Sunday, March 6, 2011

Review: Insatiable by Meg Cabot

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.

First off, can I just say that I think I'm in love with Meg Cabot. I finished Insatiable early yesterday evening and was so caught up in her style of writing that I whipped out Every Boy's Got One and promptly devoured it. I plan on raiding my local public library for her other titles on Monday. Insatiable isn't my first Meg Cabot, you know. I also read and thoroughly enjoyed She Went All the Way awhile back but was slightly discouraged by the proliferation of series YA in her backlist. I saw The Princess Diaries and didn't feel like reading the books. Don't get me wrong - I'm a BIG fan of YA fiction. I just was just in the mood for big girl books at the time.

So. Insatiable has it all: a love triangle, vampires, vampire hunters, a soap opera, and haute couture. I was worried at first as it took me a while to get into it; my life hadn't allowed me much time to read in the past few days since I started Insatiable and I hoped that it was me, not the book. Well, I can tell you that it was, indeed, me, and not the book. Once I sat down with it today, Insatiable grabbed my attention and held on for dear life. (This would explain why we didn't get to eat our dinner last night until 8 pm.)

Is it too cute to pick a name like Meena for the heroine in a vampire novel? Almost, though it did constantly remind me of "Mean-a Irina" from season six (?) of Project Runway. (I was disappointed that she won. Anyway...) Meena isn't mean-a, in fact, she's anything but. She goes out of her way to save people by giving them "advice," thus hoping to help them thwart Death and prolong their lives. It's hard for her to manage her ability most days since people don't generally like it if you try to tell them when they're going to die. It's for this reason that she's drawn to Lucien Antonescu; just as Sookie Stackhouse prefers vampires for their mental silence, that she can't see Lucien's death is relaxing to Meena. Relaxing, that is, until Alaric Wulf, a handsome Palatine Guard Vampire Hunter straight from the Vatican, shows up to lop off the head of the Prince of Darkness, a.k.a. Lucien, and spills the beans on who Lucien really is. This puts Meena right smack in the middle of a vampire war and the aforementioned love triangle for Alaric finds that he's drawn to Meena, even if she is a vampire minion, albeit a pretty one.

The only aspect I could have lived without was Meena's brother, Jon. The victim of corporate layoffs, he mooches off his sister while dreaming of being a cop for the NYPD. He has neither the fortitude nor the athleticism he would need to pull it off and when he hears about what Alaric does for a living, he sets his mind to becoming a vampire hunter with all the enthusiasm of a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert. Unfortunately, he has no idea what he's doing and generally makes every situation worse. He's critical of Meena without being unkind and she puts up with him. I know he was probably meant for some comic relief but he just got on my nerves.

The story in Insatiable moved along at a good clip; there wasn't any lag in the plot. I was so relieved to find out that this is the first in a series - there wasn't much of a resolution - as I liked this book so very much. It felt more like, That's All for Now, Folks! We'll See You Later! Oh yes, they definitely will. The sequel, Overbite, will be released on July 5, 2011.

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