No Judgments, by Meg Cabot

Like nearly all of Meg Cabot's books, No Judgments is funny, charming, smart—and way messier and lazier than it has any right to be.

Bree Beckham has left behind a serious relationship, an overbearing mother, and her law studies to start life anew in Little Bridge, a tiny island in the Florida Keys. She loves living on Little Bridge, particularly after adopting a sweet, elderly cat named Gary, but her newly established independence is tested when a Category 5 hurricane starts bearing down on the island. Everyone—including her boss's hot nephew, Drew—keeps ordering her to evacuate, but Bree is determined to ride out the storm with Gary, whom she feels is too delicate to be moved (thanks to his recent bout of feline stomatitis, which necessitated the removal of all of his remaining teeth).

Here's the thing: thanks to her lively internal monologue, Cabot's heroine doesn't seem dumb, but her actual behavior suggests otherwise. First, Bree is surprised by the most basic emergency preparations. (She needs a flashlight? And batteries? Who knew?!??) Second, her “reasoning” for staying behind in a potentially life-threatening storm is stupid and dangerous. (Plus, Gary's fragility stops being an issue the second the romance heats up! He's supposed to be on a tricky medication schedule, but when the sexytimes with Drew kick into gear, Bree leaves him in the care of a couple of teenagers overnight, WITHOUT EVEN ASKING.) Some of these flaws are papered over by the power of Cabot's charm, but not all—or even most—of them. No Judgments is an underwhelming beginning for what seems to be an ongoing series; here's hoping Cabot's future installments center around characters with more common sense.
Posted by: Julianka


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