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All American Girl and Ready or Not
Monday, September 17, 2007

All American Girl and Ready or Not are both by Meg Cabot. Since I read these back to back during my trip to Atlanta, I decided to review both at the same time.

This is the first Meg Cabot book I've ever read. I'm surprised I haven't read anything else by her, considering she's the author of Princess Diaries, one of my favorite Disney movies.

This book is clever. Each chapter begins with a "top ten reasons" list from Sam's point of view that lead into the chapter. The book is written in first person, and now that I think about it, the only times I normally read first person are in these Young Adult type books. This style works well for Cabot in this book, as it delivers a story from the perspective of a teenage girl.

I guess what I enjoyed about this book is the innocence of it all, the honest emotions of Sam, and the young love that blossoms between her and the first son, David. I enjoyed reading about Sam's family, including her snobby sister, and the other secondary characters like Susan Boone were described so vividly, I can almost picture them in my head. Sam's worries and troubles in life aren't very applicable to me now, but back when I was in high school, oh yah. I can totally relate to what she was going through, and I think that's why this book works so well for most women, no matter their age.

Sam envies her sister for having a rebel artist boyfriend; she feels embarrassed and hurt in art class for thinking her painting was the best, when really it wasn't; she realizes that being popular isn't always the best feeling in the world; she is naive about David's feelings for her. All of these emotions I can relate to, and I think that's what sucked me into reading nonstop.

I highly recommend this book to your friends, sisters, mothers, etc. I'm giving it a 5 out of 5. It's too bad that I can't say the same for the sequel, Ready or Not.

In this sequel to All American Girl, we find Sam a year older, still dating the President's son David, and still learning art/life lessons from Susan Boone. The basic storyline to this one is simple, Sam thinks David wants to take their relationship to the next level, and worries if she is ready or not to have sex.


Let me start by saying that the first book was amazing, and would've been fine if left alone. I'm very disappointed in the way this one turned out for many reasons. One, I feel like it was forced, that we didn't HAVE to know more about how Sam continues living her life. She saved the president in the first book, and found the love of her life David. In this book, I really didn't see anything develop between her and David, and their sudden decision to have sex was just jumping the gun if you ask me.

Two, I'm very disappointed that she ended up having sex with David in the end. Disappointed for two reasons. One, I had my mom read the first book, raving that it was something funny, romantic, yet CLEAN that she would enjoy. This second one was the complete OPPOSITE. Everything was about sex, from Sam's art class, to her discussions with her sister of condoms, sperm foam, and masturbating in the tub. When I was done with this book, I told my mom she should trust me on this one and just not read it. Second, I'm disappointed in Sam as a character. I thought for sure she was more level headed than this. I'm not saying I'm shocked by the whole premarital sex thing (considering I read a ton of romance books). I'm just shocked that SAM succumed to it. She's only what, 16, 17? She just didn't strike me as the type of girl who would do it under those circumstances.

The fact that she and David had sex in Camp David, while the President and his wife (David's parents) were probably a few doors away. Eeew. Not cool. Plus, Sam went barging into David's room to tell him she wasn't ready, and she just all of a sudden makes this complete 180. Argh! WTF is her problem?! I don't get it.

Third disappointment: Sam still complaining about how her life sucks (at this point I thought, shut up already), all of a sudden caring what other people think about her (being called a slut), and how she as an artist did not know what "life drawing" was.

Fourth disappointment: The corny cafeteria scene where everyone chants "I'm a slut." Okay, that was lame with a capital L. That would so not happen in real life.

I think the only thing I liked about this book, is that Lucy (Sam's older sister) redeemed herself in my eyes. She not only dumped her loser boyfriend Jack, she also fell for the nerd, Harold Minsky. I thought that was adorable, and it showed that we really should not judge people by what's on the outside, Cliche I know, but still, it was a good message. And while I think it was inconsistent of Lucy's character to also make a 180 from the first book, I'm glad she became less annoying in this book.

Even though I'm disappointed, given that I loved the first book so much, I'm not giving up on Meg Cabot. I just wish she hadn't wrote this one and distorted my whole image of Samantha Madison. This one gets a 2 out of 5.

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posted by Daphne @ 11:02 PM  
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Who Is Daphne?

Name: Daphne
Home: California, United States
About Me: I love to read, especially romance books. I love to play, especially computer games and puzzles. I love to dance, especially lindy hop. I love my family and friends.
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