The Boy Is Back by Meg Cabot

28693701My first forays into chick lit when I was just out of high school were written by Meg Cabot. She hasn’t written any adult novels in a while, so when I found out that there was a third book in the “Boy” series coming out, I jumped on it.

My favorite thing about these books is how the story is told completely through non-narrative means – text messages, journal entries, product reviews, chat apps, newspaper articles and even a self-transcribing app that happens to record a conversation after a reporter tries to use it for an interview. The first two books also used things like making notes on receipts and napkins, which I briefly took up in my own journal. The book just flies by because there are no chapters, just breaks between storytelling devices. Even the longest text exchange is only a few pages, so you just want to keep reading.

Anyway, given that I haven’t read the other two books in more than ten years, I don’t think this book is actually related to the others, except in the way the story is told. Prominent citizens in a small town in Indiana are arrested after trying to pay for their meal with a postage stamp. What follows is the three adult children trying to take care of the fallout without killing their parents or each other. And the person they hire to help out used to date the youngest son in high school – and it did NOT end well. Luckily, it seems like the elder Stewarts aren’t actually in ill-health, but do need help, so it’s more funny than depressing (especially given the last couple years of my life).

I really enjoyed this book and I hope that Ms. Cabot will come back to adult fiction sooner rather than later because she’s been sorely missing on my bookshelf!

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Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading by Lizzie Skurnick

5644891I added this book to my TBR list after Meg Cabot mentioned her essay in it. I was a voracious reader as a child and still have fond memories of many of the books I devoured during that time. I was excited to read about those book by other people who enjoyed them as I did.

However, it turns out that with the exception of Meg Cabot’s essay and about three others, I hadn’t read any of the other “teen classics” mentioned herein. I guess my devotion to “Sweet Valley Twins,” “Sleepover Friends” and “The Fabulous Five” series limited my other reading possibilities. I really did enjoy Meg’s essay about Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret as well as the author’s essay about Little House in the Big Woods. I was happy to see the inclusion It’s Not The End of the World, but it’s “extra credit” write up left a lot to be desired.

I ended up skimming most of this book since the essays assume episodic knowledge of the book being discussed. Since I’m not a serial re-reader of anything, much less novels I read as a child, it was hard to follow most of the essays, even those about books I had read. Disappointing.

I also gave up on page 5 of Hating Valentine’s Day. Just knew it wasn’t going to be a book I would enjoy. I’m really trying to read all the Red Dress Ink books, but that one just wasn’t going to cut it for me.

Girls’ Night Out

171347I picked this one up at the Arlington County Fair a few weeks ago to support their public library. You know how I’m a sucker for libraries.

It was a solid collection of short stories, better than I remember its predecessor being. There were only one or two stories that I skipped or just didn’t finished. Many more that I wished had been continue, if not into full novels, at least taken a bit further. I was shocked to discover that that one of the stories was by a woman who used to do the Gilmore Girls recaps on TWOP. I guess I should have put that together, but I never really paid that much attention.

It also got me thinking about a few short stories I have sitting on the hard drive. Perhaps I’ll get the writing bug again this fall.

Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot

10169336So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted, mostly because I’m reading about six things at once – but not finishing any of them. I hope that will be changing in the next few weeks, so I can get back on track.

I picked up this book during my trip to LA and I finished it in about 3 hours on Saturday, while at lunch and then later under a shady tree on a quiet street. It moves quickly, just like all of Meg’s books that I’ve read so far, which I like. It was also fairly predictable, but since my predictions were what I wanted to happen, I didn’t really mind that either.

This book picks up where the last one leaves off and addresses my concerns and hopes fairly head-on. I was kinda surprised at how pointed the “Ava Geck” seems to lampoon Paris Hilton, even with Meg Cabot’s assertion that everything is fictional. I got a little sick of the main character’s wishy-washy-ness regarding her love life after the conflict came to a head, but by that point, there were only about 100 pages to the end, so…yeah.

I was sad to say goodbye to Lizzie Nichols and the end of the trilogy, but I’m sure Meg will be whipping something new up for her adult fans soon.

Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot

199782I got this book for Christmas and I had to dive right in. I just adore Meg Cabot and I really liked the previous one in this universe.

It was a really fun read and I thought the character was even more endearing this time. I liked that she finally stood up for herself. I liked that she had to work a few jobs to stay in NYC, even though she was paying rent and utilities on principle and not in reality. I really enjoyed the cast of characters that she meets through her various gigs in the City. I read the second half of the book on the train into NYC, so it definitely psyched me up to get there.

Some of the “twists” I could see coming for a hundred pages or so, but I didn’t really mind. The book ends with a huge cliffhanger that I was NOT expecting. It was kinda disappointing because I like my books to be tied up in a nice little bow. Upon checking Meg’s website, it looks like the next book comes out in June. Of course, the title gives a little too much away, but perhaps it will be different than I think.

Anyway, I really loved this quick read, as per usual, and I’m super happy I was able to squeeze another book into the 2007 list!