I grew up on Meg Cabot's books. The Princess Diaries, All-American Girl, Avalon High, The Mediator... these are the novels that shaped my love for the young adult genre, which was why I jumped on the chance to review the newest book in her most popular adult fiction series. The Heather Wells Mysteries have been around for quite a while, but in this most recent installment, the quirky, lovable heroine is back, and she's getting marriedâ??but that doesn't mean things will be calming down for her. In fact, it's just the opposite; when a student in her residence hall turns up dead even before classes start at New York College, she'll have to use her resourcesâ??and her witsâ??to get to the bottom of the fishy business going on in Fischer Hallâ??and save her wedding.
The Bride Wore Size 12 is true to Cabot's hilarious, pitch-perfect style. Impossible to put down and funny to the core, it's fabulously misleading and unpredictable until that one moment when the truth will click and everything rushes together. While it will have you at the edge of your seat and your heart pounding erratically throughout, I consider it a triumphant flourish of a feel-good novelâ??because just reading it will definitely make you a happier person.
Heather is a delightful narratorâ??both likable and genuine! I love how she's hard-working, clumsy (there's a little bit of each of us in her personality!), but still super sharp. What I admire so much is how, even though she never strays far from her beliefs and herself, she still has vulnerabilities and tenderness that make her so human. Empowered by the people who love and care for her at her sideâ??as well as the thought of finally marrying the man of her dreamsâ??she is able to plow through any problem that's headed her way, including the unfortunate incident among the students and an unpleasant reminder of her past.
I was also extremely impressed by how true-to-life the university backdrop of the novel was, as Cabot's fictional settings tend to be. It's SO realistic, and I can vouch for this with certainty because there are exact parallels with my own college; Meg Cabot definitely outdid herself with creating a "typical" college campus. I did feel like some of the mystery scenarios aren't as realistic, such as how easily Heather is able to get information from security and the police, but those are little logistics. For a mystery novel with less gravity than most, however, that wasn't too big an issue.
Although this book is the 5th in the series, it makes a phenomenal standalone novel. I had no problem following, even without having read the previous books. However, now my curiosity is piqued to actually try themâ??that's how much I loved this one!
Pros: Heather is such a likable heroine // Cooper is dreamy // College is realistically described // Breezily hysterical // Very effortless readability // Every single character is vivid and so well portrayed, even the villains and minor characters! // Cute contemporary tone // Murder mystery is actually well plotted and suspenseful
Cons: Not as much romance as I would have liked, but I'm guessing the previous novels have more of Heather and Cooper! // Slightly unrealistic depiction of a murder case
Verdict: The latest pickle Heather Wells gets herself into perfectly demonstrates the magic of Meg Cabot; the story the acclaimed author creates is addicting, suspenseful but still light-hearted, and one of those books you just hate to put down. The snarky yet compassionate, tongue-in-cheek yet sincere, and entertaining yet straightforward tone dictates a college-set murder investigation in this contemporary cozy mystery. If you're looking for a new adult novel with substance and styleâ??as well as a good laughâ??don't miss out on The Bride Wore Size 12 and the entire series.
Rating: 8 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): An engaging read; highly recommended.
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Harper Collins and TLC!).show more
by Theresa Wells