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Book Cover Image: Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Title:  Insatiable

Author:  Meg Cabot

No. of Pages:  454

First Released:  June 2010

Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books): “Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.

Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die. (Not that you’re going to believe her. No one ever does.)

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets–then makes the mistake of falling in love with–Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It’s a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.
The problem is, Lucien’s already dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met whom she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future. . . .

If she even has one.”

Comments and Critique:  There is so much to love about Meg Cabot’s Insatiable – sexy yet dangerous vampires that remain true to the original mythology, a spunky, strong female heroine, a tongue-in-cheek nod to the current vampire craze, a plot with enough twists and turns to keep a reader guessing until the very last page.  Yet, there were some aspects about Insatiable that disappointed me and kept me from truly loving it.  Trust me, I wanted to love it so much, which makes my disappointment that much more palpable.

What disappointed me?  While Meena’s fate remained a mystery and kept me guessing, the “big nefarious plot” did not.  I felt the master plan to be fairly obvious, as well as the character connections.  The big reveal was not so much a surprise as a confirmation of what I already expected.  Another issue I found was Meena.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Meena Harper.  She was witty, sympathetic, strong in her beliefs, but her voice was too young.  Her inner dialogue was more like what I have come to expect in YA novels, and I often had to remind myself that she was older and more experienced that she came across on the page.  On her website, Ms. Cabot likens Meena to Buffy (from the best TV show ever).  The similarities between the two heroines are evident; unfortunately, that also extends to voice as well.  I suspect this is largely due to Ms. Cabot’s past writing novels for YA or middle grade. 

The largest source of disappointment was the men, specifically Alaric and Jon.  I found both extremely self-centered, ego-centric and absolutely clueless.  At no point in time was their cluelessness endearing.  Rather, they were overbearing and just plain rude.  Jon, at no point in time, ever acknowledged how much he owed his sister but did everything possible to make her miserable.  Alaric was just boorish as well as snobbish with his need for 5-star hotels and lack of social skills.  I still do not understand Meena’s loyalty to either of them, as they, to me, are the anti-thesis of heroes. 

Beyond those issues, I thoroughly enjoyed Insatiable.  I found it a fast-paced, tension-filled thrill ride that really did keep me guessing on Meena’s fate until the final page.  I found Lucien to be a proper vampire – brooding, mysterious, suave, loyal, gorgeous.  His sadness adds yet another element of attraction for me.  I remain curious whether his love for Meena was true or if she really was one of his minions.  Is he really different from the Dracul, as Meena claims, or is Alaric correct?  It is an interesting dilemma that I hope will be addressed in the sequel.

Speaking of sequels, I am so glad there is going to be one.  Ms. Cabot leaves more story and conflict to explore, hopefully allowing Jon and Alaric to grow and become real men who support Meena instead of the macho-wannabes they are currently. 

One cannot write a review of Insatiable without discussing the title.  Obviously, it is a nod to the soap opera series for which Meena is a dialogue writer.  However, it can mean so many things.  Is it referring to human’s insatiable need for life, of our fear of death, for youth, for love, for belonging?  Or is it a reference to society’s seemingly insatiable need for all things vampire these days? 

As I mentioned, I thoroughly enjoyed Insatiable and devoured it over a weekend.  Yes, I had issues with certain elements of the story, but that does not preclude me from eagerly anticipating the sequel (due out in summer 2011 according to Ms. Cabot’s website).  Any fan of vampires will enjoy this newest entry in the vampire genre. 

I received this book for winning a giveaway by Tara from 25 Hour Books.  Thanks, Tara!

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