Book Review: Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

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Lizzie Nichols is only 22 years old, a fashion lover, and the first among her sisters to graduate from college. Unfortunately, while being involved in a whirlwind romance with Andy, a British guy, she somehow forgot that she had a thesis to write. So she has graduated, but technically still an undergraduate. Meanwhile, she is planning to fly from the United States of America to England to visit her boyfriend whom she hopes to spend the summer with. However, once in England, she realizes that Andy is not what she thought him to be.

She’s stuck in a new country because neither going back home nor staying with Andy is an option. She decides to follow her best friend, Shari, in France. But Lizzie isn’t the Queen of Babble for nothing. Her opening her mouth often at the wrong times has already gotten enough people in trouble. But it seems that she invites trouble like a magnet. This time, the Queen of Babble unknowingly babbles out to none other but her to-be host Jean-Luc. Even before she sets foot on France, it’s clear that it’s not only magnificent castles and dazzling sceneries that Lizzie will be dealing with. The summer is turning out to be more than what she had bargained for!

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot is a humorous romantic novel that had me frowning, bewildered, and laughing all at the same time. As the title goes, Lizzie who is the lead character has trouble keeping certain things to herself just at the times when she really should keep them to herself. As a reader, you can see her thinking and planning things meticulously but at deciding moments, all is in vain when she opens her mouth. She is sweet, naïve, and believes in the good in everyone. Therefore it’s hard to begrudge her for long at the innocence with which she holds those around her. She is a woman who says what’s on her mind and isn’t afraid to call a spade, a spade. Because of this, she caught me by surprise several times.

Family, friendships, feminism, irony, and love are common themes throughout the novel. From the beginning, Lizzie is aware of how society views women who don’t fit the common beauty standards. Growing up, she is surrounded by fat-phobic people and even after she loses thirty pounds, she is still being judged by how much she weighs. Moreover, the author achieved to depict how women are expected to be the keepers in relationships while the men get away with the bare minimum. Were it not for Lizzie’s randomness at babbling, which is more of a strength than it is a weakness, she’d have been stuck with the heavy chains of patriarchal oppression. Finally, the friends that Lizzie has is one thing that made me appreciate my best friend even more. The importance of having friends who are blatantly honest with you especially when your mind seems to have taken leave is underrated.

There is nothing that I disliked about the book. The plot is not confusing and matures well along with the characters. There is a personal growth character-wise and I couldn’t but help admire how far Lizzie has come from from the beginning of her summer vacation. Also, the story is not predictable at all. With Lizzie’s wrong timings in choosing when to speak, there is bound to be things the reader doesn’t see coming. The only thing, perhaps, that I did not enjoy much was reading Lizzie’s thesis. Unless one is interested in the evolvement and the history of fashion, I doubt anybody would. Well, at least not me.

I rate this book 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. I had a grand time reading it and I pretty much enjoyed everything it has to offer except for the thesis. Worth noting is that the thesis hardly interferes with the storyline and my experience was not interrupted whatsoever by it. It contains no vulgar language and it’s suitable for teens as well as adults. I read it on a Saturday afternoon and finished it in one seating. Therefore, it makes the perfect light book for an afternoon read for all fans of romance with a healthy pinch of humour!

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