All-American Girl by Meg Cabot
TOP TEN REASONS
IS IN DEEP TROUBLE
10. Her big sister is the most popular girl in school
9. Her little sister is a certified genius
8. Shes in love with her big sisters boyfriend
7. She got caught selling celebrity portraits in school
6. And now shes being forced to take art classes
5. Shes just saved the president of the United States from an
4. So the whole world thinks she is a hero
3. Even though Sam knows she is far, far from being a hero
2. And now shes been appointed teen ambassador to the UNAND THE
Sams LIFE IS OVER?
1.The presidents son just might be in love with her
Is this book controversial? You bet! Is it funny! No doubt about it. Is it
appropriate reading material for all ages? Depends on what you deem
Ive read with interest the other reviews for READY OR NOT, Meg Cabots
sequel to All-American Girl. I even agree with a lot of them. But before I
start my review, let me remind you of one salient point--this book is a work
of FICTION. It was written by a HUMAN who has her OWN views of life.
Just as everyone on Amazon isnt going to agree on whether or not
abortion is right, or the war in Iraq is necessary, or whether religion should
be allowed in public schools, no two people are going to agree on whether
or not *SPOILER* Sam should have had sex with her boyfriend at the age
of almost seventeen.
That said, I loved the book. Im a thirty-year-old happily married mother of
two, and I still enjoyed Ms. Cabots individual brand of humor, the trials of
being a teenager, and the ability of one person to make a difference in the
The Samantha Madison of All-American Girl has grown up. Shes older,
shes dyed her hair because she needed a change, and shes wondering
what to do now that her boyfriend, David, who just happens to be the son
of the US President, has invited her to Camp David over Thanksgiving
weekend to play parcheesi.
Sam is all ready reeling--from the realization that she either looks like a
cute Ashlee Simpson (her older sister Lucys comment on the dye job,
which is not good) or a dead Joan of Arc (her younger sister Rebeccas
comment on the hair, which could be good depending on how you look at
it); the fact that life studies in art class obviously means naked people
(really not good that the first naked man you see is a complete stranger);
and the knowledge that the President seems to think providing the teens of
America birth-control should not be done without their parents approval.
I truly enjoyed READY OR NOT. The message is a powerful one--the
sexuality of a person should be based on their maturity, not their age, and
that birth-control is a personal decision of the person engaging in sexual
activities. That said, however, never once does the book become preachy
about teen sexuality. I can understand where some parents might not like
having their teenage daughters reading about a sixteen-year-old who
decides to have sex with her boyfriend, but I personally would rather have
my daughter read a book about a girl who knows what a big decision it is,
comes to peace with it in her mind, and seeks out ways to avoid the
dangers that are associated with sex no matter what your age--pregnancy
and disease--then have her feel ashamed to research her decision.
I think the subject matter was wonderfully handled, and by no means is the
entire book about Sam trying to decide whether or not to have sex with
David. A lot of reviewers will attempt to make it be so, just because the
subject matter is a touchy one. But its also about Sam wanting to be her
own person, not just the girl who saved the President. Its about learning to
love yourself as you are, and understanding the intricacies of your family,
and taking important steps in your life to make the world a better place.
Samantha Madison grew up in this book, and thats how it should be. Any
parent who thinks their teenager isnt thinking about sex is sadly mistaken--
its just a fact of life. And Meg Cabot presents a wonderful story about the
highs and lows of falling in love, of making life-altering decisions, and
being the best person you can be.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka The Genius
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