Meg Cabot has been one of my favourite authors since I was a kid. She’s one of the queens of chick lit, a genre that many people look upon with disdain because they think it’s too superficial, not literary enough, whatever. I recognize that these novels have moments of superficiality, but I don’t think that should define them. Sometimes, a girl needs to read a chick lit novel because she sees herself in them. The main characters of these stories face a lot of the embarrassments, stresses, and other problems that real women face. And they handle them with the same clumsiness. The relatability is a godsend because it helps us awkward, stressed ladies feel less alone in whatever we’re going through; it isn’t just the character who understands us — it’s the author, too. A dash of fun romance on the side doesn’t hurt, either. So over the years, Meg Cabot and her heroines have come to feel like friends to me. Here are some novels written in the same spirit as Meg’s.
VAMPIRE CRUSH – This book is what would happen if Meg Cabot wrote a vampire story. It’s primarily a comedy that pokes fun at all the YA vampire novel tropes. However there is still a plot, still a mystery, and still very real danger. The heroine is snarky, hilarious, and capable, but she is not impenetrably badass — she still makes mistakes like a normal human being. And the hero is a sweet guy, if a bit pesky. Their romance works. And let’s not forget real female-female, male-female friendships.
WANDERLOST – This book is what would happen if Meg Cabot wrote a Eurotrip story. Aubree is self-aware and fun, and Sam is a sweetheart, and the quirky old people round out the cast of characters. Aubree also undergoes a lot of growth — from a babied, sheltered girl to a young woman willing to explore, open herself up to new experiences, and take chances. The novel has a fun madcap quality to it, as well.
OH. MY. GODS./GODDESS BOOT CAMP – These books are what would happen if Meg Cabot decided to write about Greek mythology. Oh, wait, she already did, with the Abandon series. But those books were a Hades/Persephone retelling. This duology includes a much wider array of Greek mythological figures, and it’s actually set in Greece. But even though the story is about an academy for the descendants of the gods, the typical American high school friendscape is still there.
TO CATCH A PIRATE – This book is what would happen if Meg Cabot wrote a historical pirate romance. Which she almost did, with Victoria and the Rogue, except that the love interest was a non-criminal seafarer. It’s a candy kind of read — something that’s a bit far-fetched and indulgent, but it’s just the ticket when you need something fluffy. Featuring an un-annoying heroine; an un-annoying love triangle (what! you mean such a thing exists?!); and a dashing, bad boy hero.
TOP TEN USES FOR AN UNWORN PROM DRESS – This is probably the most Meg Cabot of all the Meg Cabot-y books on this list. It features an awkward and self-deprecating girl, a cute but slightly prickly guy who she doesn’t realize is the one for her, and a little bit of friendship and family conflict on the side. Fluffy scenes are totally re-readable.
AS YOU WISH – This book is what would happen if Meg Cabot wrote a genie book. It’s a sweet, low-key story that imparts more than just the old “be careful what you wish for” message — it also reminds us that we should appreciate and see the good in ourselves. The story follows a dual perspective — Viola, the main character’s, and Jinn, the genie’s. You don’t often get the love interest’s perspective in chick lit, so that’s refreshing.
Are there any other books reminiscent of Meg Cabot’s style? (Please let me know. I need fluffy reads).