ALL-AMERICAN GIRL by Meg Cabot

ALL-AMERICAN GIRL

Age Range: 12 - 15

KIRKUS REVIEW

The bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series turns to a different head of state in a comedy about a privileged but disaffected adolescent girl whose life undergoes a radical transformation when she instinctively jumps on a gunman, foiling his plan to assassinate the president. Samantha Madison, who dyes all her clothing black to show her high-minded solidarity with the hungry, the homeless, and the art-program–deprived, is anything but a heroic figure. The middle child in an overachieving Washington, D.C., family, Samantha is stuck between her pretty and popular older sister, Lucy, a cheerleader “whose primary concern . . . is not missing a single sale at Club Monaco” and her super-smart younger sister, Rebecca, who is so brilliant that she’s “practically an idiot savant.” Worse, Samantha is madly in love with Lucy’s boyfriend, Jack, an alienated, earring-wearing, aspiring artist who not so incidentally also happens to be a hunk. Written in the first person, Cabot’s strength is her heroine’s funny, authentic voice, though her utilization of trendy labels and extreme colloquial style may limit the material’s longevity. After saving the president’s life, Samantha is suddenly catapulted from nobody to national hero in the world at large and from social outcast to social arbiter in the microcosm of her school. Ambivalence over her burgeoning celebrity and mushrooming popularity, coupled with high-level political conflicts involving her new duties as the US teen ambassador to the UN and a budding but bumpy relationship with the first son, keeps the plot rolling, all the way to its satisfying, distinctively American conclusion. Great fun. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-029469-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002




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