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Being, a big fan of Meg Cabot's books, I read this one very soon after discovering her. 'All American Girl: Ready or Not' is the sequal to 'All American Girl' and follows the main character of Sam Madison as she tries to make her way through high school and her love life. Meg Cabot's typical style is books for teenagers to young adults and her most popular and well known work has probably been the Princess Diaries series. However, she has also written many other, less well known (though in my opinion, better) books, some for older audiences.
The main character is Sammantha Madison who, as we find out from the first book, happened to save the life of the American President (as you do). Now she is older and is going out with the President's son, though life isn't necessarily better for the young, somewhat shy girl. Her family consists of pretty, popular older sister Lucy; genius younger, though slightly socially awkward sister Rebecca; dog Manet; housekeeper Theresa and exceptionally busy parents Richard and Carol.
Overview of Plot
After this fuss of saving the President and all, Sam just wants to get back to normal life with her boyfriend, David. However, he soon invites her to spend Thanksgiving with his family at the Presidential retreat of Camp David, but to do what? Play parcheesi? Or have sex? Along with the stress of her life drawing class (which, despite the fact Sam is supposed to be an intelligent 17(ish) year old, she doesn't know does generally mean drawing a nude model), she is confused.
The characters are fairly intricate and well thought out, life most of Meg Cabot's creations. I particularly enjoyed the manner in which the book is written, Cabot really does seem to understand how teenagers write and how the are feel - a skill that I am sure is very hard to master. As with most of her work, the main character is a somewhat 'geeky' girl who then has something incredible happen to her and becomes slightly more popular (but still keeps all her friends). This, for me, is one of the weeknesses with her writing, although all her books are extremely well written, they do seem to follow the same sort of pattern, making them quite predictable.
In conclusion I think that this is a very competant book that won't necessarily change your life but it will be picked up again and again. This is the sort of book that I find makes me laugh every time, and it does confront some of the big issues confronting teenagers: sex, confidence, popularity. Most of my friends are also fans of this book and if you like this book then I'm sure that you would enjoy either the Princess diaries series, the Missing series or the Mediator series (my personal favourite).
All American Girl: Ready or Not is available from most good bookstores priced hardback, £5.99 (though on www.amazon.co.uk there it is priced at £3.99 at the moment - 7/11/2009)
This is following up to my book review of All American Girl by Meg Cabot as this is the sequel. Although it's not the intended reading order, I read All American girl: Ready or Not before all American Girl and loved it so much that it encouraged me to read All American Girl. This wasn't the only reason that I wanted to buy this book though, Meg Cabot is one of my favourite authors and I often find that her less popular books are my favourite ones!
As its a sequel it follows on to what we read in the first book. The plot of the book very much draws from the title as in this book everyone seems to be wanting Sam, our main protagonist, to do things that she's not quite sure if she is actually ready for or not. The main thing is that she's under the impression her boyfriend David (the president's son!) wants them to have sex, which she is rather shocked and apprehensive about. The presidents controversial law will only complicate things further. Her art teacher also thinks that shes ready for life class and drawing naked people! As well as this, the president thinks that she is ready to introduce bills on TV for him. In a subplot, her cheerleader sister Lucy falls in love with nerdy SAT tutor Harold, is the school ready for that couple?
Again as in the previous book and in most of Meg Cabot's novels, the characters were an extremely strong point in the book. Unlike some chick lit books these days, they weren't stereotypical or one dimensional, in fact they were quite unique and were very well explored.
It is a very American story with the vocabulary and the way the characters in the book live, so it suits its title. It was a very light read and didn't take too much effort on my part, although I still feel that I got a lot out of it. Its one of those books thats perfect for the beach. One of my favourite things about the book was the top 10 lists from the point of view of Sam that were included, they really added something to the book and helped you understand the characters. If you enjoyed this book then I could recommend almost any other Meg Cabot book, my favourite is one thats more aimed to adults which is the Heather Wells series.