Tag Archives: Meg Cabot

Underworld by Meg Cabot

This is book 2 of what I have decided is my least favorite Meg Cabot series. Luckily, I did Underworldenjoy this one more than the first. 

Like the title says, Underworld starts in the underworld where John has whisked Pierce away to protect her from her fury possessed grandmother. Pretty early in the book Pierce learns of her destiny, something that took me by surprise (in a good way). In fact, I may never eat waffles again. She then learns of some disturbing news of what is happening on Isla Huesos and convinces John to take her back.

One of the things I liked about this book is the development of Pierce’s character. While I still found her a tad annoying, I began to see hits on the strong spunky heroine we expect from Meg Cabot. We also meet some fun new characters and begin to see the development of the support network I missed in the last book.

It did occur to me while reading this book that this series would translate well to film. So while I’m not too excited about the book, I would love to see the movie or TV versions.

The improvement of this book from the first in the series gave me a bit of hope. While I would recommend it to fellow Meg Cabot fans I still reserve my editorial comment that “it’s not one of my favorites.” I give this one

3 Mrs. Bs. 


Abandon by Meg Cabot

I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. I finally came across a book, a whole series actually, by Meg Cabot that I really don’tAbandon Meg Cabot like. Abandon, which is based on the myth of Persephone the Greek Goddess of the Underworld, just didn’t do it for me.

The story centers around Pierce Oliviera, a teenage girl who has a near death experience. The book loosely covers the following two years through flashbacks, which was my first problem: too much jumping around. Normally I don’t mind flashbacks in a book. They are an important tool to add structure and interest to a story. Unfortunately the flashbacks in Abandon seemed oddly placed to me. Add this to the fact that I took two whole weeks to read the book (my problem) and I had a difficult time keeping track.

My second problem had to do with the tone of the book. I was interested to see how Cabot treated the dark subject matter of death and the Underworld. She has done dark before in Jinx and The Mediator series which I enjoyed very much. However what made these previous books work were the heroines who faced the dark subject matters of danger and death head on with feisty determination. Unfortunately Pierce Oliviera did not embody the typical “Meg Caboty” spunk and her attempts at perky humor just fell flat.

Given Pierce’s situation I guess I can’t blame her. The poor girl did die, visit the Underworld and then came back to life which sounds pretty traumatizing. Not only that but the next two years are fraught with creepy and dangerous experiences that she narrowly escapes thanks to John, the mysterious guy she met in The Underworld, who may or may not be into her. That said, I still had a hard time feeling sympathetic for Pierce. She came off as too victimized for me.

In loyalty to Meg Cabot I am planning to finish the series. In fact I have already read book 2, Underworld, which I did find a little better. Full review is pending.

If you are interested in Greek mythology, particularly the myth of Persephone, I highly recommend these books. Also a bit of practical advice: read the books in large chunks of time so you don’t get lost in all the flashbacks.

Getting all Meg Caboty at the Library

Meg Cabot often talks about how when she was a child she used to spend summers reading in her local air conditioned library. I used to do the same thing and as a result have developed a lifelong love affair with libraries.

Lately one of my favorite activities is to hang out at the Castro Valley Public Library. It is a great place to work on my telecommute days. I sit at a table in the back, log on to the wireless internet and work quietly surrounded by a bunch of other people doing the same thing. It’s great! It’s like working in a coffee shop but without all the noise and attitude.

Today while I was there a group of noisy children walked in. The kids appeared to be accompanied by a few adults whose main concern was that they all be quiet. Who the hell were these people, I wondered, and why did they bring this group of rowdy children to the library? I glanced up and saw a group of kids sitting in a line of chairs next to the table I sat at. Some of them had books with them and a few were even trying to read. All of them were clearly wishing they were someplace else.

The girl sitting closest to me caught my attention especially. She was bigger than all the others, sitting amongst the boys and even though she was dressed in a pink outfit, I got the feeling she was probably not very comfortable hanging out with girls. She had a weird looking, oversized, spiral bound book, something she probably pulled down because it didn’t look like all the others. It was also closed and my guess was she had no intention of reading it.

Distraction suddenly turned into obsession with these children and the big girl especially. I could tell she was brought here to read and I felt an overwhelming desire to help her.  I leaned over and looked her in the eye. “How old are you?” I whispered.


“Keep an eye on my computer,” I said. “I’ll be right back.”

I got up, walked over to the teen section of the stacks and started looking at the Meg Cabot collection. Volume One of The Princess Diaries wasn’t there but some of the other books from the series were. I grabbed a copy of Princess in Waiting as well as Shadowland from The Mediator series and Jinx. I then went over to the young man who appeared to be in charge of the group. “Excuse me,” I said, “I was wondering if it would be OK for me to recommend some books to that young lady over there?”

“Huh?” he looked a little surprised, “What are the books?”

“They’re teen fiction novels by Meg Cabot. This one is about a girl who finds out she is a princess.”

“Don’t all teenage girls think they are princesses?” sneered the woman next to him.

“I’m sorry,” I said suddenly feeling horribly embarrassed and foolish. “I don’t mean to be inappropriate or disturb your group.”

“No, it’s fine,” the guy said, “it’s just that these kids only read at a 2nd grade level so she probably won’t be able to read them.”

“Actually,” said the sneery woman, “my daughters have read some of those books. They are really good.”

With a nod of approval from the young teacher I nervously approached the girl and handed her the books. “These are really good.” I said. “This one is about a girl who finds out she’s a princess and these two are about girls with special powers. Just go slow with the words and sound them out if you have to. The stories are so good you won’t mind.”

I went back to my table and back to work, obsession lifted, while the girl quietly sounded out words from one of Meg Cabot’s book. Five minutes later when the group left she stopped by my table to thank me, Princess in Waiting in hand.

My love affair for libraries, helped out by a desire to spread a little bit of Meg Cabotyness, just went to a new level.

You’ve Lost that Meg Caboty Feeling

The best thing about being a Meg Cabot fan is feeling all Meg Caboty. Mandy and Diana and all the other girls participating in the second annual Meg A Readers Blog hop know what I’m talking about. It’s that warm, fun, cozy feeling you get from reading great books like The Princess Diaries and The Queen of Babble or how about her new book Awaken? But reading a Meg Cabot book is not the only thing that can make you feel all Meg Caboty. If you are anxiously waiting for Meg’s latest book so you can feel all Meg Caboty try some of these things:

Write about Meg. Duh! That’s what I’m doing right now and why I am participating in this second annual Meg-A-Readers blog hop. Writing about how much I love Meg Cabot and her books just makes me feel all…well…Meg Caboty!

Write some Meg Cabot fan fiction. Sometimes finishing a series of books can make you feel sad. I know I went through a small depression when I finished the last Princess Diaries book. Luckily I discovered the Meg Cabot fan forum around the same time and yep, I wrote a piece of Princess Diaries fan fiction. It helped saying goodbye to Mia and Michael and Tina and Lily a lot easier. It also made me feel very Meg Caboty!

Meet Meg in person. Even if you aren’t a Meg Cabot fan, I highly recommend attending one of her public appearances. Meg Cabot is a fantastic speaker! She is funny and engaging and comes across exactly the way you expect her to be if you are a fan of her books. Just be careful and keep your Meg Caboty feelings in check otherwise you might start crying in front of her like I did.

Watch a Meg Cabot book trailer. Meg Cabot produces the best book trailers ever! Some of my favorites are these from the Runaway series. And whenever I need a pick-me-up I watch this one:

Very Meg Caboty!

Follow Meg on Twitter. Meg doesn’t just make promotional announcements on her Twitter feed. She also puts in fun things like quick thoughts on movies she just went to or what’s she’s doing for the weekend or …anything!

Meg Cabot tweet

Tweets from Meg Cabot seem more real and sincere than the regular everyday Tweets you see from other celebrities and they make you feel all Meg Caboty!

Subscribe to the Meg Cabot Newsletter. In addition to seeing emails in your inbox FROM MEG CABOT you also get special surprises! Last year at Christmas Meg put out a special collection of short stories which she published in a free ebook for her fans. Honestly? That short story collection was my favorite Christmas gift last year. I saved it to read on Christmas day and I felt all Meg Caboty.

Read Meg’s blog. Meg updates her blog about once a month, which if you are impatient like me is a long time to wait. But don’t fret! Meg has 10 years worth of blog posts on her website that you can read anytime! It’s a great way to feel Meg Caboty.

Listen to a Meg Cabot interview. There are some great Meg Cabot interviews out there! Just Google “Meg Cabot interview” and you’ll find a ton.  Listening to them makes you feel like you’re having a conversation with Meg yourself and that’s just so Meg Caboty.

Strangely enough, my very favorite Meg Caboty thing has very little Meg in it. She did link to it in her blog years also which is how I found it and you can find her at 1:10 in the video. Still I think everyone would agree that the entire feeling of fun loving romance writers all together in one room, raising money for charity is a very Meg Caboty.

What do you do to feel all Meg Caboty?

Finally! My Life is a Meg Cabot Novel

I had the best conversation with Jerry the other night:

Jerry: How about chili for dinner? We have a can in the pantry. We can heat that up and have it over rice.

Me: Sounds good. Want to add a can of corn as well?

Jerry: No!

Me: Why not? You like corn. We have tons and it should make for a nice hearty chili.

Jerry: No! I hate corn in chili.

Me: You hate corn in chili? We’ve been married for 10 years and I had no idea.

Jerry: Well now you know.

Me: You hate it when they put corn in the chili!

Unless you are a Meg Cabot fan and have read The Princess Diaries this conversation will baffle you as much as it did Jerry. For me, it made my day!

A Valentine Tale

Every few months my favorite author Meg Cabot has a short story contest on her fan forums. Every time she announces a new contest I check it out and think, that sounds like fun, I should participate. And then I never do because I talk myself out of it using excuses like, I won’t be able to come up with a good idea or this is supposed to be for teens, I’m too old, dumb, busy etc.

This time I put my excuses on hold and decided to accept Meg Cabot’s challenge to write a short short story (1000 words or less) on the theme of Valentine’s Day. I told myself I was working on a “special project” assigned by Meg Cabot that I HAD to finish. It’s screwed-up weird-ass fan-girl logic but at least it worked.

It’s the story of a girl named Marissa told through online chats she has with her best friend, Brandon and two other boys from her school. It may be dumb, it may fall flat and it is virtually buried by tons of fabulous short shorts written by talented teenagers on the Meg Cabot fan forums, but writing it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time:



I hate Valentine’s Day.


Hi Marissa. Lemme guess. This has something to do with the rose you found in your locker.


You know me so well Brandon.


Being friends since kindergarten has that affect on me. What’s wrong with the rose anyway? I thought girls went for that stuff.


Roses are fine I guess. But it’s one of those roses the cheerleaders were selling for their monthly fundraiser. I hate the idea of supporting those rah-rahs.


Aw come on, can’t the rah-rahs have a little fun?


OK you’re right, it’s not really that. My problem is the card has some message on it and isn’t signed. I’ve been going crazy all day trying to figure out who sent it.


A secret admirer!


I was thinking maybe it was Brian. He’d want to buy a rose right? You know, to support the cheerleaders?


That jock? Getting a Valentine’s rose for you?


Gee thanks.


Nothing against you of course. It’s just that…I didn’t think he’d be your type is all.


Brandon, he’s HOT! Have you SEEN his butt in those tight football pants?


I gotta go.

Red heart


Hi Brian, you there?


Hey Marissa! What’s up?


Oh nothing. Just wondering if you saw anyone near my locker this afternoon. You know…with a rose?


Nope. Hey did you see that running play today at practice where I took the snap and fake trap to the fullback?


Um, no can’t say I did.


Oh. Well I’ve been chatting with Dave about it all afternoon. He was pretty impressed. I can’t wait for our game tomorrow night. You coming?


Not sure yet. Probably. Oh hey I hear my mom calling. Gotta go! Talk to you later!

Red heart


Brandon, you there? You’re right. Brian is so not my type.




Maybe it was Dave who left the rose?


That guy who hangs out with Brian?


Yeah, he’s pretty cute!


Again, nothing against you, but I never saw him with you. Or any girl for that matter.


Why not? He’s really nice and thoughtful and all the girls love to hang out with him. I feel totally comfortable asking him.

Red heart


Hey Dave!


Hi Marissa! OMG, I loved that sweater you wore to school today. Totally cute! Where did you get it?


I got it on sale at Forever 21. I don’t think they sell guys clothes there though.


Oh too bad.


So how’s your Valentines Day going so far?


Great! You know those roses the cheerleaders were selling?


You bet I do!


Well, I bought one for someone and left it in their locker.


REALLY??? And who’s locker might that be???


Well….I’m kinda shy about this….but I guess you’ll find out about it eventually.


Oh Dave. I already know. You’re SO SWEET!


Aw! Who told you? What did he think?


He? Wait…what are you talking about? Didn’t you leave a rose in my locker?


YOUR locker? Um no. Sorry Marissa I think you’re really nice and all but you’re not really my type. I left a rose for Brian. Didn’t you know that we’re both….well…not really into girls?


Oh…yes…of course I knew. I think it’s great! I’m sure you and Brian will make a cute couple.


There he is now! Gotta go!

Red heart


OK, I totally know it wasn’t Dave now. OR Brian. That’s confirmed.


hahahaha! I tried to tell you.


I just wish I knew who gave this to me. Did I mention the note attached? It’s red but looks like kind of a blob, not heart shaped at all.


Well, around Valentine’s Day it’s easy to remember that the heart is actually shaped like a fist.


Hey, that’s what it says on the card! Wait a minute…Brandon was it you???


Happy Valentine’s Day Marissa! I know we’ve been friends for a long time but lately I’ve notice that my hands form a fist when you start talking about other guys.


Brandon I had no idea! And I’m so glad! The only reason why I talk about other guys is because I thought you didn’t have romantic feelings for me either. Maybe we should get off IM and see what happens between us in person?


Sounds like a great idea! See you in a few minutes.


[Account signed off. Auto reply from hi_its_issa: Sorry I can’t chat right now. I’m busy celebrating Valentine’s Day!]


[Account signed off. Auto reply from bran_man: Do not disturb. MAKE OUT TIME!]

Lady Jessop Interviews Tina Hakim Baba

Meg Cabot cover

As you may already know, I’m a huge Meg Cabot fan. So when I heard about the Meg-A Readers Blog Hop hosted by Romance Bookie and Little Miss Drama Queen I made sure I was on the list to participate. Little did I know that this would open up a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. Because for my Meg-A Readers assignment I am thrilled to announce that I am interviewing one of my favorite Meg Cabot characters, the royal bestie to Her Royal Highness Princess Mia Renaldo Thermopolis, the one and only…Tina Hakim Baba!

Lady Jessop: Ms. Hakim Baba, welcome to my humble blog.

Tina: Thank you so much! And please, call me Tina.

Lady Jessop: Tina, I’m honored. As best friend to Princess Mia, you must be in the public eye a lot. How do you manage?

Tina: Well, I do have a bodyguard, Wahim, who has been with me since high school, and he protects me from the paparazzi. And from stray maniacs who my father is convinced may kidnap me.

Lady Jessop: I see Wahim sitting in the corner over there. He’s quite the looker.

Tina: So I’ve heard but I don’t see Wahim like that.  Never have.  Besides, I only have eyes for my boyfriend, Boris.

Lady Jessop: Ah yes, Boris. What is he up to these days?

Tina: Well after the release of his 5th album he got pretty bored with music so he’s now studying law at Harvard.  He wants to specialize in international law with a focus on Russia.  He’s so brilliant!  In fact he’s currently writing a paper exploring the issues of intellectual property laws in the post-Soviet space.

Lady Jessop:  <yawn!>  Excuse me Tina.  If I could change the subject…I have to ask…what is with this fascination you have with Kay’s Jewelers?

Tina: Hey don’t knock Kay’s Jewelers! Of all the jewelry retailers out there, Kay’s is by far the most romantic. Have you seen some of their commercials? Tiffany’s may have those sweet turquoise boxes, but Kay’s supports romance and that’s what giving jewelry is all about, romance!

Lady Jessop: Were you disappointed when you found out that Boris bought your promise ring at Tiffany’s?

Tina: Well…maybe just a little. But poor Boris couldn’t help it. He was unfairly influenced by Lana who makes no secret that she thinks my attachment to Kay’s is lame. And Boris presented the ring to me in such a romantic way I decided to let it slide this one time.

Lady Jessop: You do know a lot about romance Tina! One might say that you’re an expert on the subject. Have you considered a future in…say writing romance novels?

Tina:  Oh I couldn’t.  Writing a romance novel would be so hard.  I’ll stick to reading them….and going to medical school of course.

Lady Jessop:  What are you reading these days?

Tina:  I just finished Lawless, a classic historical romance by Nora Roberts.  Jake Redman was sooo hot and reminded me of Boris!  That scene where he knife fights the Indian to save the kidnapped Sarah was just like the time when Boris pulled me and the Michael Kors tote I had my eye on, from the sales mob at Saks.

Lady Jessop:  That Boris sure is a prize.  Any other favorite authors?

Tina:  My new favorite is Meg Cabot.  I found out about her after she wrote Mia’s biography, so I decided to read some of her other biographies and I was really impressed!  The books she wrote on Samantha Madison, you know, the girl who saved the president’s life? Those were fantastic! I always wondered what possessed that girl to share her sex life on VH1. And that expose on Nikki Howard was amazing!  Then I found out that Meg Cabot wrote Regency Romances under the pen name of Patricia Cabot years ago!  Most of those books are out of print now but I scour for old copies on eBay and used bookstores.  They are fabulous!

Lady Jessop:  Do you read any of Meg Cabot’s recent work?

Tina:  Absolutely!  I can’t wait to get started on my copy of Underworld and I’m anxiously waiting for the release of Size 12 and Ready to Rock.  My favorite will always be Mia’s biography though.  I’m not exactly sure how Ms. Cabot got a hold of Mia’s diaries, even I have never been privy to them.  I think Mia’s grandmother may have something to do with it but I guess it’s OK since they did set the record straight after those extremely inaccurate (but very entertaining) movies about Mia’s life.

Lady Jessop:  Anne Hathaway is great and all but hello?  Mia is a blond!  And San Francisco???

Tina:  I know right?

Lady Jessop:  I see Wahim pointing to his watch over there.  I think you may need to go.  Thank you Tina for stopping by!

Tina:  My pleasure!


*Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win some great Meg Cabot-themed prizes!  Click here to find the entry form.