Meg Cabot

The majority of Meg Cabot's books are pure Wordcandy. When she is at her best (the Princess Diaries series, contemporary romances like She Went All the Way and The Boy Next Door, the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series) her books are absolutely adorable--funny, unique, and smart as hell. When she's not, you're frequently left feeling like you just spent fifteen dollars for half a book. Please don't let her few missteps turn you off of her stuff entirely, but don't pin your hopes on a consistent level of quality.

Cabot has written young adult books (including some PG-13 Regency romances) under the name Meg Cabot, excellent young adult supernatural/adventure books as Jenny Carroll, contemporary adult romances as Meg and Meggin Cabot, and historical romances as Patricia Cabot, so try not to get confused. (Also, don't buy one of her adult romances for your eleven-year-old just because she dressed up as Mia from The Princess Diaries for Halloween. That would be a mistake.) The Patricia Cabot books are her weakest, although I do recommend the highly enjoyable Victorian-era romances Educating Caroline and Portrait of My Heart, despite the fact that Cabot describes the heroine of Portrait as having breasts the size of cantaloupes. Seriously. Cantaloupes.

The movie. Oh God, the movie. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read Cabot's gloriously snarky The Princess Diaries, and then watch the zealously family-friendly Disney film version. (Actually, don't.) It was a toss up as to what I found to be more painful: watching Mia (who, in the book, is a militant vegetarian) feed her stern-but-loving grandmother (in the book, she's a bitch on wheels) a corn dog, or killing Mia's father off so just so nobody would have to mention the words "testicular cancer".

Also, you used to be able to read The Boy Next Door--a romance told entirely through e-mail--on Meg's website for free. Now you have to buy a print copy, and it costs thirteen dollars. Why, Meg? Couldn't it at least have been a standard trade paperback and gone for six bucks? Did you need to pay for something important?

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    Other Recommendations:
    The Stephanie Plum series, by Janet Evanovich

    The Bridget Jones books, by Helen Fielding

    The Adrian Mole books, by Sue Townsend

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    Posted by: Julia


    The Angry Carrot
    The Angry Carrot
    28 Jul, 2005 04:53 AM @ version 0

    Well, I just finished "Ready or Not" in the "All-American Girl" series, and all I can say is that if Disney is really going to try to turn these books into one of their movie franchises, I think it's a pretty safe bet that they'll be skipping the contents of the second book. In light of their decision to cast Julie Andrews as Grandmere in the "Princess Diaries" movies, I don't think the Disney head honchos are going to be thrilled... but on the other hand, way to show some teeth over social issues, Meg!

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