by Meg Cabot
Cabot (The Princess Diaries) presents another teen-pleasing novel and another likable heroine in this story set in Washington, D.C. Feisty, red-haired Samantha, a self-described "urban rebel" who has dyed all of her clothes black, is a 15-year-old middle child, uncomfortably wedged between her popular, cheerleader older sister, Lucy, and her brainy 11-year-old sister, Rebecca. And she has a major crush on Jack, Lucy's nonconformistartist boyfriend, whom she feels is far better suited to her than to her rather vacuous sister. The entertainingly opinionated narrator's wry top-10 lists add considerably to the tale's charm and speedy pacing, among them, the "top ten reasons why I can't stand my sister Lucy" and the "top ten signs that Jack loves me and not my sister Lucy and just hasn't realized it yet." Sam's life suddenly changes dramatically when, while standing on the sidewalk one afternoon, she foils an attempt to assassinate the President. She becomes a national hero overnight, is named teen ambassador to the United Nations and eventually lands the president's son as her beau. Despite these rather unlikely plot twists (in a comic coincidence, the president's son also happens to be a fellow student in her art class whom she finds attractive), Sam's spunky and intermittently affecting narrative, as well as the true-to-life voices of the supporting cast of characters, make this a convincing and diverting tale. As Sam learns important truths about herself, Cabot interjects a worthy message into her comedic caper. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-10-While waiting for her ride home from an after-school art class, Samantha Madison, a sophomore at John Adams Preparatory School in Washington, DC, inadvertently saves the President's life by jumping on the back of a would-be assassin. Suddenly, she is a celebrity, invited to the White House for dinner, named the teen ambassador to the U.N., and revered by her fellow classmates. Yet, even her new star status doesn't allow her to get what she really wants-a date with her sister's boyfriend, Jack. Hoping to make him jealous, she asks out the President's son. The plan backfires, but Samantha discovers who she really is in the process. Cabot uses vision as a metaphor for how a budding artist grows to "see" herself and others more clearly. The first-person narrative contains Samantha's top-10 lists between chapters, adding to the hilarious plot. The setting is used to interject a few historical facts about the White House and its former residents without intruding on the entertaining story. Readers will enjoy Samantha's interactions with the other delightful characters, especially her sisters. Cabot fully understands teens, their language, and their world. There are at least 10 reasons why libraries will want to own this book, but the most important one is that it simply will not stay on the shelves.-Linda L. Plevak, Saint Mary's Hall, San Antonio, TX
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.