I love Meg Cabot. Really, I do. It all started with The Princess Diaries, then it was the Heather Wells series, Queen of Babble, and even How to be Popular. I’ve talked about my devotion to all books Meg Cabot before. It’s no secret.
But, I’ve finally found a topic on which to disagree with Meg. Princesses? Fantastic. Former-pop-stars-turned-amateur-detectives? Wonderful. Vintage wedding dress restorers? Amazing. Vampires? No, thank you.
I’ve tried to get down with the vampire trend. I read all the Twilight novels. But I just couldn’t get over the weakness of Bella’s character and the anti-feminist message of a girl who is doubled over in pain when her man isn’t near.
I once listened to an audio edition of MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead and Unappreciated. Well, about a quarter of the audiobook. I just couldn’t get into it.
I read about the first five pages of the first Sookie Stackhouse novel by Charlaine Harris. Couldn’t do it.
Vampire Diaries on DVD? Not for me.
But Meg Cabot doing vampires? Surely, I could get into that. Besides, I’d made a little goal for myself to try to read all of Meg’s books in support of the woman I consider my favorite author. So I picked up the audiobook of Insatiable and loaded it up on my iPod.
At first, I thought it was right up my alley. Meena Harper, the main character, is tired of hearing about vampires. She’s a writer for a TV show that has decided to go the vampirical route. She doesn’t understand how a man resisting his constant urge to kill you is sexy. (Exactly! I thought to myself.) But, she seems to get over that quickly when she sleeps with Lucien, the son of Vlad the Impaler, the namesake of Dracula. Lucien is The Prince of Darkness, and the first night they’re together, he freaking bites her on the upper-inner thigh for a “feeding.” Meena’s feelings about vampires quickly change, though, and in my opinion her reasons for being okay with this toothy intercourse isn’t fully explained.
I guess what I really didn’t understand was why Meena felt so attracted to Lucien. I mean, he saves her life during a bat attack, but other than that… He has the extreme good looks of any vampire, and the power to make any woman swoon in front of him. And he does seem interested in Meena… but why?? And why does she fall in love with him?? It’s not like they’ve shared any meaningful experiences, had time to foster some inside jokes, or realized any deep-seeded commonalities. We’re just supposed to take it at face value that the love that Lucien and Meena share is deep and real. The problem is, I just don’t buy it.
Meena quickly finds herself trapped in the middle of a supernatural war; her ability to predict people’s deaths has made her quite valuable to the vampires residing in Manhattan. A love triangle emerges between Meena, Lucien, and a pesky member of the Palatine guard. Will Meena choose the Prince of Darkness who routinely sucks her blood, or the vengeful Alaric who can hardly keep his own aggression in check? (Neither! I hoped.)
Sorry, Ms. Cabot, but I’m disappointed. A petite, feminine protagonist being thrown around by aggressive, chauvinistic men? No, thank you. I will not be following up with the rest of this series.
So, readers. Am I missing something? What’s the appeal with vampires? Why can’t I get on board?