Creator / Meg Cabot
author extraordinaire. Probably most well known for her The Princess Diaries
series, which was adapted for a Disney movie
. Has written a number of series for teens and adults and recently began her first series for children.
Series by Meg Cabot:
- The Princess Diaries series: Her breakout success. The novels focus on teenager Mia Thermopolis who seeks solace in her diaries upon finding out that she is actually the Princess of Genovia. Adapted into movies starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews.
- The Mediator series: Focuses on Suze Simon, a young woman who is a mediator, meaning she can interact with ghosts. She takes it upon herself to help them cross to the other side. Trouble arises when she falls in love with a ghost.
- One Eight Hundred Where R You: Normal teen Jessica Mastriani's life is turned upside down when she is struck by lightning. She can now look at pictures, go to sleep and when she wakes up she knows exactly where the person in the picture is. Now Jess is attempting to use her power for good while avoiding working for the US government. Became the Lifetime series Missing. Being re-issued as Vanished.
- All-American Girl: Samantha Madison finds herself a national heroine when she saves the President from an assassination attempt. And then she finds herself falling in love with his son. Has a sequel entitled Ready or Not.
- Avalon High: Ellie Harrison begins to notice strange parallels between King Arthur and life at her new high school. Has a manga sequel and was adapted into a Disney Channel movie.
- Queen Of Babble: The main obstacle in Lizzie Nichol's love life is that she just cannot for the life of her keep a secret!
- Airhead Series: Brainiac Emerson Watts loses her body in a freak accident and has her brain transplanted into supermodel Nikki Howard's body. Now she has to deal with fame, the shallow lifestyle she hates and a conspiracy behind the imposing Stark Enterprises.
- Insatiable: A modern re-telling/sequel to Bram Stroker's Dracula.
- Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls series: A series of children books for tween girls.
- The Heather Wells Mysteries: A series of three books about Heather Wells, a former child Idol Singer, whose label dropped her. She now works at a university as a dorm administrator. In every book, someone ends up dead, and Heather investigates while dealing with her crazy co-workers, annoying, cheating ex-boyfriend (also a famous pop star) a police officer who believes she's nothing but trouble, and her huge crush on her roommate/landlord/brother of her former flame.
- The Abandon Trilogy: In a modern retelling of the myth of Persephone, teenager Pierce Oliviera dies and is chosen to become the consort to the Lord of the Underworld, John Hayden. Pierce manages to escape back to the realm of the living but something keeps drawing her back to John. Not helping is the presence of the Furies, evil souls who wants nothing more than to make John suffer and hurt her in the process.
- From The Notebooks Of A Middle School Princess: A spinoff series of ''The Princess Diaries. Olivia Grace, believing herself to be "average," soon finds out from the school bully that she is a princess of Genovia, and that her father is royalty. Princess Mia then saves Olivia from a brutal beatdown, and introduces her to the life of Genovian royalty.
Standalone novels by Meg Cabot:
- Teen Idol: Jenny Greenley, known for being her school's Messiah, guides movie star Luke Striker around her school as he studies for a role. Meanwhile, she learns about herself.
- How to be Popular: The one thing Steph Landry wants more than anything is to be popular. And she finally gets a chance when she stumbles upon a self-help book called How to be Popular.
- Pants on Fire or Tommy Sullivan is a Freak: Katie Ellison is a Consummate Liar. She lies to her friends, she lies to her boyfriend(s) and she lies about not knowing anything about Tommy Sullivan or why he mysteriously left town four years ago. Which is quite the problem, since Tommy Sullivan is back in town.
- Jinx: Misfortune has followed Jean Honeychurch all her life - which is how she earned the nickname Jinx. And now her parents have shipped her off to New York City to stay with relatives - including her sophisticated cousin Tory - until the trouble she's caused back home dies down. But trouble is part of Jean's life, especially because she might be a witch.
- Nicola and the Viscount - Nicola Sparks, sixteen and an orphan, is ready to dive headlong into her first London Season. A whirlwind of fashionable activities awaits her, although nabbing a husband, ordinarily the prime object of every girl's Season, is not among them. For Nicola has already chosen hers: a handsome viscount by the name of Lord Sebastian. Everything is going well, until the infuriating Nathaniel Sheridan begins to cast doubt on the viscount's character. Nicola is convinced Nathaniel's efforts to besmirch Lord Sebastian's sterling reputation will yield nothing. But when she begins to piece things together for herself, the truth that is revealed has as much to do with the viscount as it does with Nicola's own heart.
- Victoria andthe Rogue: Wealthy young heiress Lady Victoria Arbuthnot is shipped off to London to find a husband, becoming engaged to the perfect English gentleman, even before setting foot on British soil. Hugo Rothschild, ninth earl of Malfrey, is everything a girl could want in a future husband: he is handsome and worldly, if not rich. Lady Victoria has everything just as she’d like it. That is, if raffish young ship captain Jacob Carstairs would leave well enough alone. Jacob’s meddling is nothing short of exasperating, and Victoria is mystified by his persistence. But when it becomes clear that young Lord Malfrey just might not be all that he’s professed to be, Victoria is forced to admit that she is wrong. Not only about her fiancé, but about the reason behind the handsome ship captain’s interference.
Works by Meg Cabot with their own trope pages include:
Cabot's other work provides examples of:
- Adaptation Decay: Hilariously lampshaded in the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU books. Jess comments on the TV show and talks about how it has virtually no basis in truth and many characters in the last book mention that they've watched the TV show.
- Also mentioned in-universe a couple of times in The Princess Diaries, where Mia mentions how inaccurate the movies are (though it's mainly the second one that she has a problem with).
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Jess in the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series. Even though beneath his tough exterior, the 'bad boy' Rob isn't that bad.
- Alpha Bitch: Frequent in her novels, but among the most obvious are Lana Weinberger (The Princess Diaries series) and Lauren Moffat (How to be Popular)
- Author Tract: Cabot isn't afraid of inserting her political and social views into her books. It's more obvious in some novels than others.
- Character Overlap: One of the The Princess Diaries novels has Mia reference Sam from All-American Girl and Jess from 1-800-Where-R-YOU
- Consummate Liar: Katie in Pants on Fire. Mia in The Princess Diaries also has this problem, made worse by the fact she had a Pinocchio Nose to boot.
- Face on a Milk Carton: In 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU, Jess Mastriani discovers her powers when she dreams about the locations of kids whose pictures she's seen on milk cartons, and puts this ability to good use. By book 2, she's mostly switched to having someone in the "Missing Persons" department send her pictures of kids who are genuinely in need of help (as opposed to those who were taken away from an abusive parent who wants them back for selfish reasons).
- Framing Device: The first 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU book is supposed to be the statement that Jessica is giving to the authorities following her experience. The sequels drop this.
- Jail Bait Wait: The main obstacle in Jess and Rob's relationship.
- Hide Your Lesbians: Averted in the Queen of Babble series.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl / One Head Taller: Many of her couples. Notable examples include Jess and Rob, David and Sam, and John and Pierce.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Lizzie a thousand times Lizzie, who repeatedly falls for sophisticated, European guys Andy and Luke but finally realizes she's in love with long-time friend Chaz.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Quite a bit of Cabot's books feature this type of character, usually as the protagonist's best friend, or as a character who turns into something akin to that during the book. Pretty much never the protagonists, though.
- My Beloved Smother: Jess's mother in 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU, especially to her brother Douglas.
- 90% of Your Brain: The basis used to explain how Jess gets her ability after being struck by lightning in the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series.
- Pair the Spares: Very frequently.
- Point of View: Writes almost exclusively in first person.
- Same Story, Different Names: While her plots tend to be very different, her characters tend to be very similar to one another, especially her main characters.
- A common complaint for How to Be Popular is that it is basically a less interesting retread of Teen Idol.
- Her two historical YA novels, Nicola and the Viscount and Victoria and the Rogue are essentially two (slightly, see above) different main characters dropped into identical plotlines: Orphan girl arrives in London Society, falls for and gets engaged to a guy who eventually turns out to be interested in her only for her money/property, breaks off the engagement, gets kidnapped by his relations who then try to force the marriage, but then eventually manages to escape and be rescued by the true love interest. Both girls initially write off the men who eventually become their true love interests as being insufferable jerks, only to eventually realize they've misjudged them and fall hard. While the precise character and event details are different, it's basically the same story with different window dressings.
- Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Played with in Queen of Babble between Luke and Chaz. They're both rich trust fund kids but Luke is a European Prince and wealthy banker while Chaz is a phd student wanting to be a Philosophy professor. He even tells Lizzie straight out that considering his poor prospects he wouldn't blame her for choosing Luke.
- Romantic False Lead: Taken to comical extremes in Queen of Babble. Andy is the obvious false lead to the charming Luke, however in the sequels Luke is the false lead to Chaz, who has been around since the beginning.
- Scrapbook Story: Her Boy books for adults, which are written entirely in e-mails, letters, and journal entries.
- Shaped Like Itself: The standalone book How to be Popular, which is sometimes mistaken by people as an actual guide on how to be popular. (The title actually refers to the self help book the protagonist follows in her efforts to gain popularity.)
- Shipper on Deck: Jess from 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series ships Special Agents Johnson/Smith. They immediately sink her idea though when they point out that Johnson is married and they are simply work partners.
- Shout-Out: When Meg realized that a lot of anime fans were fans of her books, she put random Neon Genesis Evangelion name drops into her books.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Lizzie in Queen of Babble who falls for both Andy and Luke after they go on about wanting to become teachers and doctors. They both turn out to be jerks, and she eventually falls for her best friend Chaz.
- Their First Time: An issue in many of her books, especially Ready or Not.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Skip from 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: Very frequent. A notable example is in the Queen of Babble series where the first book is all about the protagonist's romantic relationship with attractive, sophisticated, wealthy Luke Brandon. By the end of the third book she has dumped him in favor of her best friend's ex and longtime friend, Chad. As the series progresses it makes sense, but you wouldn't have guessed that was how the series would turn out from the first book.
- Wrong Guy First: Wrong guy first and second in Queen of Babble series
- Twice in the All-American Girl series (with the same guy no less!). Sam initially believes she loves Jack before meeting David and Lucy believes she loves Jack before meeting Harold.
- Your Cheating Heart: Katie in Pants on Fire, Nikki in Airhead