It’s Here!

June 26th, 2007

Queen of Babble In The Big City is in stores at last!

At least, it should be. If you go to your local bookstore, and it’s not on shelves, just ask for it. It could still be in a box in the back. That’s why it’s always a good idea to call ahead. That’s what I do.

(Oh, who am I kidding. I pre-order online, because I’m hideously lazy and like things to be brought directly to my door. I am not even making this up: every Christmas, my agent signs me up for the cheese-of-the-month club. Because she knows I am so lazy, I can’t even be bothered to leave my house to buy cheese.)

Anyway, before we get to the reviews (because yes! The Queen of Babble in the Big City reviews are in!) let’s do a quick media round-up:

As you might have guessed, The New York Times did not run any of the Harry Potter pieces this past weekend. No word as to when they will. I’ll keep you posted! And yes, you CAN access The Times online…Just go to www.nytimes.com, and scroll down to Opinions. That’s where Op-Ed is.

Here are my predictions for HP 7 (and no, this is not what I say in my piece): Voldemort—Dead for sure. Hagrid—Sorry, but he’s a goner, too. That’s all I’m gonna say. I predict Harry doesn’t die because JK Rowling is coming here on a book tour. She wouldn’t dare set foot in this country if she killed him (or Ginny, Ron, or Hermione). She’s on thin ice with Hagrid as it is.

Moving on: There was a nice article about yours truly in this past Sunday’s Chicago Sun-Times, right here.

I was just reading Neil Gaiman’s (whom I got to meet in Germany last March) blog (which is currently being written by his cute-as-can-be daughter Maddy) and she was writing it from the set of Hellboy 2. That is right, she is hanging out with Selma Blair. And probably being let in on cool Hellboy 2 spoilers. I’m so envious! What a cool summer vacation she’s having! You know what I got to do in the summer when I was her age? Go to the library. Which is also cool, but…hmmm…visit the Hellboy 2 set, or go to the library….hmmm….

Now onto the reviews….

Here’s a lovely one from Publishers Weekly by Molly Jong-Fast, who is also an author. I was not aware of her work before, but this review was so nice, I REALLY wanted to thank her for it, so I did…and I’m so glad, because she’s HILARIOUS! Almost as hilarious in person as her book, Girl, Maladjusted which you should TOTALLY read (just not on a plane or people will look at you as you are choking with laughter).

Anyway, here is her review:

Publishers Weekly
Signature Review By Molly Jong-Fast

Midway though Cabot’s latest novel, Chaz (the boyfriend of protagonist Lizzie Nichols’s best friend) tells Lizzie, “Someday you’re really going to have to describe to me in more detail what life is like on the planet you live on. Because it sounds really great, and I’d like to visit there one day.” Ultimately, this is what is both problematic and enormously appealing about the work of Cabot, the woman who shot to fame selling the idea that fairy tales really do come true.

Lizzie is the fairy tale heroine. She is the fat, awkward girl in all of us, profoundly Midwestern, from the Spanks (modern Spandex girdles) she wears to her indignation at subway rudeness to her insistence on paying her wealthy boyfriend rent for living in his mother’s Fifth Avenue apartment.

As the book opens, Lizzie has just moved to New York City with her best friend, Shari, and their boyfriends, Luke and Chaz. Lizzie is determined not to become like her acquaintance Kathy Pennebaker, the prototypical smalltown girl who fails in Manhattan and returns home to wander the aisles of the local grocery store loading up on cough syrup for a weekend meth-making session.

Things quickly become perfect for Lizzie. Luke asks her to move into his mother’s apartment. She finds an amusing though nonpaying job working as a wedding dress restorer with an insane French couple. Lizzie also takes a paying job as a receptionist at Chaz’s father’s law firm.

There are slight problems in paradise: the wedding store where Lizzie works has fallen on hard times and is involved in a rivalry with another wedding dress restorer. Luckily, Lizzie stumbles on a weddingdress gold mine when she befriends a woman who takes cares of seals at the zoo. It turns out that the seal-keeper is about to marry into one of Manhattan’s most prominent families; suddenly, the smart crowd is coming to Lizzie’s store. But Lizzie’s quest to become successful is sidetracked by Shari’s relationship problems and Lizzie’s conviction that Luke’s mother is having an affair and her obsession with the idea that Luke will never marry her.

There is something oddly affirming about Cabot’s writing. After sitting down with Queen of Babble in the Big City, it is totally clear to me why her books are huge bestsellers. Meg Cabot is nice. She sees the world as a wonderful place, and you want to live in her world and be her best friend. Her characters are charming. There is a school of thought that says reading should be entertaining, and this is exactly what Meg Cabot produces for us: fun. She is the master of her genre; she is the George Bernard Shaw if not the George Eliot of chick lit.

Molly Jong-Fast’s third book,The Social Climber’s Handbook, will be published by Villard in 2009.

Isn’t that the nicest review ever? Well, Molly is VERY cool.

But she’s not the only cool one out there! The Library Journal Review had this to say about Queen of Babble in the Big City:

In this follow-up to Queen of Babble, Cabot (The Princess Diaries) continues the story of Lizzie Nichols, who has just moved to New York with best friend Shari. Unable to find an apartment they can afford, the girls move in with their respective boyfriends. While Shari soon (removed due to being a SPOILER), Lizzie has visions of marriage with Luke. Lizzie has big plans for her life in the big city, and things start to fall into place when she lands her dream job refurbishing bridal gowns. Unfortunately, the job doesn’t pay, so she gets an additional job as a receptionist at a swanky law firm. But (removed to due being a MAJOR SPOILER). A surprise ending leaves the reader eagerly awaiting the sure-to-come third book in this series (That’s funny, I’m writing it now!).A fun and fast-paced novel with a likable heroine who is refreshingly passionate about her career choice as well as her boyfriend; recommended for all public libraries.

And finally, Entertainment Weekly gave the book a B+ (hey, that’s pretty high for EW, who pretty much hates everything)!

Well, that’s a lot for one blog entry. I’ve given you three reviews, my true opinion on who’s going to die in the next Harry Potter book, revealed that I am envious of Maddy Gaiman’s summer vacation, that I sort of stalked Molly Jong-Fast, and that I have cheese mailed to my house once a month.

I think I can safely close, having thoroughly mortified myself enough for one day.

More later.

Much love,

Meg

PS No, wait, I remembered one more thing…I shared a dressing room on Regis and Kelly (which on that show means a ladies room) with the girl (Sutton Foster) in this video and she was really nice. She is a Broadway musical star. The singing starts in 44 seconds and it’s SO WORTH WATCHING, especially turned up really loud. This could be my favorite new show (although they need to let Sutton sing, too).