Meg Cabot’s Overbite confused me so much that I actually did something that I’ve long said I’ll never do – read some else’s review before I’ve written my own. First, the subject matter is so different from what we’ve come to expect from the author that I was extremely curious to see if other readers’ perceptions were the same as mine, and second, the ending was so unexpected that I had to find out what everyone else thought about it.
I didn’t read the first book, but from what I gathered, Overbite continues the story of Meena Harper, a psychic who can tell how anyone is going to die, even upon first meeting them. She’s been drafted into the Palatine Guardians, an order affiliated with the Vatican and dedicated to fighting evil. Meena is currently going incognito because her former boyfriend, Lucien, was revealed to be the son of Dracula and number one on the Palatine Guard’s most wanted list. Meena doesn’t believe Lucien is as evil as the reputation he has earned, but she can’t convince any of her fellow Guardsmen of that, especially her partner, Alaric. So, she’s attempting to live quietly and invisibly, while working behind the scenes to prove that Lucien is not as evil as his birthright makes him appear. But dreams of another former boyfriend, David, make it seem imperative that Meena meet with David in public to discuss his future, or lack thereof. While sitting in David’s car talking with him, it quickly becomes apparent to Meena that she’s dreaming of darkness in David’s future because he’s been changed into a vampire. Meena is attempting to fend off David’s attack when Lucien comes to her rescue.
From this point the plot just explodes. After David is dispatched, his parents contact Meena looking for David or his wife, who has also disappeared, leaving their infant son behind. Members of the Guardians go to New Jersey to investigate the disappearance and end up missing themselves. The Vatican brings an assortment of their most precious treasures to New York to be shown to the public, one of which is a book that once belonged to Lucien’s mother and which Lucien wants back. A South American priest, whom Alaric despises and Meena distrusts, arrives with the Vatican treasures and immediately starts making changes to the Palatine Guardian organization. Meena is still attempting to whitewash Lucien’s reputation, and Lucien is in the process of embracing his evil side in order to selfishly get what he wants for once in his long life, in this case Meena. And these many directions are only a sampling of how convoluted the plot becomes.
I’m still unsure how I feel about this book. A long time fan of Ms. Cabot’s work, especially under the Meggin Cabot and Patricia Cabot psuedonyms, I adore her slightly zany writing style and dialogue, but I just don’t think it worked very well with this subject matter. I kept wanting to smile or be a little amused because of the way something was written, and I’d have to remind myself “wait, that’s horrible!” For instance, the circumstance surrounding the disappearance of the New Jersey investigation team is extremely dark, but the dark parts are skimmed over…la-la-la…and then the story is related in third person and made to sound like an amusing little adventure.
I also didn’t get Meena’s relationships. Alaric assumes a lot and has no game when it comes to women, but he seems to have a better chance with Meena than Lucien, who says that he’ll love her until he dies, which is truly forever for a vampire. And if Lucien loves Meena so much, then why is he willing to force her into a situation that she absolutely does not want?
The ending is what really got to me, though. I can’t say much without completely spoiling the entire book, but gosh, it knocked me for a loop, and I didn’t have as much invested in the characters as someone who had read both books. When I checked other reader reviews I found that the ending provoked a pretty emotional response in just about everyone, some thinking it was awesome and appropriate, but most feeling let down and confused. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
This review contains some series spoilers.