In fact, it actually took me less than a day, as I finished Lauren Graham's book in the morning and started on this one on the tube while heading to the London office. For me, the best part of having to travel to and from London in a day is the opportunity to devour books on the train and while waiting at the station. This spare time, coupled with how easy the book was to read, meant I managed to get through Carrie Fisher's final memoir quickly and with only a few tears.
I actually ordered this book back when it was first released but had an absolute nightmare getting it. It sold out fairly quickly and then, following Fisher's death, it became even more difficult to find. It finally arrived this month and has been near the top of my pile of books to read, but as it had only been a few weeks since Fisher died, I couldn't quite bring myself to read something that had her very distinctive voice.
Unless you've had your head in the sand over the last month, you'll know that the book gives details about the affair that Fisher had with Harrison Ford during the filming of Star Wars: A New Hope (which was just Star Wars back then). I didn't realise just how much of the book was dedicated to this and thought there would be more details about Fisher's other experiences during filming.
While the book includes details on how she got into acting, despite being adamant that she would not follow her in her mother's footsteps, and how she bagged the role of Princess Leia Organa - who would then become General Organa - the vast majority of the story is her remembering her affair with Ford. The number of pages given to this, as well as the way she talks about it, show you just how important those few months were to her. She was only young when it happened, so it makes sense that it was a sort of life-defining few months for her.
On top of this, you get an insight into how confused the whole situation made her. She loved Ford and he let her, although they never really spoke about it. To see how close they were later on and what good friends they remained is brilliant as they never let their three months together get in the way of something better. Of course, alongside all of this, you also get all the typical teenage angst about looks, relationships and other people's opinion, which makes the story really relatable - even if you didn't have an affair with Harrison Ford while filming one of the biggest films in history.
It's worth noting that you don't get much insight into Ford or what he was thinking, as anything more would just have been guesswork on Fisher's part. She does go on to say what a great guy he is and how much better she came to know him, so don't get too mad at the almost silent married man starting an affair with a teenager. Fisher also treats him and the story with a lot of respect, so anything that is guessed at or vaguely remembered has a note so you don't treat it as total fact.
The way Fisher talks about herself and how she thought of herself back then really resonated with me as it was so similar in a lot of ways to how I viewed myself in my teens and how many other people are likely to have seen themselves. I love that although she was negative about herself when she was younger, she grew to see how amazing, smart and beautiful she actually was. This is made clear and reiterated throughout the book, which I think is a really great message.
As well as the story itself and the diary extracts - which are brilliantly written and shows just how beyond her years Fisher was in some ways when filming Star Wars - The Princess Diarist is full of the wit that I came to love from Carrie. It is genuinely funny and completely written in her voice, tangents and random notes and all. It felt like she was reading it to me, which is probably why I managed to get through it so quickly. I wanted to get onto the next page and the next, which meant I powered through it but didn't feel like I missed anything in doing so. In fact, it kind of felt like it was written specifically to be read like that.
I have read one of Fisher's books before and can tell you that her writing only got better and better. I'm sad that she isn't around to publish the full Star Wars diaries like she says she might in the book, but I kind of like the fact that no one will really know what she was thinking during that time in full.
Finally, I love that the book ends talking about the respect that she has for fans - in her typical funny way. Yes, she may explain the distaste she had for paid-for autograph signings, but this was never because she didn't want to talk to her fans. It made me wish I had had a chance to meet her in person because she understood how much her films and her role as Leia meant to people, even if she couldn't quite work out why it meant so much.
If you're a fan of Carrie Fisher and also love the original Star Wars films as much as I do - which I think is fairly hard to do - then this is worth a read.