Picks and Pans Review: Boy Meets Girl

updated 02/02/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/02/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

By Meg Cabot

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There is more clicking of computer keys than clinking of wineglasses in Cabot's latest dating comedy, but moving beyond her last one, The Boy Next Door, the lovebirds here don't just e-mail each other. They also make full use of instant messaging, voice mail, even old-fashioned notes jotted on receipts.

The author of The Princess Diaries (who is now writing for grown-ups—not that you'll notice much difference in her bubbly style) keeps her plot elementary: Manhattan human resources employee Kathleen Mackenzie falls for lawyer Mitchell Hertzog, who is defending the company in a suit brought by the fired Dessert Cart Lady. (Cookie-loving Kate was forced to do the axing, much to her regret.) The story—and romance and lawsuit—skips merrily along, abetted by a (mostly) charming cast, including ex-boyfriend Dale, a singer who woos Kate with such ditties as "Ice Weasels Gnaw My Brain." Why do the characters seldom meet face-to-face? Why not? Doesn't every potential date seem more delightful on e-mail?

NOVEL

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