It’s splendid to find a favorite novel, but it can be even better to discover an author whose works are continuously impressive.
You love most if not everything they write, and you are always on the look out for more by them. Until one day you realize that your favorite author’s works just don’t work for you anymore – maybe you’ve grown and evolved, maybe they’ve changed. You’re unsure, but you don’t like this… which is what’s happening to me right now.
Hello friends, and welcome to my discussion/rant about losing interest in one of my old favorites – Meg Cabot.
A couple of months ago it was revealed that Meg Cabot is writing a brand new romance series, titled Little Bridge Island. I was ecstatic. This is the woman whose books I’ve grown up on, so even though I haven’t been reading her works recently, I just knew this was going to be awesome. Much of my pre-teen/teen years were spent reading and rereading her novels, and the Princess Diaries is the first series I recall reading way past my bedtime, in other words well into the morning.
Fun fact: Ruzi and I originally bonded over loving Meg Cabot’s books, most notably the Princess Diaries.
I did find it a bit weird that first we’d get a novella called Bridal Boot Camp, and only then get the first in the series, No Judgments. In my experience authors tend to publish novellas – even those that take place before the first book – after establishing the series, but oh well, she is doing it differently, that’s not necessarily bad, right?
The novella came out towards the end of May, and I jumped into it pretty soon after its publication… and then promptly stopped reading after a few pages. I tried to get into it, I did, but there were too many things that pulled me out of the novel, because I found them problematic, stereotypical, or annoying. It all felt very dated – it could not at all keep up with the incredibly romance novels published in the past few years. Simply put, this was not the Meg Cabot I cherished for more than ten years, and that was devastating.
I didn’t want to let go of a favorite author just yet, so I forced myself to sit down and get through the novella. Instead of challenging my opinion of the first few pages, finishing the whole work was a step towards letting go of Cabot’s works completely. It was an awfully lukewarm novella, made worse by the fact that about 50% of its 96 (!) pages are taken up by an excerpt from the first book, and so length-wise, Bridal Boot Camp is more of a (lengthier) short story than a novella. Now I felt conned too – I knew there would be an excerpt, but half the content being the excerpt? Really? (I fully acknowledge that this has nothing to do with Cabot, and was most likely the publisher’s decision.)
I put down Bridal Boot Camp wholly dissatisfied. I tentatively rated it two stars, and then lowered it to one, because for the life of me I couldn’t find an aspect of it that I liked. And I’m not the only one who feels let down – Ruzi rated it two stars, and it’s current average on goodreads is below 3.2 stars. As for the next in the series, while its advanced reviews have been somewhat more positive, I’m reluctant to read it especially because the things the negative reviews mention are the same things that bothered me in Bridal Boot Camp.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
I’m not sure. Like I said, I’m reluctant to read No Judgments, and would even go as far as to say that I’m more or less certain I won’t be reading it. There are too many books to waste time on ones I’m so uncertain about, so I’ll likely drop this series for now.
What about Cabot, you may ask? I definitely have tons of respect for her as a writer. She’s so prolific, and I own and cherish around forty of her novels, which is easily the most I own by any author. I’m not ready to fully let go of her works, but I’ll be careful what novels of hers I spend my time and money on in the future.
Interestingly, there have always been Cabot novels that just didn’t fully click with me – her vampire books, for instance – but I’ve never been so disappointed as I am right now. I think the biggest problem is that it’s one thing to dislike a favorite author’s work if you were unsure about the genre, or the premise to begin with, but Bridal Boot Camp is a romance/romantic comedy, aka one my favorite genres at the moment.
On a side note, I was re-organizing parts of my shelves recently, and I ended up opening a few of Cabot’s books to check my favorite moments. Sadly, they just… weren’t hitting me the same way they used to, not even close, which was a sad discovery, especially on top of Bridal Boot Camp.
Do you have any old favorites you’ve lost interest in? Maybe someone who writes for different ages like Cabot? Or do you have any favorites you’ve been reading/loving for years? Have you read anything by Cabot?