Heather Wells Mysteries Meg Cabot
I thought I'd review all three books with one review. The books in question are Size 12 Is Not Fat, Size 14 Is Not Fat Either, and Big Boned.
Basic backstory-- Heather Wells was a mid-list teen idol who was engaged to Jordan, one of the biggest teen stars (whose father also happened to own the record label.) When Heather wanted to start recording and singing her own music, the label and her fiance dropped her. Her mother then took all of her money and moved to Argentina. Heather is now living with Cooper, rent-free (well, she has to do the filing for his PI business). Cooper is the black sheep of his family and Jordan's older brother. Heather totally has the hots for him. She's also working as the assistant dorm-director to a private dorm of New York College because she will be able to take free classes so she can earn her college degree. She's also no longer teen pop-star thin. She's a size 12.
In Size 12 is Not Fat the dorm has a problem with elevator surfing (where guys break into the elevator shaft and ride the elevators and jump to other elevators...) When a student shows up dead at the bottom of the shaft, everyone rights it off as an elevator surfing accident. Except... Heather knows her students. Girls like the deceased don't elevator surf (in fact girls in general don't elevator surf.) More and more students are dying in "accidental" ways. Heather smells something fishy and if no one else is going to try to discover what's going on, she will.
In Size 14 Is Not Fat Either, Christmas (and winter in general) has caused Heather to go up a size. Then a cheerleader's head shows up boiled in a pot in the cafeteria. A little digging shows that Lindsey wasn't as nice as she seemed and the frat boys she hung around with are also some of campus's biggest dealers and might have something even more sinister going on... To top it all off, Heather's dad is out of jail and moving in to the brownstone...
Big Boned finds Heather with a new boss, who (of course) ends up with a bullet through his head. The main suspect is the leader of the gradute students union, who is protesting for grad student rights (and health insurance.) He's also Heather's assistant's boyfriend and very into nonviolent protest. Heather's looking into other possibilities and uncovering all sorts of ickiness along the way. Not to mention her new boyfriend who wants her to do things like... go running.
The good: This has Cabot's trademark charm and humor. I love the secondary characters in this one, especially Magda (the cafeteria lady) and Reggie (the neighborhood drug dealer who keeps an eye out for Heather, both for information to help her solve crimes and to make sure that she gets home safely.) Cabot also writes a good mystery-- it has just enough suspense and the she keeps you guessing on who the rampaging murderer is.
The annoying: If I lived Heather's lifestyle, I would be a size 22, not a size 12. She eats crap (all those Oreos!) and does things like take baths because standing up to take a shower is too taxing. SERIOUSLY? She's very into proclaiming that the average American woman is a size 12, but that wouldn't be true if the average American woman had Heather's diet and activity level. And it's annoying because it paints people who are slightly overweight as fat and lazy, which is annoying but not annoying enough to keep me from loving the series.
The plot points that stretch across the books are wrapped up in Big Boned. As that came out in 2007, most readers assumed the series would be a trilogy but Cabot has said on her blog that a fourth Heather Wells mystery will be out in 2012. YAY! I'm excited.
Book Provided by... bookmooch, my local library, my wallet
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