Title: Ready or Not (All-American Girl)
Author: Meg Cabot
Release Date: July 26, 2005
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.”
The style of Meg Cabot’s writing in each one of her books truly allows a reader to understand the character, but I think that this book especially shows the voice of Samantha Madison through her rambles, lists, and general teenager-ishness. Despite the unrealistic plot of dating the president’s son and saving his life, the book does focus on being true to yourself, and learning it the hard way.
I enjoyed the family dynamic as well – it definitely made me laugh. A lot. It wasn’t even the family itself, I think. It was more how Cabot, through Samantha, described it and how she fit into it. Although of course, at the end, everyone’s actions and what they did (or did not) say cracked me up, especially Rebecca’s clarinet performance.
I also really liked how the art lessons fit into the plot and the message of the story. Everything needs a foundation, and Samantha’s journey to discovering this fact as well as her own foundation was an enjoyable experience. I would recommend this book to any teenager looking for a fun, light-hearted read.
**Note: I would not recommend this book to anyone under 13 due to sexual references and “life drawing” (a.k.a. nude models)