Top Ten Things Meg Cabot Has Taught Me

I swear, I am messed up these days.  I was supposed to get this out on the 26th but real life, birthdays, and a lack of air conditioning for most of the day sort of made me forget about this.  Never mind though, I’m posting this now.  And I hope you can forgive me for the delay.

Anyway, one of the biggest little life lessons that Meg Cabot has taught me is to make lists.  So I thought why don’t I make a top ten list of the things that Meg Cabot has taught me.  Because there are lots of things she’s taught me-via book and just real life.

10) Lifetime Movies: Thanks to Meg I have no become sort of Lifetime obsessed.  I’ve actually Google many of the movies that she listed in The Princess Diaries series.   I actually did manage to find and watch Who is Julia?  Which is a Lifetime movie that is very similar to Meg’s novel Airhead, but sort of in reverse.

Pierce isn’t the first brain to get a new body.

9) Why go to Web MD when you have Meg MD: Okay, I know when I’m sick I’m supposed to go to a doctor and I do.  But Meg Cabot has informed me of lots of diseases that are out there that I otherwise would’ve been oblivious to.  Oh, and I know all about self actualization now too-though that’s technically not a disease.

8) Pop Culture: I learn more about what’s hot from Meg than from Perez Hilton. Especially when it comes to past pop culture.  I can pop open an old Meg Cabot book and know what the appeal of Jennifer and Brad once was. Though I still have a hard time picturing them as a couple, even though I was cognitive when they were together.  I mean, they look too much alike.  Then again, Brad Pitt has a tendency to make himself look like his significant others to a degree.

7) Warnings about Uptown Girl Listeners: I will never listen to Billy Joel the same way.  Or for that matter if I see a guy listening to “Uptown Girl” I might just want to get out of his way.

6) Self Esteem: If you’re on a plane and someone thinks you’re a celebrity just go with it.  Hey, Lizzie Nichols did.  And six hours of someone thinking you’re Jennifer Garner will do wonders for your overall self worth.  It always helps when you’re married to Batman.

5) Moving Guide:  If you’re moving try to move into a supposed haunted house.  There’s a good chance that there could be a hot ghost living in your bedroom.  Who puts the sexy back in the name Jesse.

4) Dorms are Death Traps: It’s not apparently the black mold that would kill you, like I always thought when I was in college.  There are lots of psychos in the dorms.  And actually this makes sense to me since there was an actual serial killer on my college campus at one point and he lived in student housing.  We needed Heather Wells and stat. Also, we needed her to stop all those muggings at the library.  Yes, my college was in a bad part of town.

3) Psychic Powers are Obtainable to Everyone: If you know stand outside in a lightening storm and lightening strikes you and you live to tell the tale.  I’m also told if you’re in a car the lightening can work as a time traveling device as well.

2) Nobody’s Grandma Bakes them Cookies: You’re actually lucky if you’re grandma is like Grandmere and forces you to go to Chanel.  Look at poor Pierce Oliveria, her grandma tried to kill her.

1) Be Princessly: I have met Meg at two book signings.  And both times she was so nice to everyone.  And she doesn’t have to be.  I mean, she a mega success.  But the amount of professionalism she shows towards everyone is a lesson that everyone should aspire to have.

Advertisements

Raiders of the Lost Bookshelves: Meg-A Readers Edition

After readingAwaken  I realized I’ve been reading Meg Cabot books for over a decade  I vaguely remember picking up Princess Diaries after  reading about the movie in some magazine, I want to say American Girl, but it’s been twelve years so….yeah.  Anyway, over the years I’ve collected lots of Meg Cabot books with lots of covers and with the way covers go in and out of style I have some well…rather interesting ones to look at.  Today, I thought I’d look at some of these covers since, you know, this is technically an my entry for the very awesome Meg Cabot Blog Hop.

What Does the Cover Tell Me: It’s pretty literal.  I get the message it’s a diary about the princess.  The background is also pretty plain too save for the tiara.  I actually think these covers have held up pretty well for the most part save for the ultra girly colors.  Grant it, book three might be a little cheesy but I’ve seen worse.
What’s the Book About: A girl finds out she’s a princess and unlike most girls she hates being royalty.
Has the Actual Story Hold Up: Yes.  Except a few of the pop culture references are out of date.  But overall,  I still enjoy reading this book.  I really think it was ahead of its time.  Most of the YA books that were released around the time Diaries was released were about a) teens dealing with crisis (either dead parents, eating disorders or pregnancy, b) were packaged serials,  or c) creepy memoirs.
I know this book was only published a few years ago, but before Princess Diaries was published this was the sort of crap you’d see in the YA section at the book store.  
Does the Cover Hold Up: I will say this is the one pink book I can take with me out in public and not feel embarrassed.
What Does the Cover Tell Me: Not much.  Just that it’s a romance novel that has some bad flower arrangements.  It could be contemporary or historical.  It’s really not that very telling.
What’s the Book About: All Payton wants to do is to be on a boat.  However, proper regency ladies aren’t supposed to do that or be in love with ship captains that are engaged.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Um, yeah.  I really liked this one.  It’s just so much fun.  And yeah it’s a little unrealistic but it’s a romance.  Plus, the heroine is a take action sort of gal.
Does the Cover Hold Up: It’s alright.  It’s nothing special.  I think an awesome story like this deserves better.
What Does the Cover tell Me: This book is going to take place on 4th of July?  Is this Meg Cabot’s version of Independence Day.  Is Samantha Madison going to have to save us from the aliens like she saved us from that uber Billy Joel fan? Um, no.
 
What is the Book Actually About:  Sam and David are ready for the next step or are they?  Honestly, I should warn you this one is a bit like a PSA but it’s a Meg Cabot PSA so that makes it very tolerable.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Actually, a lot better than I expected.  I’ll be honest.  This is probably my least favorite Meg book.  But I really appreciate it now a lot more than I did when I actually read it. In a genre full of slut slamming and promoting the virginity myth, Ready or Not gives some valuable information to teens concerning protection, sex, and just general healthy relationship advice.  Is it a little preachy, at times yes.  But I really like what Meg was trying to do here.  And I appreciate this book a little bit more every time Alexandra Adornetto publishes a book.
Has the Cover Held Up: It’s okay.  It’s not great.  I mean it’s pretty unremarkable, but you can bring it to an airport with you.
What Does the Cover tell Me: Is that supposed to be the moon?  And why does Jean have a glow about her and why is she wearing that ridiculous dress that makes her look like she should be about twenty-five instead of sixteen or whatever.  But I remember shiny=pretty in those days, so it’s not that surprising.
What is the Book Actually About: Jean is a forced to move to a new town in typical YA MC fashion where she finds out that her perfect extended family is hardly perfect after all.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Yeah, it’s sort of your stereotypical paranormal, but it still fun in that campy Meg Cabot way.  Plus witches that don’t drastically change their appearance for a boy (well, sort of).
Has the Cover Held Up: No.  Revamp.  Revamp.  Revamp.  This cover to me is confused looking and it needs some updating really would help it.
What Does the Cover tell Me: It’s the librarian’s ball at Hogwarts.  And Mindy has decided to dress as some lady in red in literature because she wants to show off those toned shoulders of hers.  And why is she headed towards the restricted section?
What is the Book Actually About: It’s the sequel of Insatiable  where soap opera writer turned demon hunter Meena has to face her vampire ex and try to figure out what the deal is between her and that Thor look alike, Alec.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Pretty good.  I sort of want a third one, but I was very satisfied with this ending.  I know a lot of people didn’t like who Meena ended up picking but I was Team Neutral so it really didn’t bother me. Though I really wish Meena would get a job at another soap opera.  This is me being bias though since my childhood dream job was to be a soap writer.  I even had a whole character named, Kasie,  made up who had been married five different times, had five children with six different fathers (it’s a soap opera after all) and she moves to town to get with the eighty year old patriarch who is actually a rival to her long lost father and her daughter is about to marry an arms dealer who her son…yeah, I watch way too much General Hospital. 
Has the Cover Held Up: It’s okay.  I really don’t think it mashes up too well with the first book, but by itself it’s not terrible offensive as time has past.  I love the dress.
What Does the Cover tell Me: It’s a Hans Underwear ad (note the way his hands are cupping her butt).  Actually, I remember reading some of the promotional stuff that Meg had for this book and she said something about it being her butt touching cover.  Which is pretty funny.  It does make a statement thought he background itself is a little loud to me.
What is the Book Actually About: A girl finally gets caught up in her lies while competing in a beauty contest of all things.  And what I really like about this book is even though Katie is competing in a beauty contest she still eats cookies.  Yay, for cookies!
Has the Actual Story Held Up: I haven’t read it in a while but I remember it being cute not that memorable.  But it might be more relevant today considering our cultures obsession with bad reality TV shows involving pageants.
Has the Cover Held Up:  Not so much.  I really didn’t like this cover to begin with.  I think if it was just the butt touching photo it would be okay.  The background cover just looks too bright.
What Does the Cover tell Me: Ugh, I really hate these covers.  Why is Suze wearing a midriff?  They were only popular in those late 1990’s movies where Drew Barrymore pretended to be in high school when really she’s a lowly copyeditor and falls in love with that dude from Alias.  And is that supposed to be Paul and Jesse in the background?  Uh, no thanks.
What is the Book Actually About: It’s the conclusion to the best YA series ever.  Yes, even after eight years this is still my favorite YA series.  If you haven’t pick it up now, what are you waiting for?    The book is about this girl who moves to California and falls in love with a hot cowboy who’s a ghost.  How can you not like this book?  Oh, and it has a love triangle that’s actually not creepy in the way most love triangles are creepy.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Um, this is my favorite Meg Cabot book.  Need I say more?
Has the Cover Held Up: Not really.  I never really liked these covers though (I have cartoon phobia-thank you Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies), so I was sort of happy with the revamp for the omnibus editions.  Though the girl in a dress look really is cliche.
What Does the Cover tell Me: I actually thought this book was going to be about a fallen starlet before I read the summary.  And honestly a Meg Cabot book about a celebrity who went off the deep end could be sort of awesome.
What is the Book Actually About: A girl gets a brain transplant sort of like that movie Who is Julia? that Mia always talks about.  But instead of a model getting put into the body of an ordinary woman, a normal looking girl gets put in the body of a model.
And of course there’s also this book where a girls mind is implanted into a chimp.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Oh, yeah.  This is another one that hits home more now than it did when I originally read it.  One of my biggest peeves in YA and really in the media in general is self image.  And I think Meg touches on these issues in such a great way without being preachy.
Has the Cover Held Up: It’s honestly still on trend.  It’s not my favorite though because I expect I’m going to get a book about a celebrity hitting rock bottom and having to move in with her parents who own a llama farm in Vermont.  Which is a book I actually sort of would want to read.
What Does the Cover tell Me: Ugh, another cartoon cover.  Curse, you Simon Pulse for making this a trend!  On the other hand, my copy actually has a sticker that it’s a book from the Kelly Ripa book club.  Who knew Haley Vaughn had a book club?  Or for that matter read Meg Cabot.  This is actually still one of my favorite contemporaries though.  And the sequel to this book has fantastic recipes that I used to make…you know, when I had time to cook.
 
What is the Book Actually About: This gossip journalist is tired of her job (honey, you’re a gossip journalist you could be doing much worse) and one day her neighbor is mugged and she meets her nephew becuase, well, someone has to watch the old lady’s Great Dane.  And sparks fly.  But there’s deception going on at the same time.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Um, yeah.  Totally.  Though it’s more than a little ridiculous.
Has the Cover Held Up: Barf!  Cartoons that aren’t graphic novel/anime.
What Does the Cover tell Me: Ugh, Simon Pulse romantic comedy puke look alike was my first thought until I saw Meg’s name by it.  Seriously, I am glad the cartoon phase has gone away.  It needed too.  Then again, I’ll probably be raving about it when it becomes popular again.    Honestly though, if I didn’t see her name I’d think this some lame rom com about a girl learning how to ride motorcycles with the quasi lame new guy at school that the book tells us we’re supposed to love but…yeah.
What is the Book Actually About: A burnt out psychic ex boyfriend comes to find her in hopes she finds his missing sister that we didn’t know existed in the past four books.  Oh, and how did Jess get into Juilliard if she couldn’t read music?  For reals.  I really wondered how she would survive her music theory classes.  My sister has a masters in music and she still hates theory I can only imagine how someone who doesn’t know how to read music…digressing.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Yes.  Definitely.  Though it’s not my favorite out the series it was the perfect way to conclude the series.  And plus, for what Jess decides to do with her non-psychic  career my mom does the exact same thing and I can actually see Jess being good at  that. Actually what I really like the most about this book is I think Meg wrote it for the fans.  The series had originally got cancelled after book four and finally she was able to convince her new publishing company to buy the rights so she could write a fifth book.  And you just have to appreciate that.
Has the Cover Held Up:  No.  No.  No.  Let’s forget the Simon Pulse cartoon phase ever existed.
On a side note, I’d like to thank The Romance Bookie and Little Miss Drama Queen for hosting this blog hop.  Glad to participate and check out their sites for some great giveaways.

Quiz: What Meg Cabot Book Should You Read?

 

 

FIrst of all I want to say I’m sorry, somewhere in my hapless mind I got my dates confused and skipped my second blog entry for the Meg-A Reader Blog Hop .  Luckily, I am able to post before the event is over.    Having trouble deciding what Meg Cabot Book to read take this quiz and you’ll have troubles no more:

1) Where would you like to live?

A) New York City: The big apple is where it’s at.  You never have to worry about being bored in New York.

B) The Midwest: There’s no better place to be than the midwest.  Good middle American values, corn fields, and classic American cars.  Priceless.

C) California: Surf the waves.  Maybe do some shopping.  You like the laid back life of the golden state.

D) Europe: Who wants to be in the USA?  Europe is the true center of the world.  You like the fact that you can take a train ride and in forty-five minutes you’ll be in a different country.

2) If you were to describe your type of guy he’d be…

A) Super Nerd:  You’re guy would definitely know his DC from his Marvel as much as he knows his PC from his Mac.  And he’d probably drag you to Comic Con too.

B) Mr. Fix It: He can fix anything.  He knows a lot about cars and it doesn’t drive you crazy when he talks about them because you’re too focus on how his butt looks in those tight jeans of his.

C) Batman:  He might not be the most open book in the world.  But he has issues.  And isn’t being a little bit mysterious and Broody suppose to be hot.

D)  Indiana Jones: You want to go on an adventure and your guy will take you on one.

3) If you could have one thing in your wardrobe it would be?

A) Something simple.  Maybe black.  Black always is good.  It’s stylish, sliming, and it doesn’t show dirt.

B) A pair of jeans.  Smart and sensible nothing too fancy, but if they make your butt look good then you’re even happier.

C) A leather jacket.  It makes you look tough and you might get a little cold.

D) A nice Marc Jacobs bag that holds all your stuff when you go on a trip.

4) Would you rather….

A) Be famous and have the paparazzi constantly hounding you.

B) Be bored because there’s nothing to do other than stare at the local corn field.

C) Deal with supernatural melodrama

D) Get stuck in the Dublin airport with a twelve hour layover.

5) One thing that annoys you…

A)Tourists

B) City Slickers

C) Humidity

D) Maps

Scoring

If you chose mostly A’s: You’d probably like Meg’s contemporary novels set in New York.  For YA fans The Princess Diaries series is a must.  Mia is far more snarky in the books than in the movies.  And Grandmere is just a tad bit evil.  Other recommendations include The Heather Wells series, The Boy Next Door, and Girl Meets Boy.
If you chose mostly B’s: You’d probably like Meg’s contemporaries like Teen Idol, Pants on Fire, and How to be Popular.  These novels take small town charm but modernize it.  Also, if you like these books you might want to check out Meg’s Missing series.  Which while taking place in a small Indiana town, is a paranormal novel about a girl who has the ability to find people in her dreams.

 

If you chose mostly C’s: You’d probably like Meg’s paranormals such as The Mediator series.  Other good reads include The Insatiable books, Jinx, and The Abandon series.

If you chose mostly D’s: You like books with a heroine on the go who’s going to have an adventure far, far away.  Check out Meg’s Queen of Babble and Every Boy’s Got One.  If you’re really feeling for a true adventure go back in time with either Victoria and the Rouge  or Nicola and the Viscount. 

 

Meg-A Readers Blog Hop: What Would Meg Cabot Characters Wear Special Edition

I am a huge fan of Meg Cabot.  So, when the Romance Bookie and Little Miss Drama Queen informed me that they were doing a Meg Cabot centric blog hop, I couldn’t help but agree to participate.  Plus, they’re giving out sweet giveaway which you guys might want to check out here.

There are many reasons why I love Meg Cabot’s books.  When I first opened The Princess Diaries eleven years ago, after hearing that Julie Andrews (Yes, I’m a Julie Andrews fan.  So what?  Have you seen this) was going to star in a movie based on that book,  I was amazed.  This was a book that I could relate to, with actual cute boys,  and I could smile when I read it.  Which a far cry from any other book in the genre at that time.   Even after eleven years, I still count Meg as one of my favorite authors.  And why not?  She has written some pretty amazing stories, with super hot heros, and kick ass heroines.  The best thing about Meg’s books is that in each of her heroines are individuals.  I could merely write about how they’re different or I could show you by doing a detailed analyze on their wardrobes.

I prefer the later:

Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries was the first Meg Cabot character I was introduced to.    She’s fun, zany, and Mia really evolved throughout the series.  Her wardrobe reflected this.  At the beginning of the series, she did not care about clothes at all.  A pair of overalls, some combat boots, and a Save the Whales t-shirt and she was ready to go.  Sometimes this made for some rather awkward looks.  However, after becoming a princess Mia became more polished.  While there would occasionally be a zany piece of two that Mia would wear, she truly refined by the end of the series.  However, one thing remained constant that being her love for Michael and I think it’s kind represented by the snowflake necklace that Mia refuses to take off.  Note, I did my first What Would ___ Wear column  on Mia and her wardrobe and more Mia looks can be found here.

Samantha Madison, a.k.a. the girl who saved the president in All American Girl, is a different type of character than Mia.  She’s comfortable in her own skin from the get go.  Maybe a little too comfortable.  She’s artistic and a bit moody.  But like Mia she’s loveable at heart.  I think a lot of her wardrobe reflects her artistic nature.  Everything for the most part is black.  Sam would dye it black even if the material itself shouldn’t be dyed.  You might notice that there’s one bright blue suit amongst the sea of black and that’s because Sam’s mother would have bought said suit for Sam and forced her to wear it to oh, I don’t know a dinner at the White House.

Suze Simon from The Mediator series is probably one of Meg’s most fashionable characters.  She’s tough but has a feminine side at the same time.  I did a series of sets for Mediator characters not too long ago and finding clothes for Suze was a bit difficult because while I wanted to show off her feminine side it was important to include looks that showed she had an edge as well.  The result was trying to pair pieces that end up having some soft elements and some hard elements.

Emerson Watts from Meg’s trilogy, Airhead, probably had the most drastic makeover out of any of Meg’s characters since the girl literarily got a new body.  Em isn’t the type of character who cares much about fashion.  Rather, she’s more concerned about computer games and her best friend, Christopher.  I really don’t think she would’ve had a defined style other than sarcastic t-shirts had she not been the recipient of Nikki Howard’s body where she was required to wear high fashion couture.   So for the set I tried to make the clothes I pick go from extremely basic looks to high fashion looks.  There’s sort of an extremeness about the Airhead trilogy that I enjoyed and I hope the set reflects it.

Pierce, from Abandon, has been through a lot of inward turmoil after coming back from the dead.  In this set I tried to do a pre-death Pierce look and a post death Pierce look as well.  Before Pierce’s visit to the underworld I can see her dressing very preppy in bright colors and sweater sets.  I imagine her looking ridiculously innocent too, hence the unicorn shirt.  After her experience in the underworld, I see her taste being a bit more simpler.  Darker.  I see her not really caring about fashion that much, yet something about these simple looks of hers would be elegant.  I see her being very partial to jeans and plain colored t-shirts and tanks with maybe the occasional plain looking dress.  Of course, Pierce would have to have a few white dresses in her closet in both this world and the underworld.