Spoilers for Old Series Ahead
Also this is a long post so grab a cup of tea or hot chocolate.
Have you read The Princess Diaries series? If you’ve watched my YT videos or read my blog then you know that I love Meg Cabot, I absolutely love her! She was one of my favourite authors as a teenager.
Now I find out sis writes adult books too and I am about to be all over that! Anyone who knows me in real life… Meg is always a good option for a gift.
Anyway, I read them books, ate them up and the character that shocked me the most was JP.
I could sit here on my high horse and be like, “I totally saw him coming”. But I can honestly say I did not! I did not see him coming. I was blindsided… Meg really got me!
So let’s talk about it.
The first thing we learn about him is that he is a loner. He first shows up in book two but doesn’t stick around and gets referred to as the Guy Who Hates It When They Put Corn In The Chilli.
For the two years he was in high school, no one invited him to sit with them at lunch… no one and all because of the corn incident? That’s kind of sus.
It was nice to know, later on, that his dad actually cared enough to consider moving him before Mia reached out a hand to JP.
But seriously… no one?!
So he starts his campaign for Mia in book seven after he show of kindness. How did he know that Mia’s favourite play was Beauty and the Beast? Was this written in an article somewhere? And if it was it shows he researched her. Not only that but he had the exact same notebook as hers to write his thoughts into… when I say I rolled my eyes so hard at that re reading the books. He also, shocker of shocks, loves Beauty and the Beast too!
Really JP? Do ya?!
That was our first red flag.
JP grew up around celebrities and so he knew how to work them, is my theory. Also he says Mia is just like everyone else in book seven showing, he didn’t see her as the individual she was but as a celebrity… as a ticket to fame.
Now, this isn’t a red flag but Tina could see that JP had a crush on Mia. She said he kept watching her and even Lilly knew that JP liked Mia which is why she wanted to publish Mia’s short story.
But, in the end, they both listened to Mia instead of their accurate instincts and believed he was into Lilly all along! Ooh, this is the beginning of the injustice done to Tina and her keen, keen, senses.
Our second red flag is how he treats Lilly in book eight.
First, she dyes her hair because JP likes blondes. Oooooh, never change yourself for a man or anyone for that matter, *African aunty mode* never!!
Second, he never calls her his girlfriend and he doesn’t introduce her as such. I don’t know how I didn’t find that sus the first time I read that book. I was so wrapped up in Mia and Michael that I didn’t clock that!!
Or perhaps I thought it was because they were still early on in their relationship.
But at this point they’ve been together a whole summer… how is she not your girlfriend?
Third, when Lilly says, “I love you,” JP says, “Thank you.”
Honestly, Meg was making it abundantly clear to us but we missed all the clear warning signs. And I would like to take time out to say, again, Tina called it. Tina called it and yet Mia didn’t listen to her. She even mocked her… well more like she was condescending and that annoyed me.
How many times has Tina been right? Many. How many times has Mia been right? Once and that was after years.
I think, a possible reason (apart from the fact I was a teenager reading this) is that we are reading in Mia’s perspective and so when she tells us with conviction JP is just emotionally repressed and needs time to warm up… we believe her.
Also, we’ve been fed rom coms with similar storylines where it works out in the end so… who can blame us?
Red Flag Number Ten is that JP was clearly, CLEARLY, flirting with Mia the whole time. Kenny saw it. He knew what was up. Mia should have listened to Kenny. He’d been nothing but nice and honest.
Also the events of book eight happened in a week.
Teenage-hood, what a time. Everything feels more intense back then. It’s like if one thing goes wrong your world is ending when really, it’s not.
I mean take book eight Mia and book ten Mia, a vast difference.
They all reacted with their emotions and not their head, Mia, Lilly and Michael. If they had had their heads screwed on they would have realised they were being played by JP. Perhaps Michael knew, especially when he saw JP kiss Mia.
How could Lilly think Mia would kiss JP of her own free will though? They were really going through it to have missed the signs.
Michael should have told Mia sooner about his virginity but to be honest she never did ask him clearly. So, take away number one: always ask if it is important to you and ask in clear language not using slang because, for example, hook up means different things to different people.
I personally think Meg broke up Michael and Mia because of the age difference. It was fine when they were in high school but with Michael in college it was getting awkward.
It’s like watching Clueless and thinking, “Should they be dating? She’s sixteen and he’s in college?” We didn’t think that as kids but as we get older we do think about it. Plus, Meg does address the age of consent thing. Of course, people have sex before they turn eighteen but if Michael and Mia had stayed together… eh it would have been a Clueless situation.
Back to JP. He was more calculated than I remember. He really doubled down on it as book eight ended. First, he knew Michael was there and he purposefully kissed Mia. Two, he accused Kenny of doing the very thing he was doing to deflect the suspicion off him and three, he made sure he got to Lilly first so he could get in her head and sprout poison.
He also made sure to take advantage of Mia’s emotional state so she wouldn’t be thinking clearly as he told her his lies. He told her he didn’t dump Lilly and had been falling in love with her steadily.
I wish Tina would have thrown hands because only she would have smelled the bullshit. She may be a romantic but she got 20/20 vision!
Wow, he was good and for what? This is high school man, why are you so calculated?
I would love a character study on JP, what was his real personality? I fear only Lilly knows.
And honestly, even if she was being played, Mia shouldn’t have believed JP. The way Lilly cried to her… was that not a red flag that something was amiss? Also, Lilly, a confident girl, was not acting like herself… again, is that not a red flag? But like I said Mia was going through it and not thinking clearly and JP took advantage of that.
Also Mia tends to believe the best in people all the time and sometimes it backfires… like here.
The funny thing to me is that JP was trying so hard to be with Mia when sis 100% felt nothing for him. She wasn’t even attracted to him like… it’s honestly funny. It served him right though for what he did to Lilly.
Red Flag Number Eighty Nine is Mia had a mental breakdown and needed to go to therapy. Man sees this and thinks, “This is my chance, I have got to get with her now”. And he’s so aggressive about it too. He keeps forcing the issue and pushing her. The scene that pissed me off the most was him showing up at Tina’s when Mia went there to relax like… back the f*** off!
He didn’t care about her mental health and cared more about his wants. Take away number two: stay away from people who don’t take into consideration your mental health and don’t give you the time you need to heal.
Then we have the time skip between book nine and ten. As book nine is mainly about Mia and her mental health and her fall out with Lilly we don’t focus on JP that much apart from him being super pushy.
In book ten we have an insight into the fact that Helen, Mia’s mom, was the second person to see through JP. Or was she the third person because I’m sure Boris caught on. Actually, she’s the fifth because Boris, Michael and Tina caught on. Anyway, she saw through him and commented on the fact that JP was a chameleon and that led to a fight between her and Mia.
But she was right. Man don’t have his own personality.
Seriously Lilly, let us know what he’s really like!!!
Something I love about book ten though is that JP kept telling Mia that he loved her and sis didn’t feel it… ha! Served him right! *Petty Gift makes an appearance*.
Red Flag Number One Hundred and Two, he didn’t read her book. As an author, I took that personally. It hurts when you give someone your work and they don’t read it. Then when he did read it he had the audacity to mock it! To look down on it! Honestly, I don’t think he truly read it, man skimmed!
Then as a juxtaposition Michael did read it and within twenty four hours. That, ladies and gents, is a man! A true man! And he had time to spare to get her a flash drive to protect her work.
When I say I would have married him on the spot…
Now we move on to the play which is Red Flag Number Two Hundred and Thirty Seven. That play *chuckles* it was a view into his mind I tell you. For example: the way he viewed the sexy dance scene which was honestly innocent and not that big of a deal as Mia being slutty…*side eyes*. How he was the one who stood by her even when she was a big slut (his views not mine)… it made me think, how did he actually see Mia. In his heart of hearts… did he even like her?
I 100% believe he only proposed to her because he could see that Michael was winning. Or rather that he still had her heart.
Red Flag Number Three Hundred, his reaction to Lilly’s campaign video for Mia’s dad. He said Lilly was trying to manipulate Mia as she always did as that’s what the Moscovitz’ did. Why was that where his mind immediately went? Perhaps, it’s because that is what you would do JP… projecting much? *sits back with a glass of grape juice* hmm?! *Samuel L Jackson eye squint*.
Now Mia was going to break up with JP eventually. As everyone and their momma knew Mia was not attracted to JP. She never stopped loving Michael and she was getting close to Lilly again and Lilly would have told her everything and JP would have been busted and Mia would have 100% believed Lilly over JP.
However, I find it sad that if it wasn’t for the hotel room thing she would never have figured out how much of a snake he truly was on her own. Like… really? That’s what tipped you off?
Ok, so she noticed the paparazzi thing too. Red Flag Number Four Hundred and Sixty Two, he called the paparazzi every time they went out together. Their whole relationship was a publicity stunt.
Then Mia asked Lilly and Lilly told her everything. He slept with Lilly way back between books seven and eight, knowing he didn’t love her and whilst treating her like trash. Again, Tina called it! She knew they’d had sex. Even though Mia thought Tina was naïve and lived in her romance novels or “Tina Land” it’s Mia who was naïve and innocent. Honestly, justice for Tina!
Also, Lilly back in book eight said with her own mouth that she wouldn’t tell Mia if she’d had sex because she didn’t think Mia could handle it. She basically answered Mia’s question!
However, as you read the books you realise if Mia was as quick witted as Tina then the plot would not work. We need her to be slow and to not catch on otherwise the conflict would be solved in two chapters and there’d be no book.
Also, there are people in this world who believe the best in people even when it’s not wise to do so and who are innocent or naïve. Even if you’re not you can still get played like Lilly did.
Lilly was smart, opinionated and independent. She was mean and had thick skin and JP still got to her. None of us are immune so really we’ve just got to look out for each other. If the JP storyline teaches me anything it’s listen to the signs and also if multiple people, including my mom and closest friends tell me that my boyfriend is off… amma listen. If it’s one person then it may just be their personal beef but multiple people! Nah, something is wrong.
Also, talk to your friends. You shouldn’t go to your friends with every single little problem you have in your relationship but if the signs start piling up… talk to someone or even better yet, a therapist.
Phew, Meg really went in with this plot. I love how layered it is. I love how I can go back see her setting this up from like book seven. If you haven’t already I recommend re reading the books and seeing these signs for yourself. It’s a trip.