Rather than reviewing these two books separately, I decided to comply them into one review since the two of them are a series. Well, would two books even qualify as a series? I’m not going to ponder that right now. Unlike most of the books I review, these two books are adult books. However, I’m making an exception to review them here because they are by Meg Cabot (aka the queen of YA fiction) and there’s really nothing too adult in them.
General Summary: Meena Harper is a soap writer who is trying hard to get a promotion for her show from her evil scheming coworker who got her job through nepotism, help her unemployed brother get a job, and find a guy that is not a) taken, b) a jerk, and c) have weird fetishes. This would make life difficult enough, but she also has to deal with having psychic powers. That leads her into a world full of vampires and slayers. Soon, Mia finds herself being recruited by the Palatine Guard (the Vatican’s version of Ghost Busters, save for more stakes and less Bill Murray) and dealing with the affections of a vampire and a grumpy slayer.
Review: When I read the summary of Insatiable I thought it was the Meg Cabot book for me. Which is saying something because I already found the Meg Cabot book for me. However, I thought Insatiable was going to be even better. After all, it was about a soap opera writer. A soap opera writer and vampires. How could it not be good? Unfortunately, there’s just something off in this series. Many people, I’ve noticed, claim it’s because it’s written in third person. I disagree with this. I think the third person point of view was fine. Meg is great at writing from whatever point of view she choses to write. Heck, she could write one of those annoying second point of view pieces that I was always forced to write in creative writing class and it would still engage me. I just think that with this series there’s just something about the characters that seems a little sour. Maybe that they seem a bit like archetypes. After all, we have Meena who even though she can kick butt, finds herself more often than not a damsel in distress. There’s Lucien, who is essentially Meena’s Dudley Do-Right…er, knight in shining armor. Alaric whose the mysterious brooding guy. Not to mention Meena’s brother Jon, who is the lovable if slightly idiotic sidekick, and Leisha, Meena’s sassy best friend. While it is true that archetypes can work when the characters are well developed, in this series it just never seems like these characters are developed enough so a lot of them-with the couple of exceptions- are just flat. This is really a disappointment since Meg usually excells in character development. I’m honestly hoping Meg gets to publish another one of these books out, then maybe this issue can be fixed. Another issue in this series was pacing. Yet again, I wish the series had been slowed down somehow. A lot of stuff happens in these books. And while it’s amazing, I just feel like if we had another book or two, the story could’ve even been better.
Best Feature: Soap Operas: I’ve always been a big, big fan of soaps. I grew up on All My Children (RIP) and am currently a big fan of One Life to Live (It’s a travesty ABC is axing such a socially relevant show for some cheap ass reality show that is an insult to the American public. God knows, I can’t stand AMC’s replacement with that annoying Mario Batali whose food looks like a heart attack in the making, but I digress). Soaps are fun and whacky, and they’re delicious to read about. I just loved reading about Meena’s job, despite the fact that her coworkers were are bunch on dweebs. I had to wonder if Meg was making a subtle nod to Port Charles. I also liked how the soap medium sort of carried on into the actual story itself.
Worst Feature: Love Interests: Once again this goes back to the character issue I mentioned in the review. Honestly, I had issues with both of Meena’s men. It’s odd, in Insatiable I had problems with Alaric while in its sequel I had problems with Lucien. Alaric’s entrance in the series made him a bit obnoxious. He was essentially an anti-social He Man. I think Meg was trying to make him come across like Michael Douglas does in this, but I just didn’t get the appeal with him. Although, I will admit he grew on me, but his growth between the two books was a bit ridiculous. I feel like if Meg had more room to grow the character, I would’ve liked him better than having him simply propped by Jon and Creepy! Lucien. Which brings me to Lucien. In the first book, he seemed ridiculously perfect to me. I knew he had flaws. Especially towards the end of the book. But in the second book, well, he just got to creepy too fast. I felt bad for his fans who shipped him, it reminded me very much of season four and five on Charmed. Heck, even Lucien’s ending reminded me of Cole’s ending.
Blockbuster Worthy: Hell yes! Any of Meg Cabot’s books are blockbuster worthy to me. This one included. Despite it’s faults. Here’s who’d I cast.
Meena: Alyssa Milano. This is the Meena. This is the only actress I can see playing the role . Okay, maybe I could see maybe Sarah Michelle Gellar if she cut her hair (after all, she did play a vampire slayer and worked on a soap), but I honestly see Alyssa when I picture Meena. Perhaps it’s because her character on Charmed had psychic powers and a crazy boyfriend as well.
Lucien:Julian McMahon: It’s a Charmed reunion! I do think Julian is perfect for the part though he can play the tortured character torn between good and evil. Though honestly, I picture Lucien looking a little bit more like Christian Bale who can play tortured characters too, now that I think about it….
Alaric: Honestly, I’m having a hard time casting Alaric. Looks wise that is. Acting wise, I’d put Jeffrey Donovan up to play the part of the disgruntled slayer. He’s used to playing grumpy characters who kick butt. Plus, he can do a variety of accents and he does have the blue eyes, but his hair is alas black not blonde.
Cheryl: Susan Lucci. She is the ultimate soap diva. And like Cheryl, she didn’t get that much deserved Emmy for years.
Insatiable: Eight Emmy’s
Overbite: Six Emmy’s