Cabot successfully translates her YA heroine into a twentysomething involved in politics, celebrity, TMZ, stalkers, a weird family, and plenty more. I loved it. My 16-year-old, who had left off reading the Princess Diaries around volume 7 or 8, loved it. Really, just a tremendously fun book but particularly in the lasting friendships Mia has maintained, it has a steely backbone.
I'm always going on about the way Pratchett has worked within the conventions of genre (in his case, fantasy) and crafted novels that are not only funny, but are deeply kind, with a warm glow of secular humanism. Cabot is performing the same trick within the conventions of modern chick lit. “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?” A good writer can make a reader laugh at the foibles of others, but a great writer is one who can also allow us to empathize. The most helpful writers even show us ways in which we can act on that empathy to become better humans. Thus endeth the lesson.