Review of QUEEN OF BABBLE by Meg Cabot (see her website)
William Morrow, May 2006
Just out of college with a degree in fashion history, Lizzie Nichols is off to London to spend summer with her 'boyfriend.' From there, she's got her life mapped out--another semester in Ann Arbor while boyfriend Andy completes his degree, then four children (names picked, of course) while Andy teaches, helping mold young minds. Sure there's a certain appeal to joining her best friend Shari in her move to New York, but Andy did save Lizzie's life--and that English accent is so cute.
Things start going wrong for Lizzie at her graduation party when she learns she didn't actually graduate at all. There's the little matter of the senior thesis she didn't know about. And then there's Andy's London flat--or lack of same. It turns out that Andy has moved back in with his parents. Dreams of a cozy summer together start looking like nightmares living in the converted laundry room. Andy's unemployment fraud is the last straw and Lizzie heads for France, where Shari is spending the summer and has promised Lizzie a job. She babbles everything to the guy next to her on the train--believing she'll never see him again. No such luck. Luke is the son of the chateau owner. Which would be perfect if he didn't already have a perfect girlfriend. As Lizzie notes, guys like that always have girlfriends.
Lizzie manages to keep herself in trouble with what even her friends call the Lizzie Broadcast Network--she can't help babbling. Mostly what she babbles is interesting, and her knowledge and interest in classic and retro fashions is, as Luke's father mentions, a passion, but babbling at the wrong time and then accusing Luke of spilling her secrets is definitely too much of a good thing.
Author Meg Cabot (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Cabot) spins a charming tale of growth, true love, and wrong directions. Lizzie's fashion obsession (she has nightmares about working at The Gap) manages to stay on the right side of overdone and her Diet Coke addiction help make her sympathetic. Her all-nighter trying to fix a broken wedding gown makes her a sort of Cinderella. Luke certainly is an impressive prince charming.
QUEEN OF BABBLE is a lot of fun. Cabot's strong style and an energetic and spunky protagonist add up to a story that's hard to put down--and guaranteed to create smiles--and a few belly laughs.
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