Showing posts with label meg cabot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meg cabot. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

[Review] Princess in the Spotlight (The Princess Diaries #2) - Meg Cabot

In PRINCESS IN THE SPOTLIGHT, Mia Thermapolis doesn't only have to deal with the public attention that's linked to being the sole heir to the Genovian throne; her mother is pregnant - by Mia's math teacher! Above all, she also has a secret admirer and is dying to find out who's in love with her.
What intrigued me: I love the first one!

Super short read

The first time I've read this I finished it in about a day. The novel is on the shorter side and very easy and quick to read without even rushing through the whole thing. However, I wasn't as thrilled with the second as I was with the first. 

The story picks up right where it left off in THE PRINCESS DIARIES. Just like in the first novel, Mia tells about her day in chapters of varying lengths. The main focus is on the upcoming wedding of her mother and her math teacher Frank Gianini. That's about all that happens in the book. Everyone's busy making plans for the wedding.

Mia seems very lost in this one, hurrying from left to right to please everyone and being constantly looked over. The charm of the first novel doesn't really translate to the second and I don't think I will be rereading this as many times as I reread the first. The character voice is on spot and it just amazes me how Cabot is able to look into the head of a 14-year-old so well that it's actually scaring me.


Unique and Hilarious Writing

Cabot keeps the story extremely witty. There are times when I just laughed out loud or rolled my eyes at the thing her characters say. The humor is just something that's unique to this series and that I haven't encountered in any of Cabot's other novels. The characters are absolutely captivating and interesting and as a fan of the first novel you just need to know what happens next. I've grown to love every single character in the series and even the new characters (Mia's maternal grandparents and her cousin) are absolutely hilarious. 

There's a lot of wasted potential though, because Mia doesn't get a real storyline on her own and is just awkwardly hovering around the action. I'm guessing that she'll get her own story in the next novel again and fall in love and the like, but I'm seriously missing the teenage drama! 




Rating:

★★

 

Overall: Do I Recommend?

It's insane how Cabot is able to see right into the head of a fourteen year old teenager. Back when I was Mia's age and even younger I remember being very impressed and wondering how it's possible to write so relatably. I just adore her writing and would recommend this series!

Additional Info


Published: February 1st, 2002.
Pages: 249
Genre: YA / General
ISBN: 9783570125793

Synopsis:
"No one ever said being a princess was easy.

Just when Mia thought she had the whole princess thing under control, things get out of hand, fast. First there's an unexpected announcement from her mother. Then Grandmère arranges a national primetime interview for the brand-new crown princess of Genovia. On top of that, intriguing, exasperating letters from a secret admirer begin to arrive.

Before she even has the chance to wonder who those letters are from, Mia is swept up in a whirlwind of royal intrigue the likes of which hasn't been seen since volume I of The Princess Diaries.
"



Have You Read Any of the Princess Diaries Novels?

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Most Read Authors | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originating from The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday they choose topics that we are supposed to create a list about, considering our personal reading preferences.



This Week: ITS FREEBIE WEEK!
I decided to torture you guys by telling you who my most read authors are and spilling out my feelings for them. Enjoy!

10. Mari Mancusi (Blood Coven Series)
My heart! She made me fall in love with vampires. I read her series around the same time I read Princess Diaries for the first time and they both had a lasting impression on me. Thanks Mari!

9. Jodi Picoult (Handle With Care, Second Glance)
The Queen of character development! You can tell that she studied Creative Writing because her writing is just over the top amazing! Her characters are real, at least they feel that way and her insanely long novels are always an adventure. She'll hit you right in the face with emotion while still having another plot twist around the corner. I want to be as good as her one day.

8. S.G. Browne (Breathers, Fated)
He's the man for everything comedy and satire. He never ceases to make me laugh and his ideas are equally crazy and likeable. 

7. Sophie Kinsella (Remember Me, Twenties Girl, I've Got Your Number)
Sophie's my girl. My go-to-source for all things Chick-Lit and definitely a happy-go-lucky author! Whenever I'm down I reach for a Kinsella book and I always make sure to have at least one on my shelves in case of a feelings emergency. Thanks Sophie, you're the bomb!

6. David Levithan (Boy Meety Boy, The Lover's Dictionary, Every Day, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares)
My favourite LGBTQ* author, hands down. I will only trust him with these matters because he has got it down! I will read all his novels and I love, love, love and look up to the way he writes. He's truly an artist.

5. Cornelia Funke (Inkworld Trilogy, Igraine The Brave)
My favourite childhood author. She's amazing and I dearly regret growing out of her novels. I loved both the Inkworld Series and Igraine the Brave. I still catch myself rereading the latter even when I'm way out of the group she's aiming at. She contributed to making my childhood reading experience a happy one and I will always be grateful for that, even as an adult.

4. Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Series)
Yo. I'm not ashamed of this. I loved Twilight back when it was released and I probably have seen the movie close to 70 times. Pretty sure that's even an understatement, because I literally know the entire dialogue from side characters to main characters. While I do understand the problematics in this series, I still have to admit that I had an amazing time reading this series and I wouldn't trade it in for the world. I was indeed very young when I read it ~ around 12-14, but I never even for one second let the toxic relationship between Bella and Edward cloud my decisions. Even at that age I understood that it's fiction and hey, to me it's a nice series. So thanks, Stephenie, I don't care what the haters say.

3. Meg Cabot (Princess Diaires Series, Abandon Series, Insatiable)
Meg is my queen. She hasn't only written the one book that had the most impact on me as a child (Princess Diaries #1), but is also an amazing, amazing writer. I've always loved her witty, funny style that isn't shallow like most authors tend to slip into - but it always carries a message. Her novels are more than just about the characters, every novel lets you learn something new and I think that's what every writer should aspire to achieve. I will probably never be able to find the right words to express how much she helped me in life and I will always, always, always be loyal to her. Even when she writes shitty novels like "Insatiable", my god was that bad.

2. Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux Series)
Insert heavy breathing. This woman, I swear. You guys know that I'm crazy for everything she does and I'm just wobbling around on my seat thinking about the other novels she wrote. I will most definitely read everything she'll ever write and I will probably reread the Lux Series over and over again until the day I die. It's a guilty pleasure really, but I don't feel guilty at all. Bless her.

1. L.J. Smith (Vampire Diaries Series, Stefan's Diaries Series, The Forbidden Games Series)
Well, she kind of cheated to get to first place, because I hopelessly fell in love with The Vampire Diaries. Whether it's the show or her novels, bring it on! I even wrote fan fiction about the characters in this, don't remind me ... it seems whatever this woman touches, turns into gold. Her novel series The Secret Circle even got turned into another TV show. It's funny how some authors can write whatever the heck they want and there's still people like me who'll clap and bow. Thanks, L.J.
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Sunday, January 11, 2015

[Review] Underworld (#2) - Meg Cabot: Greek Mythology and Abuse





In UNDERWORLD, Pierce Oliviera finds herself stuck in the Underworld. Again.

What intrigued me: Liked the first!

Abuse isn't cute

I'm going to start off by saying that the Pierce and John love story is probably the mother of all toxic relationships. There's nothing romantic about a dude that stalks you from your childhood on and one day out of the blue decides that because he's fallen for you, you have to stay with him forever, no matter what you think about that. 

And yeah, even after Pierce fell in love with him, just taking her into the Underworld and not telling her about the whole "if you eat or drink here that's it, you're immortal and staying here forever" thing - not cool. He's manipulative, he's creepy, he's selfish, he's a control freak and probably also a bit insane. The fascination I had with him in ABANDON completely poofed into nothing, he's absolutely and utterly creepy as hell.

Not sure whether our protagonist Pierce is any better. From being strong-willed and in general a character that's easy to identify with, she transformed into a whiny, clingy girlfriend who bursts into tears at even the thought of her boyfriend ever leaving her. Her world only revolves around being with John and after initial half-hearted "but I wanna see my mom" protests, she's all his. Sorry, Pierce, but you just lost all sympathy points. 

The only person who's in their right mind would be the cemetery sexton Richard Smith, who constantly tells those idiotic teenagers that they're being unreasonable, but doesn't get much recognition. It's very frustrating to see how Richard sees through everything immediately and Pierce still thinks she has to close her eyes to the obvious, because, like, omg, her boyfriend is sooooo hot.

Not really a necessary sequel?

As a sequel, UNDERWORLD isn't really what I expected. I wanted action, I wanted tears and blood, I wanted all hell to break loose, maybe the deceased all escaping the underworld at once, because Pierce thought it was a good idea to release them. 

The way Cabot arranged this, it's merely a high school alternate universe retelling of Persephone and Hades. Plus a whole lot of Stockholm-Syndrome on top. It genuinely feels like it could have all been in the first book, because we only get a lot backstory but very little new plot lines. 

The enemies remain the same, some new bad guys quickly appear and are quickly killed, nothing special. I had a hard time getting into this. Also the relationship between John and Pierce is very, very frustrating. They don't seem like a newly-in-love couple but like an old married couple that has already enough of each other. They're constantly bickering, there's absolutely no romance aside from this whole "omg I'd die without you, I'm going to take a bullet for you" thing. Eh. 



Rating:

★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

Because I liked the first novel so much, I obviously had very high expectations of UNDERWORLD. To me, it focused to much on the Oliviera family and their intrigues instead of actually continuing the story of the protagonists Pierce and John.

As an extra for devoted fans of the series this would be nice to know, but not as an official sequel. It failed in all points to me. No recommendation. Read the first novel and stop right there.



Additional Info

Published: March 8th 2012
Pages: 336
Publisher: Pivot
Genre: YA / Greek Mythology
ISBN: 9780545415071

Synopsis:
"Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape."(Source: Goodreads)


Have you read books by Meg Cabot?

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Recommendation: The Princess Diaries (#1) by Meg Cabot





In THE PRINCESS DIARIES, Mia Thermopolis finds out that her father is the prince of Genovia, a small European country that nobody has ever heard of. And because her father can't have kids anymore, this in turn makes her the only heir to the throne of Genovia.  


Essentially teen

No matter what age you are, I guarantee you, you will suffer with Mia. Mia is your typical teenager with typical teenage problems - unrequited crushes, terrible self-image and a weird family. The way Cabot portrays her had me back when I was the same age as Mia and I could identify with her character a lot. Cabot is just great at writing teenagers and the character voice is insanely unique. 

While we do have a lot of cliché characters, Cabot somehow gives the whole thing a twist: the mean cheerleader Lana and her hot boyfriend that Mia is crushing on could be such shallow characters, but they are not cardboard cutouts. Every character in the novel just feels real and you can tell that a lot of character building went into this. I especially loved Mia's best friend Lily with her nerdiness and her therapist parents. Their relationship is the base of this novel to be honest and Cabot cleverly uses Lily as a possibility to give Mia (and the reader) advice without pushing it.

Character growth and entertainment de luxe

Another gem in this novel is Mia's grandmother. Mia goes through so much character development by trying to defy her grandmother and learning to do whatever she wants instead of trying to please everyone. I think that's the main reason why I have and still love this novel so much - because throughout the course of the novel she grows so much in character. When I was her age, I worried about the same things, I identified with basically all of her problems and the way she deals with them helped me a lot and I can imagine that it's the same for other teenagers out there.

I rooted for Mia to get with Josh and the resolution made my heart ache while still being happy that she made the right choice. 

Of course it's a cliché storyline, 
Of course it's your typical high school novel and yeah I'm being subjective and a little big nostalgic when I wholeheartedly recommend this to you guys. 

It's easy to get lost in this novel, even when you're not fourteen anymore, because the writing is just on point. This book has everything: great characters, superb writing and an easy plot that isn't too complicated. Did I mention massive character growth? If you haven't read it yet or simply seen the movie, you should try it. You're not going to regret it, trust me.


Rating:

★★★★




Additional Info

Published: June 26th 2001
Pages: 283
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Genre: YA / Contemporary
ISBN: 9780613371650

Synopsis:
"She's just a New York City girl living with her artist mom…

NEWS FLASH: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that's why a limo meets her at the airport!)

DOWNER: Dad can't have any more kids. (So there's no heir to the throne.)

SHOCK OF THE CENTURY: Like it or not, Mia Thermopolis is prime princess material.

THE WORST PART: Mia must take princess lessons from her dreaded grandmère, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne.

Well, her father can lecture her until he's royal–blue in the face about her princessly duty—no way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind.

But what's a girl to do when her name is PRINCESS AMELIA MIGNONETTE GRIMALDI THERMOPOLIS RENALDO?
 "(Source: Goodreads)


Have you read THE PRINCESS DIARIES?

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Recommendation: Abandon by Meg Cabot





In ABANDON, Pierce Oliviera dies but manages to escape the afterlife and return to the realm of the living. Little does she know that the drama isn't over yet. Underworld Keeper John Hayden seems to be everywhere she goes.
What intrigued me: I love Greek mythology!

Instant love and a stalker-y romance?

The story is a retelling of the Persephone and Hades mythos from Greek mythology, but Cabot only took the kidnapping part from this and I'm not sure whether I think it's romantic or pretty close to being abusive and weird. John Hayden - the Hades equivalent and love interest, is our typical angry, thoughtful, heartbroken and mysterious YA character. He's creepy, he spends a lot of time in the cemetery and he's really not someone that you want to meet in the middle of the night on a lonely street. 

Cabot makes sure to set the mood right in the beginning of the novel - his entrance is creepy, he's mean and he seems like he has a lot of issues. Still, this doesn't keep Pierce from being all over him and not even because he's pretty. He's really not that pretty. 

One thing that actually bothered me about the relationship between John and Pierce is that from the beginning she talks about being madly in love with him. But then, throughout the novel we find out that they met only, like, twice? It's a bit insta-love-y. Because the love story actually begins in the last 3/4 of the novel, I find it also a bit rushed. Everything's too fast with these two, especially because Cabot took her time and gave John hardly any appearance in the novel. She went from one extreme to the other and therefore the novel isn't quite the paranormal romance I've expected to read.

Flashbacks and plot twists

The entire plot plays in a span of about three or four days which also makes it very difficult to get the timeline right. Especially if you throw in a hell lot of flashbacks. Good thing that the world of Pierce sucked me in so hard that I wanted to get every piece of information that I could, so I didn't really mind. The plot takes its time and the days are full of events which might be a little unrealistic, but at least it made the reading experience fun and worth my time. At no point the novel had me thinking that I know what's going to happen. The plot twists weren't really massive and only logical, not trying to shock the reader or anything.

Furies, Gods, The Five Rivers of the Underworld, it's all in this. I love that, but due to the fact that the majority of the novel takes please in the, well "Upperworld", we didn't get a chance to see much of that yet. The mythology part is interesting but I feel like it's not as complicated as it has to be in a trilogy. We'll see, I'm definitely going to read the sequels, just because she ended the first novel with a fantastic cliffhanger.



Rating:

★★★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

This has everything that I want to read about in a YA mythology novel. It's witty, Pierce is extremely sarcastic and smart and I loved every single thing about it. The pacing may be a little off and the flashbacks too much at times, but there's nothing keeping me from recommending this one.



Additional Info

Published: April 26th 2011
Pages: 304
Publisher: Pivot
Genre: YA / Greek Mythology
ISBN: 9780545284103

Synopsis:
"Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld."(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read books by Meg Cabot?

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

[Review] Insatiable - Meg Cabot


In INSATIABLE screen writer Meena Harper falls in love with the son of Dracula. 

What intrigued me: I love Meg Cabot!


Cliché Plot, Writing, And Characters

Meena Harper is the typical chick-lit protagonist. She's in a feud with her co-worker Shoshona, who just got promoted in her place, doesn't really have her life together and is heartbroken and disappointed because of her last failed romance. Cabot tries very hard to make this novel differ from every other paranormal chick-lit out there by making Meena not very girly and throwing a lot of diverse characters in.

I didn't like the love interest Lucien, who is probably the most Gary Stu to ever Gary Stu. He's the heir of the Romanian Vampire King, he's powerful and rich and thoughtful, but oh shucks,- he sucks blood in his free time. Hasn't been done before at all. The naivety of all of Cabot's characters makes this even worse. Every single character that turns out to be a vampire, either lets their glow red or looks like a walking corpse but none of the oblivious humans in this novel seem to notice.

"Yeah I last wore this dress in the 60s."
- "Wait, aren't you like 30, how can you have worn it back then?"
"Haha, you misunderstood me."

Hello Reading Slump!

Have you ever read something that was so not your thing that you just felt like stopping to read altogether? This novel did this to me. I completely lost all my motivation and faith in humanity while reading this. I told myself it would get better, I told myself that I just needed to get into it and then I'll enjoy it eventually. Which just didn't happen.

Sometimes books just aren't what you're looking for and this is ultimately why I wasn't a fan of INSATIABLE. I love Cabot and her writing dearly, but this time it was simply a miss for me. I guess I have read too many other vampire novels and have pretty high standards when it comes to those.




Rating: ★☆☆☆☆



 Synopsis:

"Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper. But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.
Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die. (Not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does.)

 But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It's a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

 The problem is, Lucien's already dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare. Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . . If she even has one."
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Monday, October 13, 2014

October Reading Queue: Stephen King, Percy Jackson and A Hell Lot of Meg Cabot

Reading Queue is a monthly meme, posted at the beginning of each month, where you share what books you plan to read for the month.



Dear Lord. My Reading Queue isn't even funny anymore. I have recently even bought a new shelf only for my TBR books and I think this is it. I have hit rock bottom. I know that there are a lot of people that have TBR piles three and four times the size of mine but for me, this is massive. I mean, look:


Here we have the aftermath of the Book Fair in my city and my local bookstore doing a 1,99 each thing.
  • "Wake" by Amanda Hocking is something that I've been eyeing for ages, but not this one. I've been eyeing the Trylle Trilogy and I just read Amanda Hocking so I was like: yup.  (Review)
  • "The Winter People" by Jennifer McMahon sounds spooky and weird, so I decided to get it. Of course I needed to get it, it's been ages since I last read a spooky novel about dead things. (Review)
  • "Throne of Glass" by Sara J. Maas is actually an Amazon Purchase which I got bullied into buying by a particular Canadian Ginger friend. I'm not even mad, it sounds amazing.
  • The Hunter by L.J. Smith was a no-brainer, I had to get it. I don't even know what it's about but I have read about 6 or 7 of the Vampire Diaries Novels and I just love her writings. I had to. Not sorry. (Review)
  • Ruby Red  by Kerstin Gier isn't really something I would've bought hadn't it only costed 1,99. She's from my country, it's about time travel and there's a movie about it so I just shrugged my way through that one. (Review)
  • I already tried to read "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn and wasn't really into the whole thriller-thing so I put it back on my TBR. I'm going to read it eventually, but not right now. Not feeling the thriller vibe.
  • "Numbers" by Rachel Ward. Haha, I have no idea why I bought this. I think it's about someone being able to see when in the future somebody that's talking to him is going to be dying. Does that make sense? Sounded good in my head. Anyways, I'm a sucker for these kind of things. Loved the movie TiMER, so I had to. (Review)
  • I haven't even read the blurbs for "Abandon" by Meg Cabot and "Insatiable" also by her. I love the Princess Mia Series, so I went for it. I use that excuse a lot apparently. Ugh. (Review: Abandon, Insatiable)
  • The last two (for this picture ahahahhaah) are the Third and Fourth Percy Jackson Novels by Rick Riordan in hardback. Swoons! Can you believe that I paid $8 for them? For both! I'm going to start crying.


Here we have some things that I already showed you guys in my August Haul. Yup, I shamelessly read other stuff first. 

  • One of my new additions to my TBR shelf is "Second Glance" by Jodi Picoult (Review) which I am very excited about because I haven't read anything by her yet, which is a goddamn shame. I'm probably going to read this next after I finished "Monster" by A.Lee Martinez which I am actually SUPPOSED to be reading right now, but Lux #4 is kind of claiming all my attention and I have another ARC queue'd as well. 
  • "Firestarter" by Stephen King is my first date with him and I have such high expectations, it is doomed to be disappointing if you ask me.
  • "Starter for Ten" is by David Nicholls and I just had to because everyone is all over David Nicholls, and I want to be, too. (Review)
  • "Be Careful What You Wish For" by Alexandra Potter is such a predictable purchase because I am all over dying-wish/childhood-wishlist books, I have at least ten of them. (Review)
  • The last one is the first Vampire Academy Novel by Richelle Mead and I am so ready for this! Nobody has ever been more ready in the history of mankind. I'm probably going to hoard a lot more sequels before I start this series because I just KNOW I am going to love it. After I saw the movie I fell basically head first into Rose/Dimitri and I have zero shame. Bring it on! (Review)

   Have you guys read some of these and were they 
 
good or bad? 

What should I read next?
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