All American Girl: Ready or Not
Genre: Romance, Young-Adult
Series: All American Girl #2
Publication: August 1st 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers
Top ten things Samantha Madison isn’t ready for:
10. Spending Thanksgiving at Camp David.
9. With her boyfriend, the president’s son.
8. Who appears to want to take their relationship to the Next Level.
7. Which Sam inadvertently and shockingly announces live on MTV.
6. While appearing to support the president’s dubious policies on families, morals, and yes, sex.
5. Juggling her new after-school job at Potomac Video.
4. Even though she already has a job as teen ambassador to the UN (that she doesn’t get paid for).
3. Riding the Metro and getting accosted because she’s “the redheaded girl who saved the president’s life,” in spite of her new, semipermanent Midnight Ebony tresses.
2. Experiencing total role reversal with her popular sister Lucy, who for once can’t get the guy she wants.
And the number-one thing Sam isn’t ready for?
1. Finding out the hard way that in art class, “life drawing” means “naked people.”
Meg Cabot is usually an author I can depend on for a laugh-out-loud, carefree and entertaining read that I can easily give three stars if not more. I loved All-American Girl and have been dying to read this one ever since. So when I saw it sat in the “old-library stock for sale” sign and this book there I snatched it up for 30p. Whilst I’d say it was probably worth more than 30p, I’m glad I didn’t waste a lot of money on it because it really wasn’t as good as the first book. We didn’t border into over-kill, I just didn’t feel like there was the same magic there as the first.
The thing that captured my attention as the most annoying thing was Cabot’s overkill of cap locks. I don’t know whether it’s just this book, but I don’t recall so many in her previous books I’ve read.
“Theresa just shook her head and called once more upon Jesus’s mom. Though I don’t know what SHE was supposed to do about it.”
This was just the start. Although there were times where it fitted, but when there were instances of four words in cap locks across a page, I did find myself grinding my teeth.
Whilst this may have annoyed me, I still managed to find moments of humour within this book and Cabot hasn’t lost her touch. I just feel that maybe this book didn’t need a sequel. My favourite moment has to be Sam’s astonishment at “life drawing” because I knew what this meant, but she was so obliviously naive, it was comical. Even her boyfriend was all up on everything.
“I have to admit, I was kind of excited at the prospect of finally getting to draw something—ANYTHING—other than cow horns or grapes.”
This is her blissful ignorance before, and then after…
“And underneath it, he was… …well, completely naked.”
This happened to be my favourite part of the book, and I was glad to find Cabot’s humour still present. However at times, I felt like the novel didn’t have enough excitement and different things. I felt like we focused on a theme of Sam panicking over maybe having sex, which she maybe didn’t want and then not being able to draw. The humour which is Cabot’s strong point was present, but there wasn’t enough about this novel to contribute it being as outstanding as the first. Everything seemed like it was just being made to be there rather than something that would have flowed.
I didn’t feel like there was a lot of development in Sam and her boyfriend, David’s relationship. Whilst Sam ponders taking their relationship to the next level, they don’t discuss this and David never outright says this. Sam basically drags herself into panic mode and blocks out her boyfriend. If Cabot is trying to suggest a development, they seemed to take a back step from the previous novel. We had a couple of cute, heated moments, but I didn’t feel the gushing giggles that I sometimes do when reading Cabot’s novels.
“Thanksgiving,’ he said, his lips moving up the side of my neck towards my right ear love. ‘You’ve heard of it, surely. It’s a national holiday, traditionally celebrated by ingesting large amounts of turkey and watching football—’”
Then we had Sam’s “perfect” sister, Lucy. She had a very predictable plot line of coming out as the “good, innocent” girl by the end of everything and whilst I liked how Sam and Lucy became closer over the novel, I felt that Lucy was ever the expected and maybe Cabot could have surprised us a little more.
The President I have to say was an utter dick in this novel! I’m very politically engaged and his ideas were outrageous. So I appreciated Sam’s crazy friend who had a “die in” where she pretended to die and got arrested. It mildly amused me as an extreme form of protest. The president’s behaviour in general was pretty amusing because of his stupidity as a president.
“All I know is my son wasn’t interested in sex until he started drawing naked people,’ the President said.
‘Dad,’ David said. ‘I’ve always been interested in sex. I’m a guy, all right?”
Overall I think this novel has a lot to stand on it’s own for as itself, but really I don’t think the sequel was needed for such a brilliant first novel. Still check it out if you’re after a quick, happily ever after read and a bit of humour from the brilliant Meg Cabot!
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