So - Meg Cabot. Georgette Heyer of our times, y/n?
Cabot needs to have 'UTTER FUCKING WISH FULFILMENT' tattooed on her forehead. I get these kinds of ideas too, but my stumbling block lies in wringing out of them a decent plot. Her plots are unadulterated crack. The heroine always falls for the best male friend. I don't have any close male friends and I don't know anyone who does; but I think we all WANT to have a male BFF who ends up being the SO. Check wish fulfilment box #1.
Jinx is one of her poorer efforts, on a par with Tommy Sullivan is a Freak. It contains a lot of backtracking - starting at a future point and recounting all the events that lead up to it, when she could just cut the starting sentence and not have to past-tense everything. I swear she doesn't even read over this shit, let alone edit it properly. The now infamous - and painful - 'three sentences within a bracket' trope is ever more prevalent here. For some reason she's taken the part of Wiccans and is trying to sell the whole 'one with nature not HELL' vantage point. I'm telling you, if I took up witchcraft, it wouldn't be to become one with nature. I hate nature. And the idea that bad witches are not true witches, which is all over fantasy in various forms like a rash, is such BS. It's like saying bad humans are not really humans. Um, no. If you can exploit magic to do bad things, it's an intrinsic fault in the magic - like the amount of calories in chocolate. Abstaining from chocolate doesn't make you a better person, although it may certainly make you a bitchier one.
Airhead is the first in a purported series, which I wish I'd known going in. Had she written the plot the other way around - with the brain of a supermodel transplanted into the body of a Plain Jane - it would probably have won her a Booker Prize. As it is, I can never for one second believe in Em/Nikki's angst because hello, we ALL want to wake up in a size 0 body plus [fill in chosen celebrity's name]'s face with no effort whatsoever. Again, I don't know why she's taken the part of models and cheerleaders, of all people. She usually sticks with a 'love yourself, love others for who they are inside' motto, which she honestly seems to believe. It can of course apply to models and cheerleaders too (... probably), but c'mon. Her target audience is not people who feel any great sympathy for the plight of models and cheerleaders. If it was, no one would read her books in the first place.
As it is, all her books are supremely unthreatening. I hate more than anything books that skip genre, although to be fair that's a marketing fault. I go into Meg Cabot with the same attitude with which I approach any chicklit: looking for the cheap, vicarious thrill. I get it. To her credit, she never tries to be something she's not. I REALLY wish she'd clean up the grammar, but with the kind of book deals she's pulling - why bother?
Previously, on Book Glomp 2008:
Middlemarch | Invisible Monsters | A Thousand Splendid Suns | Love in the Time of Cholera | Oscar and Lucinda | Kim | Breakfast at Tiffany's | Atonement | To the Lighthouse | On the Road | Brideshead Revisited | Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance | Bonjour Tristesse | A Passage to India | Three Men in a Boat | Vile Bodies | Prozac Nation | The Heart of the Matter