The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Posted October 26, 2018 by Amber in Reviews / 2 Comments

The Princess Diarist

The Princess Diarist

by Carrie Fisher

Publisher: Blue Rider Press on October 18, 2016
Genre: Autobiography, Biography, Memoir, Romance
Target Age Group: Adult
Rating: ★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.


My initial impression of The Princess Diarist is that while Carrie Fisher was not ungrateful for her life and the opportunities she had, she would have been so much happier if her place had been a bit more out of the spotlight. I think that’s fair.  We have such high expectations of celebrities to be these energetic, philosophical, kind people that sometimes we forget they are human.  And humans come in all different shapes and sizes.  Personally, I can’t imagine my entire life being defined by something I did when I was 19.

Don’t go into this book looking for an inside scoop on the filming of Star Wars, because you won’t find that here.  In The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher talks a little about the film, but she talks more about her relationship with Princess Leia.  It’s the story of growing up and finding herself and her continual struggles with self-worth and being constantly in the public eye.  And, it’s how she became Leia and Leia became her.  There’s a kind, forgiving tale about her brief affair with Harrison Ford, lyrical excerpts from her diary, and the awkward dance of interacting with fans.

I really liked this memoir.  It’s a bit scattered, and you can feel Carrie’s discomfort.  Where her journal entries – only intended for her own eyes – are lyrical and poetic, the non-fiction sections are choppy and awkward.  I love that.  I know it’s not the most polished writing style, but it really gives the impression of listening to a real person tell her story.  Carrie breaks off at times to be sarcastic, she uncomfortably degrades herself… she feels human.  I guess to some, this voice could come off as aloof or snobbish, but I get her.  Or, at least, I think I do.  She reads like an introvert was handed a microphone and an enraptured audience and she’s halfway been trying to decide if she has the courage to say something meaningful, or if she’s gonna book it offstage and hide in the alley.

It’s real.  And while there are other memoirs I enjoy, Carrie’s voice is so fresh.  I’m so glad I read this book.  the content was interesting, but honestly, I felt like I could just listen to her unwillingly tell stories forever.  Loved it.

Ratings Breakdown

Writing: ★★★★
Pacing: ★★★
Delivery: ★★★★★
Detail: ★★★★
Subject: ★★★
Narrator: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★

4 Star Rating


Are you a Star Wars fan?

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2 responses to “The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

  1. I just finished this book earlier this month! It was soooo good. I was tearing up reading all of her poetry about Harrison Ford. I really like what you said about her private writing being real and her actual writing being choppy. It was so beautiful to glimpse inside her mind. I don’t usually read memoirs, but I love Star Wars, so I picked this one up. (Also, if you like YA and Star Wars, Claudia Grey has some really good Star Wars books, especially Lost Stars) I’m glad you enjoyed it, too. 🙂

    • Amber

      I’ve read some of the YA Star Wars books and the expanded universe – I was really into that in high school! Unfortunately, they didn’t really hold up for me as an adult, not to mention they’re no longer canon with the sequels. 😛 I’m glad you loved it – I think it must be a great experience reading the physical book because there are all sorts of pictures! You may enjoy the audiobook version, because Carrie read it herself. 🙂