A headless woman in a red dress reclines on her side holding a stake.

About the Book

Title: Insatiable (Insatiable #1)
Published: 2010

BFF Charm: Hell Yes!
Talky Talk: Meg Cabot, Vampire History Ph.D.
Bonus Factor: Soap Operas
Relationship Status: Post-First-Date Excitement

I know FYA here is all about young adult books (hello, it’s in our title), but every now and then, a girl’s gotta make an exception to the rule. and since we’re (almost) all grownups here, i’m making an exception and reviewing Meg Cabot’s new book for grownups, Insatiable, for several reasons:

  1. It’s about vampires, and people who are bored with vampires.
  2. It makes fun (obliquely) of Twilight (see above).
  3. It’s the kind of book FYAers would like.
  4. Meg Cabot writes totally awesome YA stuff.
  5. And finally, the most important reason (or, oops, I buried the lede): MEG CABOT sent it to me! With a NOTE! How could I say no to her? Who says no to Meg Cabot?? Who even WANTS to?
A note saying "Hi Meghan! Thanks for taking a look at Insatiable. Love, Meg"

See? I wasn’t lying! The note from MEG CABOT (on shiny, silverish stationery, natch).

The Deal:

Meena Harper is a struggling dialogue writer for legendary soap opera Insatiable. She does NOT believe in vampires, she’s sick of vampires, she hates the idea of vampires. She’s tired of seeing anemic guys parade around with stupid sticky-up hair like their favorite movie vampire (ahem) and she hates the damsel-in-distress storyline of most vampire tales (although I’d like to point out here that Buffy was never a damsel in distress. Probably why Meena doesn’t mention hating Buffy). However, she CAN tell you exactly how you’re going to die (say what? that’s a sucky superpower — she’s like Jess Mastriani or Suze Simon all grown up).

She’s out walking her dog Jack Bauer late one night when she can’t sleep — because her archrival got the promotion she wanted and the network is forcing a vampire storyline on Insatiable — and is saved from a bat attack by a mysterious (and HOT) European dude who just happens to also be sleepless. So when she meets him again at her obnoxious neighbor’s dinner party, and it turns out he’s the Romanian prince her neighbor’s been trying to set her up with, DUH she goes home with him. Too bad it turns out he’s a vampire, and Meena gets caught in the middle of a war between prince Lucien and his half-brother Dimitri.

BFF Charm: Hell Yes!

BFF Charm Heck Yes - sparklier and shinier than the original BFF Charm

I don’t think I’ve ever NOT wanted to give a Meg Cabot heroine a BFF charm, and Meena’s no exception. Yes, knowing how I will die is creepy, but, dude, it’s useful. Plus, Meena’s funny and smart and totally generous — she lets her unemployed brother Jon live with her, even though he gets on her nerves and he’s kind of cramping her style. She’s passionate about her work and about saving people’s lives, even if it meant everyone called her “You’re Gonna Die Girl” in high school. I love the fact that her main objection to vampires is their misogyny, and she always has a witty comeback to the snark dished out by the guys in her life.

The minute I started reading the book, all I could picture for Meena was Alyssa Milano as Phoebe in Charmed. Short hair? Check. Psychic powers? Yup. In love with a demon? Right here (although I’m not saying Meena’s just a ripoff of Phoebe, cos she totally isn’t).

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

This book doesn’t get as, um, descriptive as those Harlequins, but that doesn’t make it not full of sexytimes. Lucien is totally seductive (although in a creepy mind-control way), and their relationship is hot. PLUS there’s a TOTALLY sexy palatine guard named Alaric, who’s running around trying to kill Lucien and the rest of the vampires (the palatine guard is a papal paramilitary unit dedicated to wiping out demons). And the wordplay between Alaric and Meena is smokin’ (plus, Cabot can’t resist saying things like, “He slipped something long and hard into her hand” — um, YOU GUYS SHE’S TALKING ABOUT A WOODEN STAKE, OK? No need to get all DIRTY), and there’s plenty of sexual tension to go around.

Talky Talk: Meg Cabot, Vampire History Ph.D.

I think Meg Cabot’s awesome enough to get her very own style as a Talky Talk. And this book is pure Meg Cabot — hilarious inner ramblings from the narrator, several splashes of feminism (obsession with eternal youth, anyone?), all mixed up with good old hot romance. PLUS she did her homework here (and not just about TV shows) and throws in a lot of vampire lore and legend (and there’s not ONE SINGLE SPARKLE, thankyouverymuch). There’s even a bit at the end that tells what she made up and what’s real (the palatine guard was real, y’all, but meant to defend the papal city from intruders, not vampires… SO THEY SAY).

Bonus Factor: Soap Operas

I’m not a big soap opera fan (except for all those prime time soaps), but I can see their appeal. I just never happened to get started with them. I love how the main characters on Insatiable are so real to their fans, and how Meena started watching the show as a kid and grew up wanting to write for it.

Relationship Status: Post-First-Date Excitement

I just got home from the date with this book, and it was AWESOME. It kissed me goodnight (and my foot popped up!), and promised to call and asked if it could see me next week. I’ve immediately called my BFF to rehash how cool and funny and smart and hot the book was, and how I’ve got a really really good feeling about it. There’s no way I’ll sleep tonight because I’m still so excited, and I know I’ll spend all day at work Googling the book and checking my phone and email to see if it’s called or written.

FTC Full Disclosure: My review copy was a free ARC I received from MEG CABOT. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!).

Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.