In All American Girl Meg Cabot
shows that she is comfortably carving out a niche for herself as an author of teen-chick-lit, albeit with the same plot line: an ordinary American girl who thinks she's not ordinary becomes an involuntary celebrity and realises life's the same whatever. This time, rather than becoming princess of a small fictional nation, as Mia does in The Princess Diaries
, the heroine Sam saves the American president's life. Perhaps when Cabot's on her fifth ordinary heroine who thinks she's not ordinary, becomes an involuntary celebrity etc the idea may lose its lustre, but this book is fun, witty, cynical and realistic enough to ensure that the idea still shines.
Sam lives in Washington DC, is the middle teenager between two very annoying sisters, and dyes all her clothes black. She has a best friend, she's not cool like her big sister, she doesn't have a boyfriend but thinks she's in love with someone, and she likes to draw. Her credentials as an "ordinary" girl who thinks she's a misfit (black clothes, not a cheerleader) are established immediately, and the story flies from there. Sam's appeal lies in how she's bothered about making things genuine in her life, whilst Cabot's winning touch is in her realism--the president is a normal guy who likes cookies; the plot where Sam saves him is not impossible; the resulting fuss is boring and her priorities lie elsewhere (making lists of Top Tens, worrying about who she wants to go out with, going to her drawing classes).
Fans of Princess Mia will probably read this book in one sitting, and become equally attached to Sam, with her usual teenage desire to feel unusual. For now Meg Cabot's star of an idea continues to shine brilliantly. --Olivia Dickinson
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Sam Madison never knew life could change overnight. But that's exactly what happens when she saves the life of the President of the United States as she's bunking off art class one night. Now an instant (if highly reluctant and very unlikely) celebrity, not to mention teen ambassador to the United Nations, Sam finds herself not only hanging out at the White House, but trying to stop herself falling for David, the President's son ...
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