The New York Times bestselling hit from Meg Cabot
Samantha Madison is just your average sophomore gal living in DC when, in an inadvertent moment sandwiched between cookie-buying and CD-perusing, she puts a stop to an attempt on the life of the president. Before she can say “MTV2” she’s appointed Teen Ambassador to the UN and has caught the eye of the very cute First Son.
Featuring Meg Cabot’s delightful sense of humor and signature romance that made The Princess Diaries such a hit, this New York Times bestselling standalone novel is sure to please fans and new readers alike.
About the Author
Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to her adult contemporary fiction, she is the author of the bestselling young adult fiction The Princess Diaries and The Mediator series. Over 25 million copies of her novels for children and adults have sold worldwide. Meg lives in Key West, Florida, with her husband.
Hometown:New York, New York
Place of Birth:Bloomington, Indiana
Education:B.A. in fine arts, Indiana University, 1991
Read an Excerpt
Okay, here are the top ten reasons why I can't stand my sister Lucy:
10. I get all her hand-me-downs, even her bras.
9. When I refuse to wear her hand-me-downs, especially her bras, I get the big lecture about waste and the environment. Look, I am way concerned about the environment. But that does not mean I want to wear my sister's old bras. I told Mom I see no reason why I should even have to wear a bra, seeing as how it's not like I've got a lot to put in one, causing Lucy to remark that if I don't wear a bra now then if I ever do get anything up there, it will be all saggy like those tribal women we saw on the Discovery Channel.
8. This is another reason why I can't stand Lucy. Because she is always making these kind of remarks. What we should really do, if you ask me, is send Lucy's old bras to those tribal women.
7. Her conversations on the phone go like this: "No way. . . . So what did he say? . . . Then what did she say? . . . No way. . . . That is so totally untrue. . . . I do not. I so do not. . . . Who said that? . . . Well, it isn't true. . . . No, I do not. . . . I do not like him. . . . Well, okay, maybe I do. Oh, gotta go, call-waiting."
6. She is a cheerleader. All right? A cheerleader. Like it isn't bad enough she spends all her time waving pom-poms at a bunch of Neanderthals as they thunder up and down a football field. No, she has to do it practically every night. And since Mom and Dad are fanatical about this mealtime-is-family-time thing, guess what we are usually doing at five thirty? And who is even hungry then?
5. All of my teachers go: "You know, Samantha, when I had your sister inthis class two years ago, I never had to remind her to:
a) double space
b) carry the one
c) capitalize her nouns in Deutsch
d) remember her swimsuit
e) take off her headphones during morning announcements
f) stop drawing on her pants."
4. She has a boyfriend. And not just any boyfriend, either, but a nonjock boyfriend, something totally unheard-of in the social hierarchy of our school: a cheerleader going with a nonjock boyfriend. And it isn't even that he's not a jock. Oh, no, Jack also happens to be an urban rebel like me, only he really goes all out, you know, in the black army surplus trench coat and the Doc Martens and the straight Ds and all. Plus he wears an earring that hangs.
But even though he is not "book smart," Jack is very talented and creative artistically. For instance, he is always getting his paintings of disenfranchised American youths hung up in the caf. And nobody even graffitis them, the way they would if they were mine. Jack's paintings, I mean.
As if that is not cool enough, Mom and Dad completely hate him because of his not working up to his potential and getting suspended for his anti-authoritarianism and calling them Carol and Richard to their faces instead of Mr. and Mrs. Madison.
It is totally unfair that Lucy should not only have a cool boyfriend but a boyfriend our parents can't stand, something I have been praying for my entire life, practically.
Although actually at this point any kind of boyfriend would be acceptable.
3. In spite of the fact that she is dating an artistic rebel type instead of a jock, Lucy remains one of the most popular girls in school, routinely getting invited to parties and dances every weekend, so many that she could not possibly attend them all, and often says things like, "Hey, Sam, why don't you and Catherine go as, like, my emissaries?" even though if Catherine and I ever stepped into a party like that we would be vilified as sophomore poseurs and thrown out onto the street.
2. She gets along with Mom and Dad -- except for the whole Jack thing -- and always has. She even gets along with our little sister, Rebecca, who goes to a special school for the intellectually gifted and is practically an idiot savant.
But the number-one reason I can't stand my sister Lucy would have to be:
1. She told on me about the celebrity drawings.
She says she didn't mean to. She says she found them in my room, and they were so good she couldn't help showing them to Mom.
Of course, it never occurred to Lucy that she shouldn't have been in my room in the first place. When I accused her of completely violating my constitutionally protected right to personal privacy, she just looked at me like, Huh? even though she is fully taking U.S. Government this semester.
Her excuse is that she was looking for her eyelash curler.
Hello. Like I would borrow anything of hers. Especially something that had been near her big, bulbous eyeballs.
Instead of her eyelash curler, which of course I didn't have, Lucy found this week's stash of drawings, and she presented them to Mom at dinner that night.
"Well," Mom said in this very dry voice. "Now we know how you got that C-minus in German, don't we, Sam?"
This was on account of the fact that the drawings were in my German notebook.
"Is this supposed to be that guy from The Patriot?" my dad wanted to know. "Who is that you've drawn with him? Is that . . . is that Catherine?"
"German," I said, feeling that they were missing the point, "is a stupid language."
"German isn't stupid," my little sister Rebecca informed me. "The Germans can trace their heritage back to ethnic groups that existed during the days of the Roman Empire. Their language is an ancient and beautiful one that was created thousands of years ago."
"Whatever," I said. "Did you know that they capitalize all of their nouns? What is up with that?"
"Hmmm," my mother said, flipping to the front of my German notebook. "What have we here?"
My dad went, "Sam, what are you doing drawing pictures of Catherine on the back of a horse with that guy from The Patriot?"
"I think this will explain it, Richard," my mother said, and she passed the notebook back to my dad.
In my own defense, I can only state that, for better or for worse, we live in a capitalistic society. I was merely enacting my rights of individual initiative by supplying the public -- in the form of most of the female student population at John Adams Preparatory School -- with a product for which I saw there was a demand. You would think that my dad, who is an international economist with the World Bank, would understand this.
But as he read aloud from my German notebook in an astonished voice, I could tell he did not understand. He did not understand at all.
"You and Josh Hartnett," my dad read, "fifteen dollars. You and Josh Hartnett on a desert island, twenty dollars. You and Justin Timberlake, ten dollars. You and Justin Timberlake under a waterfall, fifteen dollars. You and Keanu Reeves, fifteen dollars. You and -- " My dad looked up. "Why are Keanu and Josh more than Justin?"
"Because," I explained, "Justin has less hair."
"Oh," my dad said. "I see." He went back to the list.All-American Girl. Copyright © by Meg Cabot. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Talking to All-American Author Meg Cabot
Barnes & Noble.com: The teenage voice you write in sounds so natural -- and your books are so in-tune with teens today. How do you do it?
Meg Cabot: My natural inner voice sounds about 16 (example of Meg's inner voice: "Ew, gross, I can't believe she's wearing that in public"), so it is very easy for me to write from the point of view of someone that age. The memories of adolescence seem to be permanently seared into my brain.
B&N.com: What were your own high school experiences like -- and how (if at all) do they figure into your writing and affect the way you write about your character's lives?
MC: My four years of high school were the most miserable of my life. When I have nightmares now, they are always about being stuck back in high school. Generally in geometry. Sometimes gym.
Fortunately, I kept detailed records of my agony. I frequently refer to the journals I kept when I was a freshmansenior for inspiration while writing my books, particularly The Princess Diaries.
B&N.com: Where did the idea for All-American Girl come from?
MC: My mom's boyfriend has three little granddaughters who live in Washington, D.C. One day I just started wondering what it would be like to grow up in a town like D.C., where so much is going on. A kid could, conceivably, even run into the president...and possibly save him from an assassin's bullet. So that's how I came up with the plot for All-American Girl. Although Sam is not based on any of my mom's boyfriend's grandkids...they are all under the age of eight.
B&N.com: Is Samantha based on anyone you know, or knew? She is an artist -- and she was thrown suddenly into the media spotlight. Is she like you?
MC: Sam's experiences and attitudes are definitely based on my own. I had an art teacher in middle school who was exactly like Sam's. She kept holding up white eggs and telling me to paint the colors in them. For a long time I thought she was nuts. Then one day, it just clicked. It took me much longer than it took Sam, though.
I haven't exactly been thrust into the limelight like Sam was, though. Coke and Pepsi are not sending me lifetime supplies of their products (sadly).
B&N.com: You write so well about Sam's "unrequited love" for Jack...and then her confusing feelings for David. Again, how do you do it? Any personal experiences with all-consuming crushes?
MC: Oh my gosh, who hasn't had a crush on a totally inappropriate person? Like Samantha, I loved (or thought I loved) a boy who was totally wrong for me -- and I think I was the only one who couldn't see it...or the fact that the perfect guy for me was there all along, just waiting for me to notice him! Thankfully I finally woke up one day, and now we've been married for almost ten years.
B&N.com: Were you a big reader when you were growing up? Can you name a few of your favorite children's books?
MC: I read almost exclusively sci-fi fantasy as a kid: Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper. I've been expanding my horizons lately, and am loving Tamora Pierce, Maud Hart Lovelace, and Louise Rennison.
B&N.com: Now that one of your books (The Princess Diaries) has been made into a movie -- and you have others optioned -- has your writing changed (i.e., do you write more for the screen)?
MC: The only thing about my writing that's changed is that I am finally making a living doing it, so I no longer have my "day job" (assistant managing a 700-bed freshman dorm at New York University) and can write full time. And the good thing is that I have enough money saved up so that if my next book really bombs, I won't have to go back to listening to kids complain about their roommates any time soon (I hope).
B&N.com: Does your success surprise you? How has it changed your life?
MC: Well, I have a car for the first time in my life (even though I don't drive). And I own real estate in Manhattan, something I never thought would happen. And I got the one thing I've always wanted: a whirlpool tub! I sit in it for hours every night (I am not kidding), reading.
I guess I'm not as surprised about my books' success as some of my family members and ex-boyfriends are. Especially the ex-boyfriends.
B&N.com: What is next for Meg Cabot -- what can we look forward to?
MC: Lately, I have been combining my two loves -- YAs and historicals -- by writing YA historicals. I will have two out soon: Nicola and the Viscount and Victoria and Rogue. These are fun romances that are totally appropriate for the 12-and-up crowd. But I'm not abandoning my adult books! I have two coming out soon, under the name Meggin Cabot: The Boy Next Door (October 2002) and She Went All the Way (December 2002), humorous romantic mysteries that are set in the here-and-now! And in January 2003, Haunted, the latest installment of my YA series The Mediator, will be out, followed in Spring 2003 by The Princess Diaries 4: Princess in Waiting.
Phew! Am I tired! Good thing I've got that whirlpool tub waiting....
B&N.com: Can you give me a list of the top ten reasons why you love your life?
MC: 10. I get to wear pajamas all day long.
9. I can go to bed whenever I want.
8. I can eat popcorn for lunch, ice cream for dinner.
7. No homework, ever.
6. I got to meet Julie Andrews.
5. I have 300 channels, and can watch TV all day (and frequently do).
4. I live in New York City, the greatest city in the world.
3. I got to meet Judy Blume.
2. I have a total hottie for a husband.
1. I get paid to make things up!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
AFTER READIBG THIS MEG CABOT HAS BECOME MY FAVORITE AUTHOR FOR MY AGE OF GIRLS 11-14 SHE ROCKS. ALSO I LOVE STUFF ABOUT THE WHITE HOUSE AND PRESIDENT AND SECRECT SERVICE SO I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!!!!! BUY THIS BOOK!!!!
Samantha Madison is my role model. She has a strong personality and she isnt afraid to express herself. The story is entertainingly told from her perspective and i highly recommend buying this book. 8)
LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!! It was so cute and sweet and original. I could not put it down. Samatha had such entertaining thoughts. It is amazing how well Meg Cabot captured a teenaged girls mind so well. It was not all like lovey dovey romance novels for teens but more focused on the feeing of being around your love. On top of all that awkard moments with your crush it is all in the public eye. It is defently a new way of putting the teenagers falling love.
O my goodness i love this book i could not put it down read in less than 1 day!!!!!!!!!!!
All American Girl, is a great story for an englishclass and to read as independent reading.
I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOO MUCH. Very well-written and hilarious.
I don't really like Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries, but I really enjoyed this book. It was really funny and enjoyable, and I kept wanting to find out what happened to Samantha. I think anyone who reads this book will really anjoy it.
I am 9 years old and Meg Cabot just became my all time favorite author. It is a great book and I recamend it to anyone who wants an entertaining book they can not put down.
WOW this book is an amazing book. It is so good because the author does a great job of not leting you put down the book. I think that any girl 10 and older will really enjoy this book. If you like this book reply and tell me what you like about it. You will NOT regret it, believe me I know what it is like finding a book you really like.
I've had this book since 2004 if not '03. I loved this book and over the years i always go back to it and it brings back so many memories. I first read this book when i was 11 now i'm in college and i still love it. I might even get a new one since mines is all worn out. This book will bring a smile to your face, i don't know how anyone could hate it and i find Sam to be more interesting than Mia (sorry. But i do love the princess diaries too). It is an easy read, especially if your looking for a book to pass time not if your looking for something with a deep emotional heart-breaking story. I recommend the sequel to this book ready or not where Sam is more grown up; although i liked the first one better because Cabot took her time whereas some of the last names and facts where wrong on the second one with Lucy's boyfriend for example.
i enjoyed reading this book but there was just something about it that felt off cause i didn't like it. but idk what that something is so i still recommend it. this is about a girl who accidently saves the president. meg caobt is a great writer and also recommend the mediator series and the airhead series (both by meg cabot). if you liked this book i also recommend the Gallagher Girls series: id tell you i love you but then id have to kill you, cross my heart and hope to spy, and don't judge a girl by her cover (don't judge a girl by her cover is the most like this book but you have to read the first two first or it wont make since)
Even though i really liked this book it is not a book everyone might like to read. For example, I enjoyed the bit of romance in the book but not evertone would agree. Some people i know might get a little bored with the book. Also it is more for the middle school to high school crowd. I wouldnt recommend this to a 3rd grader. But overall it is a very good book.
Buy this book.....it is slightly educatuonal, fun, hilarious, and you feel like you are living the story being told.....highly recommended:)
My favorite book by Meg Cabot is Airhead I just Loooove it
A heable book.it 's not like the really all american girl book.
Do not buy this book. I read the 1st chapter and hated it. Sam and david? Im warning you to not waste your $. This is a no star book
I loved this book finished it in less than a day! Meg cabot is a very talented author read this book!
One of the best books I have ever read! Go Sam!
this book is a cant put down book. the story line i9s great, and the mains are good too, who wouldnt want to, have a boyfriend like davi? he is like the perfect guy. this is a most read book.
i really loved this book. i read it in two days, sooo good. lol and even tho its about someone younger than me, i still think the story line (obviously not the saving of the president) applies to everyone. where sometimes u dont see wats right in front of you. and its cute too. it made me crack up more than a few times. read it. its sweet, truthful, and funny. you'll like it. :D
This book was great. When you first started to read this book you'd hesitate a little because it's kind of boring but then like after two chapters you don't want to stop. It's so funny and breathtaking you won't want to stop reading this book over and over.
Sam Madison prides herself on being a teenage rebel. She's in love with her big sister's boyfriend Jack who is a rebel artist just like herself. But everything changes when, on her way home from an art class, Sam foils an assasination attempt on the president of the United States. Suddenly she finds herself followed by press, forced into nice dresses for dinner at the White House, and appointed as a teen ambassador to the United Nations. She also meets the adorkable son of the president and is surprised to find that her heart seems to flip over every time he enters the room. Sam has always prided herself on standing up for her views, but she's going to be tested: can she stand up to the pressure?A fun, girly read.
Meg Cabot is such a creative writer, that I could pick up any of her books and be completely satisfied. She writes as if she is your best friend, and her characters are so imperfect that it is so easy to relate to them somehow. This book features one of her typical, quirky teenaged girls. In this sarcastic novel, Sam, who is proclaimed a hero after saving the president from an assasination attempt, struggles with her family, school, love, and fame. This book is a nice break from serious novels, and will never fail to keep you amused. I strongly recommend this light read.
This one of my favorite Cabot books. Samantha is someone you can really relate to and you find yourself laugh once within ten pages. What's great is that if anyone else had written a book with this plot line, it would've been totally unbelievable- but Cabot forces you to believe that it can happen. I love the lists that appear between chapters- they bring Samantha to life and they're really funny. I find myself flipping through the pages just to read the lists.
I loved this book. But the sequel "Ready or Not" was pretty bad, IMO.