Title: Size 12 and Ready To Rock
Author: Meg Cabot
384 pages, Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Buy The Book: Amazon
Summer break . . . and the livin’ ain’t easy!
Just because the students at New York College have flown the coop doesn’t mean assistant residence hall director Heather Wells can relax. Fischer Hall is busier than ever, filled with squealing thirteen- and fourteen-year-old girls attending the first ever Tania Trace Teen Rock Camp, hosted by pop sensation Tania Trace herself—who just happens to be newly married to Heather’s ex-boyfriend, heartthrob Jordan Cartwright. But the real headache begins when the producer of a reality TV show starring Tania winds up dead . . . and it’s clear that the star was the intended victim.
Grant Cartwright, head of Cartwright Records, wants to keep his daughter-in-law (and his highest-earning performer) alive. So he hires his oldest son, black sheep of the family and private investigator Cooper Cartwright—who just happens to be Heather’s new fiancé. Heather should leave the detecting to Cooper. But with a dorm full of hysterical mini-divas-in-training, she can’t help but get involved. And after Tania shares a really shocking secret with her, this reality suddenly becomes more dangerously real than anyone ever anticipated. (Summary provided by William Morrow Paperbacks.)
With humor, an intriguing mystery, and a loveable heroine, Size 12 and Ready To Rock, the fourth book in the Heather Wells Mysteries series by Meg Cabot, has it all! It’s the first book in the series I’ve read, but after reading this installment I definitely want to go back and read the previous books. The series follows a former teen pop idol turned assistant college residence hall director, Heather Wells. Heather has recently gotten engaged to her boyfriend Cooper. They want to keep the engagement a secret as long as possible, because Cooper is Heather’s ex-boyfriend Jordan’s brother. The brothers are the sons of the record producer Heather once sang pop hits for. The engagement proves especially hard to keep a secret when Heather is forced to allow her ex’s wife Tania to film a rock camp for her reality show Jordan Loves Tania at the residence hall where Heather works after Tania’s life is threatened and her bodyguard is shot. With the lives of Heather’s students in danger because of the show filming in what is already nicknamed the “death dorm,” Heather is determined to keep her students safe and find out who is after Tania.
The plot may sound a little confusing, but I swear it’s not! Despite this being my first book in the series to read, I was able to easily follow the back stories of the characters. Cabot expertly updates new readers on Heather’s past relationships with characters while keeping the plot moving forward.
I love Heather! She is a witty, smart heroine. From her favorite TV show (Freaky Eaters) to her funny banter with Cooper’s crazy family, Heather kept me laughing throughout the book. I also like the idea of having a normal, healthy-sized heroine set amongst the pressure to be stick figure thin in the New York celebrity scene. Heather’s inner monologue throughout the book reflects someone who is happy with her body. Would she like to look like a super model? Sure. But does she want to deprive herself of the food she loves to do so? No. And she’s okay with that. I was hesitant to read this series at first, because of my own weight struggles. I worried that having an average sized heroine would be a cheap novelty with jokes at the character’s expense. However, this is not the case at all. If anything, I came away from the book with a better body image, because I could relate to Heather. Cabot’s portrayal of a female secure in her own skin despite society’s pressure to look a certain way is a breath of fresh air.
Cabot writes pop idol Tania as a three dimensional character. It would have been very easy to make Tania a caricature or completely unlikable person. I actually liked the spoiled pop star by the end of the book! Readers who enjoy the ridiculous nature of reality TV shows like Newlyweds, The Simple Life, or Jersey Shore will find the parts of the book behind the scenes of the reality show Jordan Loves Tania both incredibly funny and a little disturbing. Each chapter starts with the lyrics to a song written by one of the characters. Each song gave insight to the motives behind the characters, and served as clues to the characters’ feelings and to the central mystery.I really liked this as a plot device. I read the lyrics to each song and tried to play detective as I read.
Meg Cabot covers all of the bases to the recipe for a great summer read with Size 12 and Ready To Rock. I highly recommend purchasing a copy for your beach bag today!
Also, check out the fun photo shoot I did with my copy of Size 12 and Ready To Rock here.