Monday, August 30, 2010

Insatiable~Meg Cabot

The thing is, at some point you have to feed the children.
And the dishes won’t do themselves.
Although, if I didn’t cook for the children (or rather, if I didn’t help my chef husband cook for the children) then there wouldn’t be any dishes to do. And the world would be a happier place because I could read Insatiable by Meg Cabot without interruption. Well, without interruption would never happen unless the boys were gone for the weekend with their dad and the sheets and towels washed themselves (because that’s what Saturdays are for) and I had a catheter in, which I don’t.

I was also pleased to see that Ms. Cabot and I have done some of the same research for our books. When Lucien said, “Wallachia,” I knew just what he was referring to. And when the vampire hysteria of the 1700’s was being described I was already privy to that intel. It was the Empress Dowager of Austria, Maria Theresa, and the for-real vampire hunter (her royal physician) who put the hysteria to rest. Maria Theresa had a daughter named Maria Josepha and, if you have read my book and you knew a little bit of Austrian history, that would mean something to you. Just thought it was a pleasant coincidence.

Bella Swan. Sookie Stackhouse. Meena Harper.
All girls with special gifts.
All girls whose special gifts give their blood that tantalizing bouquet that drives the vampires crazy.
All girls who find themselves swept into love with smoldering hot vampires.
And in the Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith the young hot vampire is named the young, hot vampire in Insatiable. Also, Smith and Cabot both named their vampire hunters Alaric. That's just how my weird brain works, drawing connections. I can't say that Cabot has even ever read the Vampire Diaries. (I did when I was 12ish and had a crush on young Stefan for years.) 
Typically, I would be turned off by such similarities but Meg Cabot’s Insatiable is far from being anything like Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series and is even further removed from Meyer’s Twilight.
It’s not really even fair to compare Sookie and Meena’s stories. They’re so completely different.
Insatiable is a smart, sexy almost tongue-in-cheek vampire romance. It reminded me of 30 Rock but with vampires. That's especially true when Meena is completely indignant that the show she writes for is considering upping their product plugs. The idea is repugnant to Meena who thinks that product placements in the show decrease the show's creative integrity and then she grabs her Pottery Barn throw off her IKEA furniture and throws her Pottery Barn lamp at Alaric. It reminded me of an episode of 30 Rock wherein Liz Lemon is upset about the same thing and takes a drink of her diet Snapple before saying, "Wow you can't even tell that's diet," and this person in a Snapple bottle costume comes out behind them either at that point or in another episode. That's smart-funny. That's what we call clever.
Lucien’s rescue of Meena almost made me laugh just because it echoed the rescue of Bella by Edward, when the truck nearly killed her. But I was too swept up in it and merely smirked afterward. Maybe a carefully veiled parody wasn’t what Cabot was going for, but I like to think it was.
When Lucien took his reading glasses out of his pocket at the dinner party, I lost it. My husband just shook his head at me as I laughed and quieted down and started up again. It was so funny, but in a slick yet corny kind of way.
The mystery of the story wasn’t difficult to figure out. At least not the mystery of who was behind the murders. The larger mystery, what will Meena decide? Who will she choose? That was more difficult to guess. And, like with Sookie, I find myself not rooting for the sexy vampire that everyone else probably is.
I love Meena. Even though she’s one of those little pixie people who make me look like an Amazon. She’s quirky and smart and scramble-brained and quite the little powerhouse. When I was little I think I imagined myself growing up to be someone a lot like Meena Harper. What is even more endearing about Meena is that she struggles with her decisions and makes some huge mistakes. Without realizing it, she becomes one of those girls. It’s a painful realization and most of us have had it but Meena puts on her big girl panties and….well, I don’t want to give anything away.
This was the first Meg Cabot novel I have ever read and she has earned a place on my top shelf. Unfortunately she is going to wind up costing me a lot of money. I don’t want to just download her books and have them on my macbook. I want to be able to see them on my shelf because she is now one of my favorite writers. Her style is so smart and funny she can only be a true nerd underneath all the fashion and sophistication. Why? Because you have to be a bit quirky yourself to write like that.
Also, forgive me if none of this made sense. My allergies are going crazy or I have a terrible cold. I’m leaning toward the idea of it being a cold and I most likely caught it because I’m so run down from a lack of sleep thanks to Ms. Cabot. Maybe I will sue her for not putting a warning label on her book like that guy who’s suing the video game company for not putting a warning on the game he bought. He had no idea it would be so addictive that he wouldn’t be able to work or sleep or eat. I had no idea that Insatiable would keep me up all hours and make me so aggravated when I had to tend to real life. And now all I can think about is, “When is the next book coming out?” I want to see Meena Harper and Alaric and Jon and Lucien again. I think withdrawal is already setting in. 

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