"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Monday, November 22, 2010

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

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Summary: Soap opera writer Meena Harper is sick of vampires, especially when they become an integral part of the plot of her series Insatiable. And when Meena meets a real life vampire who makes all her other dreams come true, Meena is torn. 

Author Meg Cabot, best known for her Princess Diaries, is an underrated writer.  Insatiable has humor, romance, danger and is bitingly appropriate. It's also thoroughly researched and well-written. But I absolutely hated the ending. It made me sick.

My Nook digital reader came with Bram Stoker's Dracula novel, which I immediately archived, since I have no interest in reading that. But Meg Cabot pays chick-lit homage to the novel, recognizing and altering the classic characters and with plot points "ripped from the headlines." It's enough to make me add Dracula back on so I can read it and compare.

Cabot's heroine Meena Harper is a tribute to Mina Harker, wife of Jonathan Harker, from the original Dracula novel. In Insatiable, Jon Harper is Meena's brother, although they do share the same apartment after Jon lost his job. Dracula's Jonathan and Mina Harker try to rescue Lucy, but in 2010 New York, Jon and Meena try to rescue Meena's best friend Leisha. There are other clever wordplays and references to Dracula and the story is linguistically accurate as well. The word Dracul translates to the word dragon.

Meena Harper is psychic. She can tell when someone is going to die. But after years of being ostracized for her gruesome talent, she's isolated herself, living a fulfilling but sometimes frustrating life as head writer for the popular soap opera Insatiable. (Think Liz Lemon writing drama.) Then orders come from on high, telling Meena to introduce vampires to the show or lose her job. Vampires it is.

While Meena is out walking her dog one night (goofily named Jack Bauer), she is attacked by bats and saved by a handsome man. Stunned and scared, Meena hurries back home. The next day at a dinner party, she meets her neighbor's cousin, a Romanian prince named Lucien. And the prince is none other than the man who rescued her the night before.

The romance between Meena and Lucien is hot (Meg Cabot writes sexy well) and both Lucien and Meena are excited beyond belief to find someone who accepts them for who they are. The night after their passion, Lucien even send Meena the Marc Jacobs dragon tote she's been eyeing for months. How did he understand her so completely? (I checked, there is no real dragon tote.) Until Meena discovers that Lucien is a vampire. Okay, not only is she surrounded by vampires (which deeply offends feminist Meena), but now her brother and some strange vampire hunter named Alaric are trying to break them up.

Danger and hilarity ensue.

And then we get to the end, which I will NOT reveal. I felt betrayed as a reader and disappointed in Meg Cabot.

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