The heroine of Meg Cabot's Queen of Babble is back, and better than ever, in Queen of Babble in the Big City. When readers last left Lizzie Nichols, she'd just hooked up with Luke, an actual prince (though the French don't recognize their monarchs anymore), had just saved the day by restoring a much abused wedding gown, and was finishing up her degree in the history of fashion at the University of Michigan.
In QoBitBC, Lizzie has moved to New York and plans to make her living as a certified wedding-gown specialist. Unsure of how she's going to pull it off, considering she hasn't quite got her degree yet, and she doesn't know where she's going to live or how she'll afford it, Lizzie is just reveling in her relationship with Luke and figures things will work themselves out. After all, her best friend Shari is moving to New York as well, and together they can find a half-decent place that won't be too expensive. Right? Well, all of this is before Luke asks Lizzie to move in with him to his mother's Fifth Avenue apartment, complete with a real Renoir over the bed. Lizzie can't turn down this opportunity, even if it does mean leaving Shari hanging, because she loves Luke and knows that moving in with him is only the first step toward getting the proposal she's always wanted. With a part time job as a receptionist at a law firm, and another (unpaying) job working for a French couple who are wedding-gown specialists, Lizzie thinks she might have it all figured out.
That is, until Luke's mother starts getting mysterious phone calls from a man who isn't Luke's father and Lizzie decides to keep this information to herself; and until her firm starts representing the down-to-earth normal girl who happens to be marrying the most famous bachelor in New York and Lizzie finds herself desperate to restore the girl's wedding dress despite the firm's strict confidentiality policy; and until Lizzie's best friend starts having problems with her boyfriend that no amount of karaoke and cheap beer can solve... Then Lizzie finds herself trying to keep her mouth shut while still getting everything she thinks she deserves.
If there's one thing that can be said about Meg Cabot, it's that the woman knows how to write amusing, entertaining, occasionally laugh-out-loud funny chick lit that is sure to keep you enthralled from start to finish. So it's not the newest or most original story... those are hard to come by these days. Meg Cabot puts just the right amount of real-world experience, pop culture references, and realistic human flaws to make her characters relatable and her story enjoyable. Yes, Lizzie can be annoying with her inability to keep a secret (except all the wrong ones), her refusal to acknowledge her own fault in certain situations, and her complete lack of common sense when it comes to dating, mating, and extricating, but really... nobody's perfect. My one problem with this story, and with Cabot's writing in general, is that it doesn't feel finished and it's always so clear that you're being set up for a sequel. But I suppose that's the nature of the writing game these days and I can forgive her for it as long as the stories keep me entertained.
Read Queen of Babble in the Big City #1) if you've read the first book because, while you won't be lost without it, there's really no point if you don't have the proper background, and #2) if you're in the mood for a quick beach read that will keep you entertained.