Title: Queen of Babble
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
What’s an American girl with a big mouth, but an equally big heart, to do?
Lizzie Nichols has a problem, and it isn’t that she doesn’t have the slightest idea what she’s going to do with her life, or that she’s blowing what should be her down payment on a cute little Manhattan apartment on a trip to London to visit her long-distance boyfriend, Andrew. But what’s the point of planning for the future when she’s done it again? See, Lizzie can’t keep her mouth shut. And it’s not just that she can’t keep her own secrets, she can’t keep anything to herself.
This time when she opens her big mouth, her good intentions get Andrew in major hot water. So now Lizzie’s stuck in London with no boyfriend and no place to stay until the departure date written on her non-refundable airline ticket.
Fortunately, there’s Shari, Lizzie’s best friend and college roommate, who’s spending her summer in southern France, catering weddings with her boyfriend, Chaz, in a sixteenth-century château. One call and Lizzie’s on a train to Souillac. Who cares if she’s never traveled alone in her life and only speaks rudimentary French? One glimpse of gorgeous Château Mirac – not to mention gorgeous Luke, the son of Château Mirac’s owner – and she’s smitten.
But while most caterers can be trusted to keep a secret, Lizzie’s the exception. And no sooner has the first cork been popped than Luke hates her, the bride is in tears, and it looks like Château Mirac is in danger of becoming a lipo-recovery spa. As if things aren’t bad enough, her ex-boyfriend Andrew shows up looking for “closure” (or at least a loan), threatening to ruin everything, especially Lizzie’s chance at ever finding real love…
Unless she can figure out a way to use that big mouth of hers to save the day.
A new Meg Cabot series for me to throw myself into! This one is only three books long, but I’m still happy to get my hands on anything she writes. This book hasn’t taken The Mediator‘s spot as “Top Meg Cabot Series” for me, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit, especially toward the end.
The beginning was probably the weakest part for me. This is the point where protagonist Lizzie is the most naive and oblivious, which means she’s the most frustrating. She’s jetting off to England to visit with a boyfriend who she was apparently only with for one night (I was a bit unsure about this, so that made it a little confusing as well), and she’s only too happy to overlook his many shortcomings because it would make her life more difficult. Once she starts to wise up to what a bad idea being with him is, that’s when things started getting more interesting.
I guess the main point of this book was Lizzie’s journey to get to know herself better and to go for what she wants rather than putting up with things. Since this is more of a contemporary book (or is a contemporary book), there isn’t a whole lot of plot – it’s pretty character and drama-driven.
As she often does, Cabot set up some interesting characters that I hope to get to know over the series. Since it’s the first book, there’s a lot I feel like I don’t know about the characters, but because it is early on, I don’t think this is a weakness. If I’m still left wanting so much more after the second book, then it becomes a problem, but this was a nice introduction.
About 95% or so of this book takes place in London or France. When Lizzie is in London, the setting wasn’t as strong, but I think that went with her character and what was happening in her life during that time. When she gets to France, she’s starting to grow and she’s able to better appreciate her surroundings, which made the story more interesting.
The “Adult” Aspect
After reading Cabot’s Heather Wells series, which was also adult, I figured this would be the same – a little bit more adult than her YA fare, but not that much. Well, there were times it felt like a regular YA books, but there were also the times when the term “blow job” was used – a lot. It was kind of a point that Lizzie felt she needed to continually bring up. I think the term was used at least 30-40 times in this book alone, which is a bit much from what I’d expect in a Cabot book. There was also a sex scene toward the end that was more descriptive than I’m used to from her, but it’s still not as adult as it could have been, I suppose.
I liked the romance for the most part, but it could suffer from a problem that Cabot seems to use a lot – the whole “I’m totally in love with this guy now but can’t let him know even though I’m being pretty obvious about it right now.” This is a pretty common trope in general, but I just wish we could have had something a little different anyway. That’s not to say that I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t the most original thing we could have had, that was for sure. Quite a bit of the drama came from the whole “he couldn’t possibly like me even though he obviously does” camp, which could also be annoying.
I read the last half or so in one night, which is quite good for me when it comes to adult books. I was just having so much fun by the end and everything was getting pretty interesting, so I had to know how it would all end. There wasn’t as much repetition of things that annoyed me by the end, so I was just able to have a lot more fun by then.
Queen of Babble is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Cabot – fluffy fun. The series could do a little bit of growing with the other two installments, but I’d still be happy with them as long as they’re just as fun as this one was for the most part.