My best friend in the whole world raved about this book when we were in the seventh grade. I have since read it at least three times. And for someone who often scorns teen chick-lit (I don’t know what it is, I just don’t like it) that’s saying something.
All American Girl revolves around Samantha Madison, a high school sophomore in Washington DC. Sam is the dreaded middle child, with a gorgeous, cheerleader older sister, and a genius younger one. She’s the artsy type, sketching celebrity portraits to make some extra money, and dyes her entire wardrobe black because she is “mourning for our generation, who clearly do not care about anything except what’s going to happen on Friends next week.”
When her parents are told by the evil older sister (Lucy) that Sam is selling sketches of teen heart-throbs with her clients, instead of doing her German homework, she has to take mandatory art lessons. At her first lesson, Sam is deeply offended when she’s told she doesn’t draw what she sees. To make a political statement, Sam skips her next class, and happens to save the president of the United States from an assassination attempt.
Suddenly, Sam is in the middle of a media whirlwind, the most popular girl in school, and in way over her head. But the most surprising thing of all is that David, the cute, funny guy from her art lessons is actually the president’s son.
David gives Sam some weird indigestion (or maybe it was her burrito that made her stomach queasy), but Sam is in love with her sister’s artsy boyfriend Jack. I mean, how could she not be? They were obviously meant for each other: he liked her pants that one time, they painted the same plywood street lamp when working on their high school’s production of ‘Hello Dolly’, and her sister doesn’t even know anything about art, like Sam does.
But when Sam takes David to her first popular kid party, (to make Jack jealous) Jack actually does get a little jealous. David is hurt by his role as ‘bait’ and he and Sam stop speaking.
In the end, it takes Sam’s genius little sister to help her realize what should have been obvious, as well as a kind gesture by Lucy.
All American Girl is, honestly, one of my favorite books. Meg Cabot is a great teen author, and her website (http://www.megcabot.com/) is very chic, and I highly recommend checking it out.