Saturday, October 17, 2009

Book Review: Queen Of Babble by Meg Cabot

Queen Of Babble - Meg Cabot

When Lizzie Nichols’ long-distance boyfriend Andrew invites her to stay with him and his family in England, she jumps at the chance to travel overseas and visit him. But their three-month-long relationship is not as loved-up and romantic as she remembers it to be, and before long, Lizzie finds herself regretting her trip to London.
Things become especially worse when she discovers that Andrew is accepting welfare money from the government while also working at a restaurant, and despite her good intentions, Andrew gets into big trouble with the authorities when she innocently lets slip that he is not as destitute as he lets on. Finding that she cannot deal with a boyfriend who is cheating the government, and alone in an unfamiliar country, Lizzie fears she might have to return home to her family sooner than expected.
But then she remembers that her best friend Shari is in a sixteenth-century chateau in southern France, catering a wedding with her boyfriend Chaz, and decides to travel across the country alone- with only basic school French- to find her.
Once at Chateau Mirac, Lizzie finds herself in love with the old-fashioned elegance of the place, and smitten with Luke de Villiers, the handsome son of the chateau’s owner. It’s not long, however, before Lizzie’s big mouth strikes again, and she finds herself struggling to make amends for her latest leaked secret.
With a wedding dress to save, a handsome man to woo, an ex-boyfriend to deter and an angry best friend, Lizzie has a lot to deal with.
The question is, can she beat the odds and save the day? Or will this wedding be one to remember for all the wrong reasons?

What I gained from reading this book:
Lizzie has a very strong sense of what she considers to be right and wrong in the world, and she’s not afraid to take a stand against what she believes to be unfair.
Readers first get an inkling of her do-good nature after she discovers that her boyfriend Andrew is cheating his government’s welfare system. Although she inadvertently lets slip that he’s not genuine, she doesn’t stick around to continue her relationship with him. She also disagrees with the ideas of Luke’s girlfriend Dominique, to turn Chateau Mirac into a plastic surgery recovery centre, believing it would destroy the ambience of the place, and she encourages Luke to follow his dreams of becoming a doctor, despite his hesitations.
Just from observing Lizzie’s beliefs, readers can learn that not everything has to succumb to commercialism, and that missed opportunities are always the ones that you’ll regret in the future.

Cabot’s novel brings forth a funny portrayal of how a small group of Americans view things in an unfamiliar country. It’s humorous following Lizzie’s attempts to find Diet Coke (a.k.a. those terrible chemicals) in London and France, and it’s just as entertaining to read about her shock when she discovers that Europeans really do have a more relaxed attitude regarding nudity when sunbathing.

Lizzie’s naivety is truly unbelievable at times. Although it is obvious to everyone that Andrew is a conniving and selfish guy who is only looking for easy money, Lizzie still builds him up in her mind to be something that he is not, and is then horrified when he reveals his true colours to her. This can be slightly annoying for readers, however it does add to her character’s small-town American innocence.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Genre: Romance/ Comedy

Recommended for: People who can sympathise with Lizzie’s inability to keep a secret.

Australians can buy this book by clicking the picture below:

Queen of Babble

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