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Review: Underworld

By Meg Cabot. Abandoned Trilogy #2. Grade: C

I’m still in shock. How come the woman who gave us Suze Simon (from The Mediator series) and Jess Mastriani (from 1800-WHERE-ARE-U?), not to mention their respective awesome male love interests turned around and put out this absolute horror show of a paranormal romance? Seriously, what the hell happened, Meg Cabot? Did I just grow out of you or are you selling out? And why do I have a feeling that it’s the latter?

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance . . . on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there . . . and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.

The premise is something out of a Greek myth gone awry. John is the Lord of the Underworld, where the dead are sorted. It is based under the picturesque Isla Huesos, where seventeen year old Pierce is trying to reconstruct her life with a Fury grandmother, recently divorced mother, an uncle who has come out of jail after about fifteen years and a cousin who gets way more airtime than he deserves.

Pierce is back in the Underworld because that is the only place where she can be safe from the evil Furies who want to kill her. John, who is a macho control freak, is trying to protect her and asks her to trust him, without returning the same courtesy. The plot is non-existent. It’s her first day back as the Queen of the Underworld and she has already pissed off her boyfriend because of her unhappiness (and unwillingness) at being stuck underground away from everyone she loves and cares about. John has left for sorting the dead when she checks her cell phone and sees a video streaming. It’s her cousin, trying to get out of a coffin, nearly dead. Talk about smart phones.

She wants to go back up and save him, but it’s unsafe and could be a trap to lure her. John can’t say no, and takes her, and for two days they mingle openly and party with her friends, even though – read my lips – her life is in danger. Throw in a couple of unnecessary characters, loads of unnecessary scenes and you have got Underworld.  Sometimes I thought killing was too good for Pierce, the way she can’t make up her mind either about the Underworld or about John, and cries about every ten pages. John is sexy, but takes overprotective to a whole new level.  Like, Edward-watches-you-sleep new level.

Even the author’s usual sense of humour was mostly missing, which made for a very drab read. The only interesting thing was John’s history and the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades. The original story is expanded upon, and not in the traditional way. I am a total mythology geek and I was pleasantly surprised with this retelling.

Bottom line, this review is mostly negative, but I enjoyed Underworld. I just didn’t love it as MC’s other books. It’s a breezy read and not that bad if you have a couple of hours to spare.

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Review: The Mediator – The Shadowland

By Meg Cabot, #1 in The Mediator Series. Grade A.

I’ve recently read many Cabot books, all of them been sort of YA Chick-Lit. So when I found that there are quite a few paranormal books by Ms Cabot, I immediately decided to read them, and I must say none of them disappointed me.

There is a hot guy in Susannah Simon’s bedroom. Too bad he’s a ghost.

Suze is a mediator – a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won’t leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn’t seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh. with trips to the mall instead of cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations.

But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it’s not that easy. There’s a ghost with revenge on her mind, and Suze happens to be in the way.

The Shadowland (or Love You to Death) is the first novel of the Mediator Series and there are six novels in the entire series.
The story is about a Susannah Simon, who is a mediator, i.e she can not only see dead people but she can also feel and touch them… and the ghosts seek her help to fulfil their their incomplete wishes so that they can move on to wherever people go once they are dead. But being a mediator is really tough and Suze wants to start a new, ghost-free life in California, where she’s shifting with her mom and her new husband and his three children. But the ghosts have other plans. There is one dead one living in her bedroom! And a very hot one at that!

Suze’s is ready to deal with Jesse, the ghost, as he isn’t troubling her but she’s not ready to deal with Heather, the ghost of the girl who killed herself and whose locker is assigned to Suze and she’s bound to make Suze’s life harder as she intends to revenge her her boyfriend, Byrce, and Suze is in her way! This has put her life is grave danger again

I’ve always loved the way Ms Cabot writes her books, and I particularly liked this series as it has the right balance of mystery, paranormal things and, well of course, romance. The book is written in first person narrative format and the story is not stretched upto infinity with the mystery part. The author has given full justice to the characters of Suze and Jesse as protagonists.

Jesse is a Spanish guy killed one hundred and fifty ago, when he was about twenty years old. He’s also described to be extremely handsome and the reason for his being stuck in this world is not clear in the first book. On the other hand, Suze is shown to be very irritated with Jesse living in her room, and of his calling her “querida” (initially). But pretty soon  the feisty Suze starts to warm a bit towards him, when he saves her life twice from near-death situations.

All in all the chracters are very adorable and even if you aren’t a fan for paranormal, or mystery stuff, the romance part is enough to want you read it!


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Review: Insatiable

By Meg Cabot; Grade: B

Meg Cabot doing vampires? Are you kidding me? This was my first reaction when I heard about Insatiable. But then, I realized that that was the exact thing she would do, with this whole vampire obsession in the entertainment world ever since Twilight. I decided to read it; mainly because I was curious as to what new element could she possibly bring to a concept which has already been over exploited. Did I like it? Well, read on to find out. 

Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.

 Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die. (Not that you’re going to believe her. No one ever does.)

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It’s a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, Lucien’s already dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met whom she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future. . . .

If she even has one.

 The story starts with Meena Harper having her typical  day, albeit a bad one. She works as a dialogue writer for a T.V show – Insatiable (hence, the name of the book), and finds out that the promotion she had been eyeing for a while has gone to Shoshona, a colleague, whose butt she has often saved, and who is a fitness freak. Or rather, a slimness freak. In addition to that, the producers have decided to introduce a vampire story line to compete with their rival show, Lust, which is vampire based. And, oh, she’s just envisioned how a girl would be dying, whom she met in the subway. She can predict- very accurately- how people will die just by making eye contact with them.

Cut to Romania, where a professor slash Prince slash Vampire, Lucien Antonescu, is having a regular day until a phone call makes him so angry that a student swears that she actually saw his eyes flash red. That phone call forces him to leave the country and go to the USA.

As the story progresses, we find Lucien’s and Meena’s lives intertwined when he saves her from an attack by the bats outside a church. Furthermore, he turns out to be a relative of her neighbors. Meena starts liking him, and they end up spending the night at his house. The next day, soon after he sends her a tote that she really, really wants (but never mentions in front of him) and cancels his date, she finds someone at her doorstep who claims to be a vampire hunter and who is hunting down her boyfriend who happens to be a vampire. What follows are the worst few days of her life, and the realization that she might not be the only person on earth to be out of the ordinary.

To begin with, I adored the cover. I thought it was amazing, and that is what initially drew me in, in addition to the title. The title is absolutely unusual and very unique, and that works for me. Also, I love the way the blurb is written.

As an added bonus to all of these things, I love the way Meg Cabot writes. I mean, which girl has not read The Princess Diaries? Those were the first and last Meg Cabot books that I read, and revisiting the author seemed like a good idea. Coupling all these factors, I thought Insatiable to be a safe bet. How wrong I was.

The thing is, whenever I read any book, I have a movie playing out in my head; I can visualize everything that is happening. I have a clear face, in my head, for every character, and I can see everything happening.  And this is not limited by the genre of the book. I can practically watch a movie with each book I read. But in this one, it just couldn’t happen. I’ve read countless fantasy books, and despite their ludicrousness , I could still believe whatever was happening. Insatiable, just didn’t cut it for me, though. I just could not believe a single thing that was happening. That was the main thing that bugged me about the book.

Also, the book was very sporadic, along with being unreal – and, trust me, I’ve read plenty of books that are unrealistic, but never have I ever felt a book to be this unbelievable.

To sum it up, I won’t be rushing to the stores to buy the next book in the series anytime soon. Definitely not recommended.

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Review: Airhead

By Meg Cabot. #1 in Airhead Series. Grade: A

Em Watts was just your average overachieving brainiac…until disaster struck. Now instead of judging her by her grades, people are judging her by her looks…and she’s stuck in a nightmare life she never wanted. Where can you hide when everyone knows your name?


Emerson Watts didn’t even want to go to the new SoHo Stark Megastore grand opening. But someone needed to look out for her sister, Frida, whose crush, British heartthrob Gabriel Luna, would be singing and signing autographs there””along with the newly appointed Face of Stark, teen supermodel sensation Nikki Howard.

How was Em to know that disaster would strike, changing her, and life as she’d known it, forever?

One bizarre accident later, and Em Watts, always the tomboy, never the party princess, is no longer herself. Literally.

Now getting her best friend, Christopher, to notice that she’s actually a girl is the least of Em’s problems.

But what Em’s pretty sure she’ll never be able to accept might just turn out to be the one thing that’s going to make her dream come true,.


Emerson’s bland world shatters when she attends the opening of a new Stark Megastore, where teen celebrities Gabriel Luna (British heartthrob singer) and Nikki Howard (superhot sensational teen model and face of The Stark) are scheduled to appear. She meets a terrible accident and after a month when she recovers from coma, she finds herself no longer the same tomboy, too-cool-for-school independent chick.

Instead, she finds herself dead- literally, practically, every illy except actually because her brain is transplanted into none other than Nikki Howard’s body, who according to Stark Enterprise people, passed out the same time when Em met the accident. Moreover, she can’t tell anyone of this secret (not even to her best friend Christopher, whom she secretly loves) or else her middle-class parents will be sued for millions of dollars. Problems start taking place when she is forced to live the  life of supermodel Nikki Howard as she feels miserable handling school, photo shoots, paparazzi, Nikki’s boyfriend(s), celeb loft mate Lulu, Christopher, her real parents, sister who is trying out cheerleading, Gabriel who has written a song on her… And to make matters worse, she finds Stark spying on her every single chance they get.

Airhead is an amazing and ultimate book by Meg Cabot. It is the first book in Meg’s Airhead Series. It has got all the story ingredients that would keep its readers tied up till the end –love, romance, humour, believable teen dialogues, mystery, thrill and even a fantastical twist. Though the premise is a little far-fetched, the bestselling Meg Cabot knows what works.

Pure fun, this first series installment will leave readers clamouring for the next. If my review didn’t give it away so obviously, I would like to point out that I am completely in love with this entire series!

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Review: Princess Forever

by Meg Cabot. The Princess Diaries Series #10. Grade A.

Mia is about to turn eighteen and has decided to put down her princess pen for good. This is your one and only chance to find out how it all ends – including the answers to hotter than hot questions like: Is the practically perfect J.P. the real love of Mia’s life? Will an election in Genovia mean the end of princessdom for Mia? Is she REALLY the last virgin at Albert Einstein High? And finally, crucially, will Michael Moscovitz return from Japan and make a last-minute romantic gesture just in time to save our heroine from making a VERY big mistake???

The main character Mia left us with an unhappy ending in the ninth book and we join her again in the tenth which is meant to be set two years after the ninth. She is unhappy in her relationship with J.P, her ex Michael has just moved back from Japan, she also has to deal with turning eighteen and helping her father win an election. It all sounds very complicated – not forgetting the fact that Mia wants to loose her virginity before graduation!

However, the book is the most enjoyable of the whole series. It is written in her usual likable Mia style, for one.

Stay away from Michael- Check.
Do not hug him- Check.
Don’t even shake his hand- Check.
Do not do anything that could result in smelling him- Check.

And we get Michael back! Michael has invented a new ‘Cardio Arm’, and is now a millionaire. Moreover, he is coming back to Manhattan after two years in Japan. Mia with her new friend Lana and her group, goes to his press conference where she is discovered by her former best friend – Lily who is also Michael’s sister, and is forced to meet Michael when he invites her for a private interview with her for her school paper.

Gradually, Mia finds herself obsessed with him completely (again), and is disgusted with herself.
The story follows a crazy plot. The stress of choosing a good college, Mia’s birthday party, J.P. asking her out to the prom there on bended knees and a ring, Grandmere forcing her to ask Michael for a cardio arm for Genovia’s hospital, finding out that Michael has already donated one, a romantic date and an even more romantic kiss.
I am not going to reveal whether Michael and Mia get together in the end, but here is a hint:

He told me if I want he’ll get a diamond snowflake necklace as a replacement for the old silver one I have now. But I said no way.
I love this one just the way it is.

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Review: Avalon High

By Meg Cabot. Grade: A

Avalon High is typical enough: There’s Lance, the jock. Jenniefer, the cheeleader. And Will, senior class president, quaterback, and all-around good guy.
But not everyone at Avalon High is who they appear to be…not even, as Elle, begins to discover, herself. As a bizzare drama begins to unfold, Elle has to wonder, what part does she play in all this? Do the coincidences she’s piecing together really mean-as in King Authur’s cours-that tragedy is fast approaching for her new freinds?
Elle doesn’t know if she can do anything to stop the coming trouble. But somehow, she know she has to try.

Ellie is the main character and conveniently, her parents happen to be medevial buffs. So she gets the good fortune of being named after the Lady of Shalott a.k.a. Lady Elaine. Ellie doesn’t like this at all. We girls, and maybe guys, can really relate to Ellie. Elle isn’t just not popular, she has just moved to a new city and she isn’t making fast friends yet, not even when school starts. Thank you, Ms Meg Cabot for always being realistic.

This book is continuing the King Arthur fairy tale of him coming back. What? King Arthur comes back? It’s not that great, it is his reincarnation. Even after I heard that and was relieved we wouldn’t be forced to read the cheesy chapter of convincing King Authur that cell phones were black magic I still wasn’t impressed. I mean what is he going to do? How could he save the world?

So then all of the main characters from King Arthur’s story enters. King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Mordred, and Merlin. Mostly kids, of course, who have no idea what is going on. Where is Ellie in all of this? You’ll have to read to find out. But if you brush up on your King Arthur trivia you might have a good chance of finding out how this story ends.

Later in the book when everything is beginning to unfold, sometimes the characters believed in the legend and acted accordingly and then the rest of the time they scoffed at it. I didn’t really like that. I think they should pick a side and stay on it but they were in a little danger. Meg Cabot does a good job of making the book relatable but in the end, I think the reason is because this is a bit of a cheesy story to put into a book you need to make it a movie.

However, if you you have the movie version of this book (by Disney) in your hands and the book in the other you kind of have to decide which one you are going to enjoy. The movie, while it is based on the book, changes some key parts drastically. Like switching the villians around. The book is defnitely the best in my opinion. They should have gotten Dreamworks to do it instead.

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