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Meg Cabot is one of those writers who everyone assumes only writes young adult books. This is entirely incorrect and yes, although she is best known for her world famous 'The Princess Diaries' novels aimed at girls of school age she is also a brilliant writer of adult novels too.
I first found out about her adult novels a few years ago and swiftly read all three (as their were only three at that point) in quick sucsession. Recently after feeling the need to have a bit of chill-out time in the evnings I decided a good book was in order. I searched online and although I've reda 'Boy Meets Girl' before, twice if my memory serves me correctly-I can't actually remember it's details but can remember how much I enjoyed reading it. With that I managed to find a copy in great condition on ebay for less than £1 and within a few days it had arrived on my doorstep.
'Boy Meets Girl' is a typical chick-lit novel. It's funny and witty and heart warming too and it's got that spin on things that only Meg Cabot can do. When we first start the book we are quickly given the basic background information on Kate MacKenzie, the main character. She's a mid twenties Human Resource rep originally from Kentucky, USA. She moved to New York after her college years to work in social care but quickly realised there was too much need and not enough help to go round and moved to the HR department of one of the cities biggest news tabloids-The New York Journal. From the beginning we are told that Kate is currently living on her best friend's coach. Her best friend Jen and Craig are giving her a place to stay since her boyfriend of ten years (named Dale) decided he couldn't commit to Kate for the rest of his life, although he does want to be with her at the present.
The whole book is written quite differently to many other novels of this genre. It's not all in standard prose but the whole thing is delivered in the form of emails, journal entries, letters, cards, transcripts etc. This was a whole new way of reading a book to me and actually worked fantastically well. What I feel this allows is the ability for Cabot to really create strong personalities of her characters while also leaving the reader to be able to picture an image of the characters appearance on their own. I quite liked this because it meant that my image of Kate, Jen etc could be very different to the next readers but it still works. I liked being able to use my imagination a little as a reader rather than having every minute detail of dress, appearance etc mapped out. Cabot uses tones of each charcter through their emails, letters etc to one another in order to give us a detailed glimpse of their personality traits which without would have meant the whole book wouldn't have worked. Overall I was really happy with this new take on chick-lit.
As the plot pregresses we realise that the whole story is based upon Kate's ability to find love without expecting it, as most 'boy meets girl' (pardon the pun!) stories are! On the way we met an entire family who become secondar main characters-The Hertzogs. Mitch is the friendly lawyer who wants to do good, Stuart is the arrogant and obnoxious older sibling, Stacy is the oldest daughter and very witty, Janice is the youngest of the four and currently in college and then there are Margaret and Arnold the parents of the brood. Amoungst these characters and others like the lovable Dolly Vargos who is the style editor at the Journal, and Amy Jenkins the she-devil boss of Jen and Kate there is a real sense of strong personality for each. Cabot has been very clever in creating characters we can relate to whether loveable or hateable which allows us as the reader to relate certain situations to our own lives which always helps it seem realistic.
Throughout the books 383 pages there are plenty of humourous moments that will actually having you laughing out loud for example when Little John (son of Stacy and nephew of Mitch) says his first full sentence which is far from polite as he learned it froma family feud! It has that 'Meet The Parents' style effect as you read and can't help but laugh out loud! I had my partner asking what was so funny!
As well as the humour there are plenty of heartwarming moments between the characters in the middle between Jen and Kate as lifelong best friends their friendship and love is very warming and by the end new character relationships have developed which although very predictable, also still utterly romantic and enjoyable!
I would give this book a great five out of five stars! I love reading and am quite picky with books and due to the huge volume of chick-lit novels about I tend to be very critical when I read different ones. I can't really fault this though. It's funny and entertaing and utterly gripping. I have to admit I had read it cover to cover within three evenings as it's impossible to ignore once you get going. However due to the way it's written (through the emails etc) when you do need to put the book down it's very easy to find places to pause as the frequency of change is high. However finding a reason to want to stop reading is totally more difficult!
Although predictable and you can see the ending character relationships coming a mile off, the plot does have little twists that keep you glued to the pages which means you aren't braindead by the end either! It's well worth a read if you want something to warm your bones without you needed to use your brain too much!
Totally enjoyable and utterly recommended!
Boy Meets Girl is the second book I've read by American author Meg Cabot, who is most famous for writing the 'Princess Diary' books that were made into popular films by Disney. Cabot is most well-known for her books for children and teens, although this new foray into the world of adult fiction is a successful one in my opinion.
This book is part of a series, although you don't have to read the books in order to enjoy them as it is more of a case that you will recognise the odd character from other books and the setting is the same, although the actual stories in the different books are otherwise independent from each other.
Kate MacKenzie works in the human resources department of the fictional New York Journal magazine. She is, as the blurb describes her, 'reluctant deliverer of termination notices and queen of instant messaging'. Ida Lopez is the creator of the most delightful cakes which she sells to the employees of the New York Journal by means of a dessert trolley, although she has her own very exacting standards of who is worthy of her treats. Mitch Hertzog is a corporate lawyer who is forever the saviour of the underdog, shunning a life of family wealth to make a difference to those less fortunate. When Ida decides that Mitch's tyrant brother is undeserving of her cakes, all hell breaks loose and Kate, Mitch and Ida must work together against the tyrants and the nepotism to find the truth.
Boy Meets Girl is a lot of fun. It is a quick and easy read that will make you smile and keep you reading fervently until the very end. If you aren't familiar with this series, let me tell you why it is such fun. Meg Cabot writes entirely in email and instant messages. We learn about the different characters and the whole story from their written interactions with each other. Writing stories in the form of written correspondence between the characters is nothing new - it has been done before. But with this book, Meg Cabot brings that writing style into the twenty-first century.
I love this style of writing because I think it makes the story seem so much more personal and it makes you as a reader feel so much more involved. Rather than just reading about a group of people who work together, you actually almost feel like one of them because you are witness to their private emails and messages.
The storyline is true chick-lit stuff; it could be true but it's just a little too exaggerated to be so. The good characters (like Kate, Mitch and Ida) are a little too sugary sweet to be real life people and the bad guys (like Mitch's brother, Stu, and Kate's boss, Amy) are a little too scheming and evil and stereotypically bad to be real. But this just makes the book more successful in my opinion. When I read fictional books like this, I am looking for a bit of fun and escapism and this is what you get by the bucket load with Boy Meets Girl. It's all there - highs, lows, romantic interests, characteristically nasty folk and, ultimately, a happy ending.
This is a great series for adults, but I also think it would make a good choice for those with teenagers who are getting a bit old for 'Lizzie McGuire', 'Tracey Beaker' and the like. It is a perfect step from teen books to adult books - it's easy to read and will keep you engaged, but there is nothing unsuitable for teenage eyes. Overall I think it is a very enjoyable book that is suitable for all ages and will make a great summer read.
I was, in my opinion, EXTREMELY lucky that I read this book after "The Guy Next Door - Meg Cabot" Purely because this happens to be the second book in a series, and I had luckily already read the prequel to this book without even knowing that they are somewhat linked. But when I opened the book I realised it was in the same sort of context and structure... Emails... Anyway they had previous main characters coming up represented as minor characters this time, and it brought forward the minor characters from the last book as major characters, so it was a complete reversal.
Now as you may, or may not have, noticed that I'm a MASSIVE fan of Meg Cabot, as I'm starting to read all the books, as she has a brilliant technique in writing that grabs me and brings me into the book, and then someone disturbs me and I get really infuriated. I managed to finish this book quicker than I anticipated, I was expecting it to last a whole week, but nope, it lasted only a mere 3 days! I personally was totally shocked, I need to get the sequel to this book and, of course, all the other books Meg Cabot has ever written, as my book shelf has hardly any Meg Cabot books on there due to the fact that I keep on finishing them all, as you may have noticed.
This book was more on the side of how horrible the T.O. D. (short for Tyrannical Office Depot) (also known as Amy Jenkins). Anyone would think she owned the New York Journal. Anyway there is basically 3 major main characters, they are: Kate MacKensie, Mitch Hertzog & Ida Lopez.
Kate MacKensie is the person that this book revolves around. She has just broken up with her boyfriend, who did not want to be committed to being married, and she is sleeping on a sofa of her friend's called Jen Sadler. Problem is that Kate keeps on getting in the way because Jen and her Husband, Craig, are trying to make a baby. And once Jen caught them "at it" (If you haven't already realised, this is an adult book, I STRONGLY recommend no child to read this!) Anyway... The T.O.D. Asks Kate to fire Ida Lopez as she refused to give cake to someone, also Kate was not able to finalise a written warning and therefore Ida was fired by verbal warning only.
Mitch Hertzog doesn't come into the story until later when Kate has to go and see him due to the fact that he is taking up the case as Ida Lopez wants to sue. Amy then gets furious with Kate as she went to see him without supervision from her, and also because Kate told the utter-most truth, when Amy wants her to lie. He is the brother of Stuart Hertzog, who is the official lawyer for The New York Journal; problem is that they seriously don't get along at all. Kate has a massive crush on Mitch and Jen wants all the details. Anyway we also later find out that Mitch likes her too but is scared that she doesn't feel the same way. Will they ever get together?
Ida Lopez is a cafeteria lady at the New York Journal and she specialises in Deserts, she is loved by the whole of the staff at the NY Journal, however she refuses to give cake to anyone who she doesn't like. She is the best cook in the world. She happens to not give cake to Stuart Hertzog only because he hates immigrants and think they shouldn't be in America. Kate reckons he's awfully rude, and wants to tell him that "Hertzog" isn't actually a American name and is probably foreign to some extent and therefore that his extended family must have been an immigrant somewhere along the line. Problem is that Ida should have been given a written warning that if she did it again she would be fired, problem is that the T.O.D. is the girlfriends of Stuart Hertzog and therefore that must have been the reason for her dismissal without written warning... Will she win this case?
So I presume you have a ruff idea of the story line, so I shall not go into any more detail or I'll end up going in to deep and telling you the whole story I hope I don't! Anyway, now these reviews are mainly here to know what I personally think of this book, problem with that is that I will just repeat myself over and over again for every single Meg Cabot book I will/have written a review on. But whether this will bore you or not, I don't care. I personally think that this book is amazing and should be read by every person in the whole world, if you don't like romance stories; you still HAVE to read this book its soooooooo good! There happens to be absolutely no bad points about this book apart from the fact that this book is stuffed with emails and happens to have no chapters whatsoever, so you have to have a lot of time on your hands so as you can read the book in depth so that you can actually put a bookmark in and remember what had happened in the book.
I love how Meg Cabot finds lots of different ways to write stories. She is the author of the phenomenal book series called "The Princess Diaries" and she has written a few books all filled with diary entries. This book she's took a lot further and done it all out of emails which is beyond extravagant, well in my personal opinion anyway. However the prequel to this book "The Guy Next Door" happens to be packed with emails and nothing else. Meg Cabot has stepped out of the box of JUST emails and added these brilliant types: Journal Entries, IMing, letters, to do lists, newspaper adverts, quotes from what major characters see, memos, incident reports, transcripts, menus, answering machines and a lot more. She has definitely gone out of the box of impressments and jumped into the box of over-extravagant. It surprised me how she ever managed to write such a clever and sophisticated structured books, it should have won a book award at least.
What do I think about the cover? Well here's a question without much meaning, the cover looks formal and doesn't explain much about the book, however it leaves you in a mysterious sense. The little picture of the statue of Liberty, suggesting that the book is based in New York. The cover leaves a mysterious twist in making you question what the book is about, also the stars in the sky are really shiny and that makes you notice it more.
Meg Cabot is successfully know for writing the phenomenally successful book series called "The Princess Diaries" She has written a fair amount of books including the series "Missing", "The Mediator", and many books that are prequels and sequels. She is a most fascinating and inspirational author who I'm very interested in reading books from her, she has such a capturing technique and intrigues me straight away, just after I have opened the book or even read the blurb on the back, I get soooooooo needy for wanting a book that's by her, that I, nowadays, don't even bother reading the back to find out what it's about. They fascinate me and I cannot live without reading them!
I hope I have interested you into reading this book and I suggest you read "The Guy Next Door" first as it is the prequel to this book and you'd step backwards in time if you happen to read it the other way around. If you think this is not your thing I suggest you try it and see as I'm pretty sure you'll like it too!