Hey guys! As you may know, I recently launched my new feature, Once Upon a Time. If you didn’t get a chance to check out the intro post, you can read it here! To sum it up: Once Upon a Time is a backlist feature that not only helps me showcase some really amazing authors and their backlist titles, but also allows me to share with you some of the books that I read when I was younger and that are still favorites now. These are the books that shaped me as a reader and made me feel less alone as a teen.
Today, I have the first of many author features to share with you! Since Remembrance (The Mediator #7) is releasing this month (tomorrow, in fact!), I figured it would be perfect timing to feature Meg Cabot!
Meg Cabot is my #1 favorite author. I first discovered her books when I was 13/14, browsing at a used bookstore. Meg Cabot was one of the first authors I read in the YA genre – along with R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike. See, a lot of people have that One Book that they KNOW started them on their YA journey. For me, it was a natural progression from chapter books to middle grade to YA. As my reading level advanced (I was always ahead of my age/peers), I just kept reading “older” books. So I don’t really have a specific book that started me on YA, but I do know that Cabot, Stine and Pike were some of the first authors/books that I read – And to this day, they remain my favorites.
Basically, at that point in my life, I just knew I loved supernatural/paranormal books. I wasn’t big on contemporary AT ALL! So when I discovered Meg’s books in that used bookstore, I was in heaven! I can’t completely remember if I discovered her Mediator books first or her 1-800-Where-R-U books first. Or maybe I found some of each at the same time. All I know is, since I hadn’t yet discovered the joys of Amazon and online ordering, it took several trips back to that used bookstore before I was able to snag all four books in each series (yeah, each series only had four books at that point!).
Fun fact? I didn’t even know her name was Meg Cabot at the time! Because the copies of the Mediator series that I found still had her pen name, Jenny Carroll, on them!
Now, her 1-800-Where-R-U books DID (do?) say Meg Cabot, but under that they say “Written as Jenny Carroll.” So, to 13-year-old me, this was a bit confusing (I’m not even sure if I knew authors had pen names when I was 13/14! Obviously I figured it out eventually, haha!) But I love that I have older editions like these! They’re almost like collector’s editions now!
Shadowland, the first book in the Mediator series, came out in 2000, and I discovered them (roughly) in 2002/2003. By 2003, Meg had written the fifth Mediator book, Haunted! And then in 2005, she wrote the 6th and – at the time – final book, Twilight. These books were a BIG part of my childhood. Again, they were some of my first YA books. They shaped me as a reader. There weren’t as many epic YA books back in the 2000s as there are now, so I read these over and over and over.
Honestly, at the time, I was more obsessed with the 1-800-Where-R-U books. But now that I’ve re-read all the Mediator books again, I’ve come to realize that The Mediator series is my absolute favorite Meg Cabot series – and possibly my favorite series ever. Re-reading them was like coming home after being away for a long time. I fell right back into the world Meg created. Suze is a kick-ass heroine. She’s fierce and she can kick ghost butt like nobody’s business! She doesn’t like sitting on the side-lines and she definitely doesn’t like being told to! She reminds me of Buffy, actually. Jesse was my first Book Boyfriend, before I even knew what a Book Boyfriend was! I mean, really… Every time he says “Querida,” I swoon! I also shipped Suze and Jesse before I knew what shipping was! And I’m 100% positive now that they’re my Ultimate OTP (again, something I didn’t know existed back then).
Becoming a blogger has afforded me a LOT of EPIC opportunities. I was able to attend Book Expo America (BEA) in NYC in 2015 and I GOT TO MEET MEG CABOT!!! I kid you not, I almost cried. I was SO NERVOUS to meet her! I gushed and fangirled and told her she’s amazing and my absolute favorite author and I probably sounded like such a dork, but, out of all my Bookish experiences, it was BY FAR the best thing to ever happen to me! In addition to signing her new book (at the time, it was Royal Wedding and was being featured at BEA), I also got her to sign Shadowland (The Mediator #1) and When Lighting Strikes (1-800-Where-R-U #1). Because those were the books that I grew up with, the ones that meant the world to me, the ones I read over and over and over again. I’m sure I walked away from that signing with the biggest, goofiest grin on my face and I don’t even care. Because it REALLY was the most amazing thing ever! It’s a moment I’ll NEVER forget!
When I discovered that Meg Cabot was writing Remembrance – an adult installment in the Mediator series – I pretty much screamed with joy! I mean, the sixth book (Twilight) came out in 2005! And now it’s 2016! That’s an 11-year gap between the last book and this new book! Eleven years without Suze and Jesse! And now we’re getting a NEW Mediator book!
Needless to say, I’ve ALREADY read it and LOVED LOVED LOVED. The only problem? Now I want MORE! I’m not satisfied with just ONE new book. I. Want. More! *GRABBY HANDS!!!!*
So basically, Meg Cabot is Queen. Oh, did I mention she follows me on Twitter? Yeah, I shrieked when I saw that! She’s Queen and she’s following me and I got to meet her and I’m crying, guys. I’m literally crying as I write this because I can’t contain my feels.
These books – and Meg as an author – will never stop being the most important thing to ever happen to me. I’m so grateful that I went into the used bookstore all those times and was able to get these books and have them in my life. I’ve never even bothered to replace the first four books from either series with newer editions because why would I? These are the copies I bought as a teen and these are the copies that are old and worn from multiple readings and have impressions from when I dog-eared books (Yes, I know, a terrible habit that I broke years ago!). These copies are lovingly used and will always be considered some of my most prized possessions. I can’t imagine these editions are easy to come by now, so I’ll always treasure them and the experience of reading them – not to mention the way they made me feel, when I was a young reader with no one but my mom to discuss them with. These books, as some of my first YA books, made me feel less alone.
I should note, also, that I’ve read MANY of Meg Cabot’s other books, as well. But these are the two series that mean the most to me and will always hold a special place in my heart. So they’re the books I wanted to focus on for this feature.
So, are you a Meg Cabot fan? Which of her books have you read? What did they mean to you? Do you still re-read them? Have you met Meg? Discuss in the comments!!
About Meg Cabot:
Meg Cabot is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for both adults and tweens/teens. There have been over 25 million copies of Meg’s nearly 80 published books sold in 38 countries. Her last name rhymes with habit, as in “her books can be habit forming.” She currently lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and various cats.
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