Title: Queen of Babble in the Bity City
Author: Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries series, All-American Girl, Awaken, Size 12 is Not Fat, Size 14 is Not Fat Either, Big Boned, Size 12 and Ready to Rock, The Bride Wore Size 12, and Queen of Babble)
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Lizzie Nichols is back, pounding the New York City pavement and looking for a job, a place to live, and her proper place in the universe (not necessarily in that order).
When “Summer Fling” Luke uses the L word (Living Together), Lizzie is only too happy to give up her plan of being postgrad roomies with best friend, Shari, in a one-room walk-up in exchange for cohabitation with the love of her life in his mother’s Fifth Avenue pied-à-terre, complete with doorman and resident Renoir.
But Lizzie’s not as lucky in her employment search. As Shari finds the perfect job, Lizzie struggles through one humiliating interview after another, being judged overqualified for the jobs in her chosen field—vintage-gown rehab—and underqualified for everything else. It’s Shari’s boyfriend Chaz to the rescue when he recommends Lizzie for a receptionist’s position at his father’s posh law firm. The nonpaying gig at a local wedding-gown shop Lizzie manages to land all on her own.
But Lizzie’s notoriously big mouth begins to get her into trouble at work and at home almost at once—first at the law firm, where she becomes too chummy with Jill Higgins, a New York society bride with a troublesome future mother-in-law, and then back on Fifth Avenue, when she makes the mistake of bringing up the M word (Marriage) with commitment-shy Luke.
Soon Lizzie finds herself jobless as well as homeless all over again. Can Lizzie save herself—and the hapless Jill—and find career security (not to mention a mutually satisfying committed relationship) at last?
Even though I enjoyed Queen of Babble, I wasn’t totally excited to read its sequel since it wasn’t my favorite Meg Cabot. Well, after finally reading this book, I’m mentally kicking myself for waiting so long – it may not be my favorite Cabot series, but it was still the typical fun that I’ve come to expect from her!
The beginning was the slowest part for me simply because this book wasn’t my primary focus. Once I made this my main book, I got really interested in it and the whole story seemed to become a lot more interesting to me. So, I think the slowness of the beginning was just me.
As the title indicates, this book is about Lizzie trying to make it in the Big City, aka New York City. Some things are easier than others, but overall it’s interesting to see someone adjusting to NYC rather than already being comfortably established there, like most Cabot characters.
I liked the combination of learning more about old characters as well as meeting some quirky new ones who will hopefully stick around. I still want more depth, though – we’re so stuck in Lizzie’s admittedly entertaining head that we don’t learn as much about other characters as I’d like. She’s also very busy with trying to get her New York life on track, so that takes away from character building as well.
As I already mentioned, this book takes place in the Big Apple. Now, I’ve never actually been to New York, so I can’t judge it from a knowing perspective – I thought it seemed pretty accurate based on what I’ve heard, but I could be totally wrong. One thing I do know, however, is that I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more diversity than this book has – she has one friend who sounds like a POC, but she’s all I can really think of – but otherwise, it seems fairly realistic, and has made it clear to me that NYC sounds like a scary-expensive place.
The “Adult” Aspect
As was the case with Queen of Babble, this book had more sexual content than I’ve come to expect with a Cabot title, but it still wasn’t that much, and it was vaguely referred to – we know that multiple characters, including Lizzie, are having sex, but there aren’t any explicit sex scenes. Really, the most adult aspect of this book was its focus on money, finding jobs and living spaces, and marriage, which all kind of scare me as a college student, but that a typical twenty-something recently out of college can probably really relate with.
I was kind of surprised by how little the romance seemed to be a focus. Lizzie obsessed over the idea of marriage and commitment, and there was some romantic drama surrounding that, but I don’t think that we really got that many scenes with Lizzie and Luke when I think back on the book. Lizzie is too busy trying to make her new life work to spend all her time obsessing over her boyfriend, even though it can seem like she does that too much.
The ending is the reason I want to read the next book right away. There’s a bit of a cliffhanger that I’m excited to see resolved, and some romantic drama that I want to see resolved. One minor issue, however, is that the summary kind of spoils some things. It mentions that Lizzie loses her house with her boyfriend as well as her “real,” paying job, but that all didn’t happen until the last forty or so pages of the book. That’s not the book’s fault at all – it’s the publisher including some spoiler-y stuff in the summary, which is annoying.
Cabot is a queen and I will read pretty much anything she writes. I may even start checking out her middle-grade stuff once I’ve finally read all her YA and adult titles – but first, I need to get my hands on the final book in this trilogy to see what happens!