Adventures in Reading


Fiction: Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot, 2006
August 17, 2007, 11:26 am
Filed under: book reviews, fiction | Tags: , , , , , ,

As a rather lengthy car drive waited before me, I picked up two Meg Cabot books on CD: Size 12 is Not Fat and The Queen of Babble. I popped in The Queen of Babble and after listening to half of the book all I can say is that Cabot is mind numbing (though I’m still hopeful of making my way through the entire book).

In the story 22-year-old Lizzie is a recent “graduate” (or so she thinks until she discovers she still must write a thesis) from college with a degree in fashion history. While attending college Lizzie met Andrew – a British guy she has fallen for entirely as a result of his accent – and over her summer she goes to England to spend a month with him. Things, of course, do not turn out well and she flees England for France to meet up with her friends. This is at least where I left off.

Cabot consistently uses tongue-in-cheek humor but as often as she pulls this off she also fails. She stumbles through dieting and fashion anecdotes that quickly become nauseating and tired. In addition, Cabot’s attempts at foreshadowing reveal the entire plot she is hinting at. Perhaps she is trying to emphasize Lizzie’s self-obsessiveness but it does little more than create long-winded and needless passages. This becomes problematic as the reader quickly discovers what is going to happen next but must suffer through 15-minutes of further dialog or description.

Often I find myself discussing the barrier between literature and Literature and how this barrier negates a wealth of writing (though just as often I suppose I also argue for it). However, after reading books of Cabot’s caliber I find myself slanting more towards the importance of this division. Before I become too dismissive I entirely realize that Cabot is pop fiction and her books are designed as the quintessential beach read: they encourage little thought, provide little to think about, and use words like “blowjob” to entertain the reading audience. However, the more beach reads I read the more I wish that bookstores and libraries maintained separate sections for pop fiction and literature.

On one good note I’ve gotten more into Buddhism Plain & Simple (it’s improving) and I picked up a copy of Blessed Unrest, which looks promising.

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