Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot


Title: The Bride Wore Size 12
Author: Meg Cabot
Page #: 392
Name and # of Series: Book 5 in Heather Wells Mysteries
Rating:

Book Blurb: 
Heather Wells is used to having her cake and eating it too, but this time her cake just might be cooked. Her wedding cake, that is.

With her upcoming nuptials to PI Cooper Cartwright only weeks away, Heather's already stressed. And when a pretty junior turns up dead, Heather's sure things can't get worse—until every student in the dorm where she works is a possible suspect, and Heather's long-lost mother shows up.

Heather has no time for a tearful mother and bride reunion. She has a wedding to pull off and a murder to solve. Instead of wedding bells, she might be hearing wedding bullets, but she's determined to bring the bad guys to justice if it's the last thing she does . . . and this time, it just might be.

Review:

This is the last book in Meg Cabot's Heather Wells Mysteries series, a series that was initially only three books long, but recently had 2 other installments added to tie up all the loose ends. Normally I get incredibly angry when an author fools around with a perfectly good end to a series because inevitably the plot and characters get so convoluted that it's hard to even read the series anymore (I'm talking to you Mortal Instruments Series ugh!). Despite this, I gave Cabot's new book a chance and thankfully it provided an even better ending to the series.

Now before I get into all the intimate details that impressed me so much about the book I would like to point out something amazing about Meg Cabot. While some authors are usually restricted to one genre and one type of audience, Cabot is amazing because she can successfully produce books for young adult and adult readers, which allows audiences to continue to find enjoyment in her work as they get older. I've been a fan of Cabot since middle school when by chance I picked up a copy of the first two Princess Diaries books and loved them. I spent the rest of my time in middle and high school reading all of her young adult novels that I could get my hands on. By the end of high school when I started discovering some amazing adult books that better suited my older taste I found Cabot's adult novels and loved them just as much as The Princess Diaries and The Mediator Series.

Now let's get on with the actual discussion of The Bride Wore Size 12

Despite what the title suggests this book is anything but your typical Chick-lit (a label that I really detest by the way). The main character, Heather, is dynamic and really easy to relate to, which is not a characteristic you usually find today in books that feature female protagonists. Instead of being a ridiculous mary sue or the woman so completely infatuated with the male romantic interest that she can't make any intelligent decisions, Heather is hilarious, sarcastic, career oriented, and comfortable with herself. She has also experienced some amazing character development over the course of this series. While the titles of all the books are centered around her fluctuating weight, Heather has now reached a point in this book where she is actually comfortable with her body size (YAY!!).

Additionally, Heather has a mature relationship with her fiance Cooper and there are no stupid problems that arise between them in order to try to drum up some action in the plot. Her relationship with him and even her upcoming wedding are not the center of the entire book, as the title seems to suggest. Instead they are delightfully in the background while Heather tries to solve a murder.

While having another murder occur in the dorm of the college that Heather works at was really just a repetition of the plots in the previous books in the series, I still found her investigation into the death of Jasmine, an RA at Fisher Hall, to still be entertaining and it kept me guessing the identity of the true killer. I won't give any spoilers, but I will say that I thought that the identity of the killer was actually pretty logical and Cabot left enough subtle textual clues that the final reveal didn't come out of the blue.

The secondary characters in this book were also rather dynamic and fleshed out, so much so that I wished they could have been in the story more. Eva's presence and the hint of a romantic relationship with one of the inspectors was something I wished could have been fully explored. Also the back and forth between Heather and Gavin was really funny to read and I always love when Magda makes an appearance. Most importantly the female secondary characters functioned as more that just romantic rivals/threats to Heather, an aspect worth rejoicing over.

I also found Heather's position at Fisher Hall to be completely believable and correctly portrayed when I think about the Residence Life Coordinators at the college that I'm currently attending. Like Heather they always seem to be catching themselves saying "dorm" when the approved term is supposed to be "Residence Hall." Her little quip about how girls fight with each other by leaving notes on the fridge made me laugh and reminds me of my neighbors who constantly leave each other passive aggressive sticky notes when they are upset with each other.

All in all I thought The Bride Who Wore Size 12 was a highly enjoyable novel. It was a quick, easy read that I would recommend to anyone that loves a murder mystery with some moments of romance, comedy, and drama thrown in to keep the plot from being stale. The entertainment this story provides and the integration of dynamic characters made it so that the book deserved nothing less than a 4 star rating.