Saturday, July 24, 2010
Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries) presents another teen-pleasing novel and another likable heroine in this story set in Washington, D.C. Feisty, red-haired Samantha, a self-described "urban rebel" who has dyed all of her clothes black, is a 15-year-old middle child, uncomfortably wedged between her popular, cheerleader older sister, Lucy, and her brainy 11-year-old sister, Rebecca. And she has a major crush on Jack, Lucy's nonconformistartist boyfriend, whom she feels is far better suited to her than to her rather vacuous sister.
The entertainingly opinionated narrator's wry top-10 lists add considerably to the tale's charm and speedy pacing, among them, the "top ten reasons why I can't stand my sister Lucy" and the "top ten signs that Jack loves me and not my sister Lucy and just hasn't realized it yet." Sam's life suddenly changes dramatically when, while standing on the sidewalk one afternoon, she foils an attempt to assassinate the President. She becomes a national hero overnight, is named teen ambassador to the United Nations and eventually lands the president's son as her beau.
Despite these rather unlikely plot twists (in a comic coincidence, the president's son also happens to be a fellow student in her art class whom she finds attractive), Sam's spunky and intermittently affecting narrative, as well as the true-to-life voices of the supporting cast of characters, make this a convincing and diverting tale. As Sam learns important truths about herself, Cabot interjects a worthy message into her comedic caper. Ages 12-up.
I found All American girl a little boring at first. Only gradually does it become interesting. Even at the end, I felt that Meg Cabot's other books were much better. This book is very averagely written and when Samantha meets the president and his son and all, there is really no excitement. Rather, it seems like she is telling the story of a sad dog. Everything about the book was very average (including its cover art). Even though I have nothing against having an average girl as a heroine, this book focuses too much abbout her normal life which is not interesting to read about since every teenage girl has a similar kind of life.
Meg Cabot has not put her whole heart into writing the book like she usually does. I find it a disappointment coming from a writer who has authored many wonderful books. The characters (especially David) is very flat and two-dimensional. I could not grow to like him. Samantha is also not a very interesting heroine (like Jinx (Jean Honeycombs) or Steph from How to be popular). This book is a major letdown.
Meg Cabot's writing style
Everything about the book was average and reads like the diary of an average teenage girl. Even meeting the president and his son could not save this book. It lacked a 'wow' factor.