonly referenced of her middle names, Grace, both suit her personality most of the time, with Olivia meaning "symbol of peace", which references her preference for peaceful interactions with others and her tendency to do a lot of things (not all of which in her best interest) to keep the peace, and Grace most definitely suiting the way she uses her princess training.
  • Morality Pet: Olivia for Grandmere. Their shopping date and lunch together is extremely sweet with Grandmere giving tips on fashion and calling to get her out of school.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Annabelle punching Olivia in the nose, combined with the apathy from Olivia's redheaded relatives, is The Last Straw for Mia and Philippe; Mia insists on taking Olivia to the ER, Philippe gives "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Aunt Catherine for raising Olivia to be "average", and Olivia declares that she'd rather live with people who care about her. Aunt Catherine is forced to cede custody of her cash cow of a niece or face a huge lawsuit, as far as Olivia knows.
    • The baroness kicking Grandmere out of the Purple Ladies gives Grandmere a reason to call the cops on her husband, and the ladies' other spouses, sons, uncles, and nephews since they are white-collar criminals hiding in Genovia.
    • Prince Rene once again tries to take the crown, this time by claiming that his son Marco is genetically closer related to Princess Rosagunde than the half-American Mia and Olivia.He tries to prove it by breaking into Rosagunde’s tomb and stealing a bit of her DNA.
  • Nice to the Waiter: In Genovia, Olivia's kindness encourages Grandmere to act this way. This mends over some ruffled, hurt feelings with a poor saleswoman.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Aunt Catherine and Uncle Rick are trying to assert that they are decent guardians for Olivia, even with the allegations that they only want her dad's child support and don't actually love her. When Olivia comes home after Annabelle punches her in the nose, Aunt Catherine focuses on wiping coffee stains from the carpet, Uncle Rick laughs at how lawyer Jenkins tied up the Royal Genovian Guard, and Olivia's cousins are smirking about how she went down after one punch. They only realize that they messed up when Philippe yells at Justin and Catherine for not seeing the seriousness of the situation and Mia threatens to send the Genovian lawyers after Olivia's relatives. Made even worse when the couple tries to defend Justin watching Olivia receive a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by claiming he has asthma, which anyone with sense can tell you doesn't prevent you from intervening in a fight. Rick caps it off by saying that Olivia wasn't strong enough to fight, and Mia shuts him up by saying she's taking Olivia to the ER since obviously she needs X-Rays for her nose.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted in the fourth book in which one of the plot points is about how Olivia hasn’t had her first period yet, she has it later in the book.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Olivia when Annabelle threatens her at the beginning of Book One.
    • Annabelle when Olivia lies on the ground semiconscious, not getting up, and when the Genovian Royal Guard chases her offscreen for punching Olivia.
    • Uncle Rick at the climax when Justin mentions that the press got footage of Olivia getting punched and that none of her cousins helped her.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Luisa will never let Olivia forget that the first time she saw the Italian word Ciao she thought it was pronounced “kyow” instead of “chow” and relentlessly mocks her with it.
  • Only in It for the Money: Aunt Catherine's real reason for raising Olivia. Olivia calls her out for this in the climax to Book One.
  • Over Protective Dad: When Philippe hears about Khalil being exiled from Qalif which has been plunged into a civil war, he forbids Olivia from hanging out with him, having sensed that they’re attracted to each other, Grandmere has to remind him the boy just lost his home and country.
  • Papa Wolf: When Olivia's father and half-sister, both of whom are wealthy royalty, learn that she's been financially abused and neglected, they use all the power they have to rescue Olivia from her horrible living situation as soon as she states that she wants to live with them.
  • Perspective Flip: Of Royal Wedding, this time from Olivia's perspective.
  • Playing Possum: Subverted; Justin assumes that Olivia does this after Annabelle knocks her to the ground with one punch, but Olivia really couldn't get up for a few minutes.
  • Secret Other Family: Downplayed; Philippe never told anyone about Olivia and her mother because her mother asked to keep it a secret so that she and her daughter could have a normal life. He said that he wanted to marry her, but she refused, the way Helen did initially. The secret flies out the window when Mia rescues Olivia from Annabelle; the press is more reasonable when Olivia explains that her dad was respecting her deceased mother's wishes. In addition, Philippe and Mia gain custody of her using their lawyers and the evidence that Olivia is being neglected, with Mia stating sincerely that she always wanted a little sister.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Annabelle is able to run roughshod over everyone at school because her father will sue anyone and everyone who tries to curb her in the slightest.
  • Tap on the Head: Justified since the one doing the tapping was a preteen; Olivia, according to X-Rays and her bodyguards, doesn't have a concussion after Annabelle punches her, but she needs a few minutes to get up and her nose is bleeding heavily.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Grandmere under Olivia's influence, as shown in Royal Day Out. She even quits smoking for Olivia's sake and lets the latter draw animals on her nicotine patches.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Philippe, Mia and Grandmere try to impress this onto Olivia as she's trying to adjust to the princess lifestyle. She finally shows off her Silk Hiding Steel by maintaining her composure after Annabelle punches her (even while recovering from having been knocked dizzy by said punch, complete with briefly being unable to stand and seeing stars) and then telling off her relatives at the end of Book One.
  • You Know What You Did: Annabelle tells this to Olivia in Book One, knocking her down for seemingly no reason. Olivia wonders what she did wrong. Annabelle before attempting to pound her then calls Olivia a liar for saying her dad is an archaeologist, saying that Philippe is a prince, which makes Olivia a princess.