"Meg Cabot knows that one of the best cures for feeling gawky and conspicuous is reading about someone who sticks out even more than you do. Her books for young adults invariably feature girls who have extraordinary powers that carry extraordinary burdens. Cabot's The Princess Diaries and its successors, Princess in the Spotlight and Princess in Love (to be followed in spring 2003 by Princess in Waiting), offer the diary entries of Mia Thermopolis, who discovers at age 14 that she is actually the princess of a small European country. This adds significantly to her extant concerns about crushes, friendships, algebra, and her algebra teacher, who has the audacity to romance her mother.
Cabot, a native of Indiana weaned on Judy Blume and Barbara Cartland, was already a successful romance novelist (as Patricia Cabot) before she began writing for young adults; her alter-alter ego, Jenny Carroll, began a new series shortly after The Princess Diaries debuted. The Carroll books are divided between the Mediator series, starring a girl who can communicate with restless ghosts; and the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU books, in which a girl struck by lightning acquires the ability to locate missing people.
Cabot writes her books in a conspiratorial, first-person style that resonates with her readers. She has obviously kept a grip on the vernacular and the key issues of adolescence; but what makes her books so irresistible is the mixing of the mundane with the fantastic. After all, who wouldn't like to wake up and be a princess all of a sudden, or a seer? Cabot takes such offhand notions and roots them firmly in the details of average, middle-class American life. In 2002, Cabot introduced a new heroine with her All-American Girl, featuring another average Jane who is thrust into the spotlight when she inadvertently saves the U.S. president from assassination.
Cabot continues to write her Patricia Cabot romances, which are generally set in 19th-century England and play on class differences and changes of fortune. As with her books for young adults, Cabot's romances have earned praise for their lighthearted humor and well drawn characters. In its review of Lady of Skye, Publishers Weekly noted, ""Cabot writes romance almost without peer, creating passionate love scenes readers will swoon over, delivered with poetry and beauty, and memorable secondary characters."" In 2002, she united her talents for period romance and YA fiction with Nicola and the Viscount, the first of several planned historical romances for teens. Cabot is branching out in the adult sector as well: She releases two modern-day romantic mysteries, The Boy Next Door and She Went All the Way, in 2002 as Meggin Cabot."