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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
Queen of Babble in the Big City - Meg Cabot Book Two has a few better things going for it than the first one, but hoo boy. There’s still a lot of things I complained about from the first book that carry over into this.I really didn’t like that Lizzie starts off the book by talking about how awesome it is to have Luke as a boyfriend. Not because they’re compatible, not because the sex is good, it’s because he’s loaded. And wants to be a doctor. Mostly loaded. Also, he’s descended from royalty. Head, Desk; Desk, Head. I think you’ve met.What I do like about this set-up, though, is that Lizzie’s fairy tale fantasy slowly gets stripped away over the course of this book (and the next one) and how it doesn’t really work in the real world. When Luke WTFs at Lizzie’s freakout over not getting an engagement ring, it feels like an authentic reaction. Unfortunately, I really don’t know who I’m supposed to be siding with in these books, Lizzie or the other characters. Lizzie feels compelled to remind us all the time about how she’s so levelheaded and much more capable than her sisters, but she falls into the trap of becoming completely obsessed with whatever guy she’s with at the moment and thinking that he’s absolutely perfect. Not that I’m disparaging against hasty relationships, but I find it a bit irritating that Lizzie considers herself above her sisters, who get married the moment they’re pregnant, but she’s willing to slap a ring on after three months.It’s the obsession with weddings that also bothers me, but more about the point of the books. The hook for the series is that Lizzie’s such a blabmouth that it nearly ruins her life. But after the first book, this element is pretty much dropped. And a lot of Lizzie’s big moments in the series revolve around a wedding or fixing up someone else’s wedding dress. If she’s so obsessed with weddings and getting married, why not shift the focus to that? You can still have all of the plot elements, just make her issue that she tends to say the wrong thing to ruin a relationship. I know “Queen of Babble” is catchy, but it quickly becomes an artifact title. On a completely different tangent, Shari’s coming out subplot was another thing that grated on my nerves. The book was originally released in 2007; I think even by then we were beyond the reaction of “OMG, my best friend is gay! Did they ever think of me that way? Oh, God! Am I secretly their type???” If these two friends were really that close, this wouldn’t be the automatic reaction. Same goes with Chaz and Luke’s repeated “Are you sure you two didn’t experiment?” (Which, for the record, no. JUST NO.*) And after all of that, the revelation just comes out of nowhere. It’s never hinted in the first book that Shari’s bi, but all of the sudden Lizzie goes, “Well, there’s all of these questionable times with other women that I remember…” Foreshadowing is used for a reason; otherwise, these plot twists come off as cheap and pointless. The only reason it’s here is so that Chaz can be freed up for a love triangle in the final moments. Despite being Lizzie’s supportive guy friend. Because two heterosexual adults can’t be friends without sexual tension. Ever. (Somebody please kill this with fire.)Overall, the same problem persists in this book as the first one—it resorts to generic chick lit tropes. I’ve read nearly every Meg Cabot book and I know she can do better than this. If anything, the first two books should have been one, detailing the initial start to Lizzie and Luke’s relationship and then going into why it wouldn’t work. The third book would have come as more of a surprise if she had gone this route instead of going into another freaking trilogy. *For a better take that on this idea, refer to Libba Bray’s brilliant Beauty Queens. #shamelesspimping