Author: Meg Cabot
Series/Standalone: Series Book #1 of 3
Genre: Adult, Romance, Chick-Lit, Comedy
Everyone has that one guilty pleasure and I am no exception as I occasionally dust off a good old Meg Cabot novel from my book shelf. Cabot, queen of teen chick lit, is known for her approachable and very modern writing style as she often uses colloquial, modern language. Usually, her characters are incredibly relatable and endearing. I’m not ashamed to say that favourites have included the Mediator and Princesses Diaries series. Now that I’m 21 however, I feel I’m a little too, ahem, mature (for lack of a better term) to be reading these such books. However, I decided to turn to some of Cabot’s more “Adult” fiction, Queen of Babble. And boy was I disappointed.
Let’s rewind slightly first; Lizzie Nichols is the Queen of chatter and babble; somehow she always manages to put her foot in it. When the opportunity for Lizzie to spend a romantic European, summer with her long-distant boyfriend arises, she just can’t wait. But maybe her idealistic summer may not turn out how she expected thanks to her big mouth.
One of the major flaws of Queen of Babble is that it is EXACTLY THE SAME AS EVERY OTHER MEG CABOT NOVEL! As in the main character, had the exact same characteristics as Mia in the Princess’s Diaries or Suze in the Mediator Series. Secondly, the plot is that predictable that it is tiresome.
Cabot appears to believe that any female character who is clumsy and has the tendency to put her foot in her mouth or make some huge embarrassing mistake is endearing. While at times this is completely relatable for young girls like myself, after a while, it’s disappointing that this is the only variety of female character Cabot is able to “create”. Secondly, the plot is completely predictable and I would have thought that with this being an adult book and not a teenage one, Cabot would have perhaps developed from the typical structure she had established for herself , at least finding some way of adding variety. Another element that I have found incredibly frustrating about Cabot’s writing is the way in which she stereotypes any foreign or non-American character as antagonistic.
Whilst I’m pretty frustrated over these elements to the novel, one aspect I did enjoy was Cabot’s ability to portray Lizzie’s career limbo, something I completely related and I know a lot of other girls in a similar position would find to be unique to such a novel.
Whilst I’ve pretty much torn this book apart, I’m starting to believe its “me not you” situation. Perhaps it isn’t Cabot’s fault she’s stuck to the status quo but my own. Maybe, instead of reading the same type of chick-lit novels over and over again, I should spice up my “to be read” list. So as of now, I will attempt to read as many books as possible out of my own comfort zone. However, I’ll always know, that should I ever return, Meg Cabot and her multitude of teen and chick-lit books will be waiting for me snuggly on my bookshelf accompanied with a hot chocolate and a duvet.
The Bug’s Verdict: 6/10