The Princess Diarist

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I Used to Think I Liked Carrie Fisher; Now I Like Her Even More

This book is the curated, (by Carrie at age 60), diary of Carrie Fisher at age 19. Young Carrie is naive, relatively inexperienced, and about to become Princess Leia.

After a charming modern intro, Fisher tells us a bit about the lead up to her Star Wars role and about how she became the iconic Leia character. We then switch, though, to the diaries Carrie kept during filming, and this means we focus on the affair, (I guess they call it a "locationship" in Hollywood-speak), that young Carrie had with older, married Harrison Ford during the shoot.

The result is a combination of raw, dreamy, romantic, brutally practical, clear-eyed, messy, sad, funny and delusional youthful reflections, all filtered through the memory and hard won experience of an older and wiser, but still funny, sardonic and deeply honest woman. 

This is not some variety of Leia/Solo fan fiction. It's real and unvarnished, (O.K., probably slightly varnished), and it is touching and authentic. As I noted, I now appreciate Ms. Fisher even more.

(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
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As a lifelong fan of Star Wars, I was thrilled to read Carrie Fisher's newest release, and it did not disappoint! The book contains pages from her actual diary that she kept throughout the filming of Star Wars. It was quite interesting to read her own shock and surprise at how the movies really took off and became such a cultural phenomenon. I had no idea the cast originally never thought the movie would become anything, which was a very unique perspective to read. I'm incredibly saddened by her passing, but fans and readers will forever be grateful that she graced us with this book before she left us.
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The Princess Diarist by the late Carrie Fisher is a poignant work.    On the one hand, written and published while she was still alive, the book reveals more about her relationship with her mother, Debbie Reynolds, as well as her period of growing up from a young adolescent into young woman.  As with her other works, this story is told with a wry sense of humor.

The first half of this book is wonderful for the reasons describes as well as for the "what is was like" behind the scenes tales from her first Star Wars film.  Included in this section and revealed for the first time was Carrie's affair with the then married Harrison Ford.  All of this works. For me the book failed in its attempt to go even more personal, or to fill up additional pages, which are reprints in picture and in word Carrie's diary musings from the period.  Wonderful in some ways, and perhaps many will love this aspect of the book.  For me, reading someone's inner thoughts is not something that interests me so this part of the book failed.

Still, as this is her last written work, if you are a fan of her, of Star Wars, even of Debbie Reynolds, you will like this book on some level.
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When I found out that The Princess Diarist was available on Netgalley, I just had to request it! I’ve been in love with Star Wars since I was a child and I was devastated when I heard the news that Carrie Fisher died. I’m so happy that I got the chance to read The Princess Diarist in advance and keep on reading to find out my opinion and thoughts!

The Princess Diarist is a sort of biography about Carrie Fisher and Star Wars. The Princess Diarist gives some behind-the-scenes information during the making of Star Wars, a secret between Carrie and Harrison Ford and some excerpts of her diary.

If you’re a Star Wars fan and you want to know more about Carrie Fisher and some behind-the-scenes stuff, then this is your book! I loved reading The Princess Diarist and it even made me want to watch the movies again! The Princess Diarist gives us so much more than we actually knew about Carrie Fisher. I’m really happy that we got to read some excerpts of her diary. I know she’s bipolar and that she had some addictions, and those diary excerpts made it all so clear. I don’t really know how to explain myself, but while reading those excerpts, it felt like I got to know her a lot better. I’ve always been a fan of her because she’s my Princess Leia and now after reading The Princess Diarist, I feel like the chapter of her life is finally closed. I don’t mean that I’m going to forget her or anything, but I was really sad when Carrie Fisher died, and reading The Princess Diarist is like closure for me.

I can’t say enough how much I loved The Princess Diarist and I highly recommend it to all the Star Wars fans!
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This was an extremely difficult title for me to work up to finally reading, as the death of Carrie Fisher hit me very hard.  All I really knew going in was the original marketing of this as Fisher's previously forgotten diaries from Star Wars, with the promise of a behind the scenes look at filming the series, and a (brief?) reveal of a Harrison Ford affair.  This is the kind of marketing I despise, the kind that sells the story they want and not the one actually on the page.  This really has nothing to do with Star Wars other than providing some context as to the time.  The diaries in question contain a series of musings, poems, and introspection about the affair--at least that's the content of the published version.  I had thought the affair would have just been a quick reveal before moving on to the next topic, but instead it's the basis for the entire middle.  Thankfully, there are very few details of what occurred between Fisher and Ford, but the diaries reveal a heartbreaking window into a Carrie Fisher at age 19 trying to process this relationship with a much older, married co-star.  It's a memoir of a very specific moment in time, book-ended by her life both pre/post Star Wars, respectively.  With the bookends, there really isn't anything new that hasn't been said in either interviews or her previous memoirs.  There are some off the cuff mentions of how she or her words will be seen after her death, which while meant humorously just gave me chills and added to the overall sadness I felt reading.  That's the feeling I was left with predominantly throughout the read, both that Fisher is no longer with us but also for that 19 year old girl who was completely out of her element, taken advantage of, and floundering.
All of the above said, I didn't care of this book when compared to the stellar Wishful Drinking; the tone felt all over the place and quite frankly I wanted the book the marketing campaign told me this would be.
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This story had me from the first page! I absolutely LOVE Carrie's wry wit and sense of humor! It is a story of a young girl who was given a role in the most iconic film of all time (in my humble opinion). I absolutely love the way Carrie writes and can't believe, I haven't ever read one of her other books. She tells the story of a young girl unprepared for the fame such a film would create. She also tells the story of her childhood, being the offspring of famous parents, and the reality of divorce and changes coming with age. Most of the story centers around her off screen affair with a married Harrison Ford. She tells the story with her usual snarkyness and humor. If you are expecting a Star Wars story, sorry, there are some hints but it is not the main story line, I received a copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Carrie Fisher's voice is precious, smart, startling, and irreverent. The Princess Diarist is the perfect companion to Fisher's masterfully funny, wry, and surprising memoir, Wishful Drinking.
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I was really disappointed with this book! I got through it rather quickly. Fisher's writing is very funny and witty. I enjoyed that aspect very much. My problem with this book was that it was ALL just about her affair with Harrison Ford. I get it, you had an affair. This book should have just been titled "Affair with Ford." Although, it shows a very strange side to Harrison Ford, not in the best way, I was expecting so much more. I was thinking this would be about back stage happenings, while working on the film. Nope, it's all about her affair with Ford and how he didn't love her back at all. It's very funny  but quite misleading. I will dearly miss her, RIP but this was not her best work.
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If you are a Star Wars fan, you need to read this book. And if you are not, you need to read it anyway. 
Carrie Fischer is an excellent writer: when you read the book it seems that she is with you, she is looking at you. Her great sense of humour comes out in the book and even her sadness when she shares her memories with us: her relationship with Leia, with the entertainement, the fans and Harrison. She decides to hide nothing., and I really appreciate that. She will be missed but never forgotten.
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In 1977 when Star Wars IV: A New Hope came out my husband and I were in our mid-twenties. We loved the movie but not as much as the youth we were working with. The teens bragged about how many times they had seen the movie. The movie was more than a hit, it transformed culture. 

Fast forward ten or more years, and our son was sick and restless. I brought out the Star Wars trilogy VCR tapes to entertain him. After viewing the first movie, he told me, "Thank you."

The movie is a touchstone for so many who remember when they first saw it as vividly as recalling where we were on 9-11 or the day President Kennedy was shot.

Princess Leia was a different kind of heroine, the kind I had found lacking when I was growing up in the 1950s. In my make-believe play I was always a cowboy because the cowgirls were weak and needed to be rescued. I resented it when Leia was turned into a sex object, barely dressed in that uncomfortable metal bikini.

Later, we were into Joseph Campbell and loved how the story of Luke Skywalker was a secular manifestation of the eternal hero myth.

We were fans of all the Harrison Ford movies-- from Indiana Jones to Witness. But I never idolized Mark Harmon or Harrison Ford or Carrie Fisher like many did, or do. Over the years I read about Carrie's books and saw her in a few movies and heard about her personal battles. I'm not really a Hollywood bio book fan, so I did not pay much attention to The Princess Diarist until I read such glowing reviews.

I had requested The Princess Diarist through NetGalley before Carrie's death, based on the reviews I had read. Just last week I was notified that I was granted access to the book.

I always give a new book a glance. Sometimes, I keep reading, hooked. This was one of those times. I read the book in a few sittings.

"...if I didn't write about it someone else would." from The Princess Diarist

Earlier this year on my blog I shared memories of my teen years, drawing from the diaries I kept beginning at age 13. Carrie started writing at age 12, about the time I did. I found myself relating to the Carrie. At age nineteen, she was self-deprecating, uncertain, wanting to appear wordily yet wanting to be loved. How secure could a teenager be when the first thing she is told is to lose ten pounds before filming!

The memoir begins with Carrie retelling her back story, getting the role, and how her affair with Harrison Ford began. Her writing is direct with a touch of humor, and an objectivity made possible by the passing of time. Carrie admits she went into filming hoping to have an affair; there was one boyfriend in her past. Harrison was fifteen years older, and married, and not on her radar although he struck her as the iconic Hollywood star. He made her nervous and left her feeling awkward. 

The next section is from the diary she kept during the filming of Star Wars: IV. The diary excerpts offer insight into her nineteen-year-old mind. It is quite heartbreaking and poignant, consisting of poems and thoughts reflecting hard lessons about love. She chose to be with Harrison, but chastised herself for choosing obsession and over emotional investment. There was no future with Harrison, their relationship without real meaning.

Teenage Carrie had great self-awareness about her choices but lacked an ability for self-determination. She has little confidence and feels worthless. She is playing at being someone she is not, and is unable to demand what she needs from the relationship. Harrison has strong boundaries, revealing little; the strong, silent type. Writing keeps Carrie together. When filming on location came to an end, Harrison returned to his family.

Forty years on, Carrie can reflect on her "very long one-night stand" and their one-sided love affair objectively. It's all in the past, she remarks, "and who gives a shit?"

The memoir next shifts to how the Princess Leia role took over Carrie's life and how she coped with the fame and demands it brought: being accessible to fans and signing autographs, listening to the stories of worship, making money off the fans, the endless Comic-Con conventions. Carrie grows old, but Princess Leia does not, and a young fan complained, "I want the other Leia, not the old one." But fans also shared stories that warmed her heart and made her feel good.

I loved the story of people asking her, "Well, you wanted to be in show business," so accept the negative side of fame. That lack of empathy riled me. I was asked a similar question once. I complained about the frequent moves and lack of self-determination that came with my husband being in the pastoral ministry. "You married a minister. You knew what you were getting into," the lady told me. "I was nineteen and had no idea about itineracy," I retorted.

We make decisions at age nineteen feeling very grown up and worldly, and then realize how little we understand about the world, or about ourselves. Carrie didn't set out to become a famous Hollywood actress. And she was not prepared.

Last of all, Carrie ruminates, sobbing, on her iconic role. What would she be if not Princess Leia? "Just me."

Find Carrie Fisher's website here.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
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Reading this book after the death of Carrie Fisher was so sad. I am a huge star wars fan as well as a Carrier Fisher fan so this book was extra sad. You really get a feel of the burden of  her mental illness and how it haunted Carrie each day. I really hope and pray that she is finally able to rest now on the other side.
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To sum up the review in a few words I found the story to be spiteful, sad, Mental Illness need to be discussed without fear of judgement. 

As a reader and fan I am not sure how I feel about this books.
Carrie Fisher starts off talking about how she found a dairy she kept during her years in playing the iconic role of Princess Leia.  
Most of life story isn't any new in fact most of it has been covered at one point or another in gossip rags or her personal interviews.  She really doesn't going into detail about her drug use or the years of electro-convulsive therapy. I had to look up to better understand what it was.  Readers will wonder how much of what she is writing true or false memories.

There is juice information in the book on her affair with Harrison Ford as a young 19 year old girl.   It is interesting to see how as a young adult she romanticized the relationship that was for merely loneliness and not love.
What I can take away from the story is people could see the warning signs of Mental Illness from the beginning but didn't find the helped needed until it was very late in life.  While people might find this story humors and there are funny moments its also a sad look in the world of fame. 
The story forced too much on the affair as if she wanted to call out Harrison Ford or hurt him. 
I also found the story interesting it was written to me out of spite with some angry tones throughout the book.
It was written well enough and by no mean a best seller Autobiography.  The Princess Diariest is what it is nothing exciting nothing more than a dairy of a young adult living in a world of fame, and given anything you wanted. 
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for a copy to review.
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This was my first Carrie Fisher book and unfortunately I was not as impressed as I was hoping to be. The book is very short, and mainly centers around her *spoilers* affair with Harrison Ford during the filming of Star Wars. He has not said too much on the subject but I have to think that he was pretty angry about this book and its story. 

Her writing is funny at times, and very open. I love everything Princess Leia so I enjoyed hearing her view on the character and playing her, i would have liked more of that.

I will be checking out her other books.
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I really enjoyed reading The Princess Diarist. I am a huge Star Wars fan and a huge fan of Carrie Fisher. It was a no brainer to read this book. I really enjoyed the book and read it in a day.
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A lot of this book was difficult to read coming on her fairly recent and very premature passing.  Not because she explores new memories (which, honestly, she really doesn't) but because we see a very insecure person grappling with a hindsight perspective on her life. Most of the book is a long series of existential musings.  The diary parts are mostly about musings if she deserves Harrison Ford as a lover and as such is the reason for the book (the diary she found mostly explored the philosophical side of their relationship).  But honestly, actual facts or memories are scarce - it's mostly about what it means to be Carrie before Leia (first third), her feelings of the affair with Harrison (middle part), and then thoughts about the fandom (last part).

The book gives a bit of musings about where she was in her head leading up to Star Wars.  A bit about her audition but also with the admission that marijuana usage meant she doesn't remember much of the time. But she starts with the abandonment and the trauma that caused by her father when he publicly left her mother for Elizabeth Taylor when she was four.  Then briefly about the Shampoo gig.  Then auditioning for Star Wars.  Those are the only facts really in about 100 pages - the rest feels like ramblings.

The middle of the book is excerpts from her diary at the time.  And most of it looks like this: "We have no feeling for one another. We lie buried together during the night and haunt each other by the day. Acting out something that we don't feel and seeing through something that doesn't deserve any focus. I have never done anything quite like this."  It's a lot of philosophical ramblings about the nature of her relationship with Harrison Ford - never really any concrete memories so much as what you just read.  I don't think she even used the word sex - instead saying they were creating sequels or somesuch.  After awhile, it felt rambling.  There is also a lot of existential poetry about the relationship that is more of the same.  E.g., this one from later in the book:

Your once upon a time is up
Prince Charming's been abducted
Tinkerbell's on angel dust
The Matterhorn's erupted

Your once upon a time is up
Tammy's talking dirty,
Dumbo has a Ph.D
Lei's age is 2 x 30.

The last portion of the book also became very rambling about the fandom.  E.g., she spends pages and pages paraphrasing everything she's ever heard at a signing at a con and condensed it into one fan's incoherent dialogue with her - it doesn't feel real at all and more her poking fun at the fans.  I would rather have had more personal memories of individuals rather than summing it up into pointlessness she hears.  It is obvious the cons caused her a lot of pain because of the self esteem issues - from little kids being scared of her for not being the young movie person, to not wanting pictures taken because they reminded her of her age or weight hang ups (or knowing how they were used by pubescent boys and men everywhere).

There is a lot of insight here of Carrie as a person and the issues she grappled with throughout her life.  There is honestly not that much substantive about Stars Wars, Shampoo, her co workers, etc. I found it interesting that she could write 30 pages of the affair with Harrison and the only thing really concrete was that she knew he didn't return her young crush and would return to his wife at the end of the shoot.  Yet she perhaps gives him more kindness than he may deserve for the time.  Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.
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DNF so will not be rating or reviewing. Thank you for the opportunity to review this title.
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I've always heard that Carrie Fisher is an excellent author. This book didn't disappoint. It was hilarious and well written. Most of the story centers around Star Wars and her affair with Harrison Ford. Fisher goes into enough detail to give you a good picture, but not make things awkward and uncomfortable. I loved it and can't wait to read another book by Carrie Fisher.
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I had requested this book about the time Carrie and her Mother passed away so was surprised and glad to get it. This is Carrie in her own irreverent, sarcastic and sometimes self deprecating way sharing her memories with us. She shares her experience of being chosen as a young inexperienced girl to play the role of Leia, a role she will be identified with for the rest of her life. 

Carrie definitely didn't take life seriously. She was the product of an unconventional upbringing by a neglectful Father and a Mother who wasn't your typical housewife. Carrie also suffered from undiagnosed mental illness for many years. I think that maybe her sense of humor, sometimes at her own suspense, was a self defense mechanism. She definitely had a great sense of humor which comes thru in this book. This book will put a smile on your face at times, but in view of the tragic nature of her early death, it is also sad. I will miss her voice, in words and her stand up acts.  Thank you to net galley for a copy of this book.
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Fisher (1956-2016) was known for her trademark style of humorous candid monologue and snappy one- liners. In her final entertaining memoir , “The Princess Diarist” recalls her unexpected rise to super stardom as Princess Leia on the 1977 international 20th Century Fox blockbuster Star Wars series-- directed by George Lucas,  starring Harrison Ford as Han Solo and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.

In 1976, Fisher was 19 years old when she was chosen for the part as Princess Leia while attending Film School in London. Princess Leia's double bun hairstyle took two hours to create and had to remain exactly in place even during battle scenes. Fisher said she wore enough lip gloss to "wax a car" and feared Darth Vader would slip on it and fall into his breathing machine! Fisher was grateful for the role that made her a household name, loved her fans, attended comic-cons and signed autographs for free on several occasions. One of her youngest fans, perhaps a 3 year old tot, was shocked and dismayed to see Princess Leia had aged-- and was not the Princess Leia she expected to see.
Aside from George Lucas 32nd Birthday Bash celebration, Fisher didn’t write much about going out on the town, meeting new people, and have fun taking in the sights as a typical starlet her age might have done.  Indeed, this was an exciting time of her life.
Affairs between already married leading men and ladies have been around since the opening of the first movie/picture cinemas. Despite Fisher's youthful witty banter, her poetry, quotes, and storyline-- there was an impressionable, sensitive, and vulnerable young woman, in love with her much older married co-star. Confused and baffled by Ford's cold silence and retreating indifference, she was made aware he did not love her back. This seemed unbelievably heartless and cruel.  Fisher declined to say if she received any advice from her mother or close friends during this time. If she had been Ford's equal in age and maturity, this affair may not have happened. 
Star Wars fans will not want to miss “The Princess Diarist” enhanced with many great photos throughout the book. Fisher wrote four bestselling novels, “Postcards From the Edge” (1990) was made into a movie. Celebrated for her comedy routines and shows, the acts featured both her previous memoirs: “Wishful Drinking” (2008) and “Shockaholic” (2012). Fisher will always be remembered for her support and advocacy in mental health causes, and greatly missed by family, friends and fans.  ** With thanks and appreciation to Blue Rider Press New York via NetGalley for the direct e-copy for the purpose of review.
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It's great to hear Carrie's voice come through the pages. Funny and poignant all at once.
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