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I've recently been indulging in some 'mummy time' and making a point to read a good book in the evenings. I love chick-lit books and Meg Cabot is great for providing feel good books in this genre.
I was quite suprised when I discovered that Cabot actually wrote adult novels. She is best known for her worldwide bestselling 'The Princess Diaries' series for young adults. As a youngster I never read those but I did occasionally indulge in some of her 'one off' titles and always thoroughly enjoyed them. It was this enjoyment that spurred me on to purchasing this novel to read recently.
'Every Boy's Got One' is a novel that follows on from two previous books. All are linked through background characters but bear no need to read the others if you don't want to. The usual link is that all the main characters work for the fictional 'New York journal' newspaper and there will be the odd link to characters from previous books but that is about it.
The plot is centered around newspapre cartoonist Jane Harris who is accompanying her best friend Holly and Holly's fiance Mak to Italy on their elopment. Also joining the trio is Mark's best friend and best man-Cal Langdon. The foursome are first revealed to us on their flight to Italy where we realise that Jane is pretty much single and quite ditsy but loveable. Holly is a reformed pink-haired rebel who now wants nothing more than to marry her long term partner and accomplished doctor Mark. However their families difference of religion means neither has the support to marry in their home country so they are eloping with two witnesses in tow! This is all revealed within pages and sets the pace for the novel.
Jane and Cal are total opposites-Cal a womanising commitment phobe and Jane who is secretly always keeping an eye out for her knight in shining armour. Holly and Mark however are opposites but are the other half of each other and completely fit together. It is very obviously from the beginning that the love story of this novel is not of Holly and Mark but of Jane. Although utterly predictable in every way (which all good chick-lit and chick-flick things are!) it's a very nice way of following the path of true love!
As with the two previous novels this one is also written completely in email, and journal entries which is a really interesting twist on the usual chick-lit books I read. I didn't expect to like this format initially but it very quickly became something I really enjoyed reading. It makes it really easy to pick up and put down. If you are a parent you will understand the beauty of this! It's really hard to tear yourself away from a good book and because each email or journal entry is no longer than two pages approximately you don't feel like you can't squeeze in the odd quick read inbetween jobs around the house. That's how addictive it is and it allows you to indulge in naughty mid-kids-dinner-prep reading!
Another reason I enjoy this format is because it allows me to use my imagination. I firmly believe that when I read a book I like to picture characters, scences etc in a way I see them and sometimes novels can give too much description on personal appearance etc that means your stuck with an overall impression of a character which isn't always what you agree with or would choose to come up with yourself. This style allows for the flexability for readers to create their own imagery which I really like. Although their is brief character appearance description it's not overdone so the details are up to us.
The only critisism I have for this is that differently to the previous two novels 'Every Boys Got One' was full of scenary detail. This is my pet hate in novels! It's a personal prefferance and I'm sure others disaggree but for me having pages of description about a view from a bedroom window really kills the story sometimes and this book is littered with drawn out description of the background. I couldn't help but wonder if as the third and final installment of this collection , Cabot was trying to string the book out. This also became more of an impression as the novel is set over the period o a few weeks and considering it's 328 pages long just makes you realise how much 'filling' out there needs to be.
I did enjoy this novel but not as much as the previous two installments. I felt their was too much padding and the plot was utterly predictable, but on a whole new level. It was nice to read but it didn't grip me as much as others have and by the end I was ready for it to be the end!
Overall I give this book 3.5 stars. I feel a bit mean as I would really recommend it to others but I just wouldn't say it will knock your socks off! I bought mine on ebay for less than £2 as it was released in 2005 so it's not classed as new enough to warrant a higher price tag. However if you want to buy it new you can get a copy from Amazon for less than £6 but the RRP is £7.99 in bookshops.
If your going on holiday and fancy a light read this is perfect but if you want true love, inspirational reading and a love story you will remember then you may be better with something else! Plus I still have no idea what the title 'Every Boy's Got One' is in reference to!?