Lizzie Nichols is back, pounding the New York City pavement and looking for a job, a place to live, and her proper place in the universe (not necessarily in that order).
"Summer Fling" Luke's use of the "L" (Living Together) word has her happily abandoning plans to share a one-room walk-up with best friend Shari in exchange for cohabitation with the love of her life in his mom's ritzy Fifth Avenue pied-à-terre. Lizzie's landed a non-paying gig in her chosen field—vintage wedding gown rehab—and a paying one as a receptionist at Shari's boyfriend's father's posh law firm. So life is good … for the moment.
But almost immediately her notoriously big mouth is getting her into trouble. At work she's becoming too chummy with society bride-to-be Jill Higgins, inflaming the ire of Jill's troublesome future mother-in-law. At home she's made the grievous error of bringing up the "M" (Marriage) word to commitment-shy Luke. Once again joblessness and homelessness are looming large for hapless blabbermouth Liz—unless she can figure out some way to babble her way to a happily ever after.
Topics: Trilogy, Funny, Romantic, New York City, Job Search, Gossip, Weddings, Fashion, Secrets, Friendship, Marriage, and New York
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Weirdly enough I liked this book even better than the first one. I can't say why but it kept me intrigued. I liked the little stuff about wedding dresses, (more than the extras in the first book) .
All and all I liked this book so much I tried to buy book 3 . Queen of Babble gets hitched. Alas it is not yet available here. There is a Belgium shop where I could order it but it would cost me 19 euros.
Then I did a search and I ordered it online through a new online store: Strand Bookstore.
Waiting for the invoice so I can pay. (with pay-pal!)
This makes it even more clear that I really liked it cause I do not often buy new books.
I really didn’t like that Lizzie starts off the book by talking about how awesome it is to have Luke as a boyfriend. Not because they’re compatible, not because the sex is good, it’s because he’s loaded. And wants to be a doctor. Mostly loaded. Also, he’s descended from royalty. Head, Desk; Desk, Head. I think you’ve met.
What I do like about this set-up, though, is that Lizzie’s fairy tale fantasy slowly gets stripped away over the course of this book (and the next one) and how it doesn’t really work in the real world. When Luke WTFs at Lizzie’s freakout over not getting an engagement ring, it feels like an authentic reaction. Unfortunately, I really don’t know who I’m supposed to be siding with in these books, Lizzie or the other characters. Lizzie feels compelled to remind us all the time about how she’s so levelheaded and much more capable than her sisters, but she falls into the trap of becoming completely obsessed with whatever guy she’s with at the moment and thinking that he’s absolutely perfect. Not that I’m disparaging against hasty relationships, but I find it a bit irritating that Lizzie considers herself above her sisters, who get married the moment they’re pregnant, but she’s willing to slap a ring on after three months.
It’s the obsession with weddings that also bothers me, but more about the point of the books. The hook for the series is that Lizzie’s such a blabmouth that it nearly ruins her life. But after the first book, this element is pretty much dropped. And a lot of Lizzie’s big moments in the series revolve around a wedding or fixing up someone else’s wedding dress. If she’s so obsessed with weddings and getting married, why not shift the focus to that? You can still have all of the plot elements, just make her issue that she tends to say the wrong thing to ruin a relationship. I know “Queen of Babble” is catchy, but it quickly becomes an artifact title.
On a completely different tangent, Shari’s coming out subplot was another thing that grated on my nerves. The book was originally released in 2007; I think even by then we were beyond the reaction of “OMG, my best friend is gay! Did they ever think of me that way? Oh, God! Am I secretly their type???” If these two friends were really that close, this wouldn’t be the automatic reaction. Same goes with Chaz and Luke’s repeated “Are you sure you two didn’t experiment?” (Which, for the record, no. JUST NO.*) And after all of that, the revelation just comes out of nowhere. It’s never hinted in the first book that Shari’s bi, but all of the sudden Lizzie goes, “Well, there’s all of these questionable times with other women that I remember…” Foreshadowing is used for a reason; otherwise, these plot twists come off as cheap and pointless. The only reason it’s here is so that Chaz can be freed up for a love triangle in the final moments. Despite being Lizzie’s supportive guy friend. Because two heterosexual adults can’t be friends without sexual tension. Ever. (Somebody please kill this with fire.)
Overall, the same problem persists in this book as the first one—it resorts to generic chick lit tropes. I’ve read nearly every Meg Cabot book and I know she can do better than this. If anything, the first two books should have been one, detailing the initial start to Lizzie and Luke’s relationship and then going into why it wouldn’t work. The third book would have come as more of a surprise if she had gone this route instead of going into another freaking trilogy.
*For a better take that on this idea, refer to Libba Bray’s brilliant Beauty Queens. #shamelesspimping