Boy Meets Girl, by Meg Cabot

>> Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I usually act as my sister's filter and hand her only books I know she'll like. With Boy Meets Girl (excerpt), by Meg Cabot, however, she was the one to read it first. The minute I showed her this new book I'd received, narrated wholy through emails, and memos, and voice mail messages, and text messages and a couple of diary entries, she practically tore it out of my hands. And a couple of days later, she was giving it back and ordering me to read it NOW ;-)

Meet Kate Mackenzie. She:

  • works for the T.O.D. (short for Tyrannical Office Despot, also known as Amy Jenkins, Director of the Human Resources Division at the New York Journal)

  • is sleeping on the couch because her boyfriend of ten years refuses to commit

  • can't find an affordable studio apartment anywhere in New York City

  • thinks things can't get any worse.
They can. Because:

  • the T.O.D. is making her fire the most popular employee in the paper's senior staff dining room

  • that employee is now suing Kate for wrongful termination, and

  • now Kate has to give a deposition in front of Mitch Hertzog, the scion of one of Manhattan's wealthiest law families, who embraces everything Kate most despises ... but also happens to have a nice smile and a killer bod.
The last thing anybody -- least of all Kate Mackenzie -- expects to find in a legal arbitration is love. But that's the kind of thing that can happen when ... Boy Meets Girl.
I had a blast reading Boy Meets Girl. My grade: B+

I loved the format of the story. Before starting it, I wondered if it wouldn't be a bit too limiting, especially in the romance area, since all we would know about things would be what people told others, not their actual thoughts and feelings as those things happened. But it worked quite well. Of course, the romance didn't get as much development as it would in a good traditionally told romance novel, but Cabot managed to convey a lot of emotion there. Maybe it's not 100% realistic, the way everyone seems to dissect their feelings in various letters and emails to other people (I did get that feeling about Mitch's emails to his sister when he writes about his feelings for Kate, for instance), but it really was no big deal.

And anyway, this isn't really romance, but chick lit (at least, that's the way I'd categorize it, if I had to), so I took it as a given that the romance wouldn't be the main focus, just one of them. The story was about Kate's life, basically, and her relationships with several people, Mitch being one of them.. an important one, though!

I was amazed at how well Cabot was able to develop her secondary characters. There were a million little touches which were really spot-on and very revealing, like the T.O.D.'s sorority sisters' email addies, showing they were all working in their families' corporations, and so many more. And I just adored the humour. It was LOL funny.

Kate was a tremendously likeable protagonist, who always tries to do the right thing. My only quibble is that she ends up being a bit too much of a damsel in distress and has to be rescued by Mitch, without her even intervening.

Luckily, I have a couple of other books by Cabot in my TBR, including The Boy Next Door, which is written in the same format as Boy Meets Girl and is set in the same "universe". I can't wait to start it!

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