Samantha is an artist. She's dyed all of her clothing black, claiming she is "in mourning for her generation." She also enjoys sketching depictions of celebrities during class. When her parents discover her natural talent (and her declining grades), they enroll her in an after school art program. Sam grows angry with her art teacher when she tells Sam to "paint what she sees, not what she thinks is there." Sam thinks she doesn't need any instructions, so she skips her second class. It turns out to be a life changing event.
Instead of going upstairs to endure another round of criticism, Sam goes shopping for CDs. Leaving the shop, she sees the president of the United States walking up the sidewalk, bodyguards and all, to the cookie store nearby. Noticing a suspicious looking man pulling a gun out of his trench coat, Sam acts on her instincts and bravely tackles the gunman.
Saving the president's life does have its perks, like having dinner with the man himself, becoming a teen ambassador, and meeting the president's rather handsome son, David, who is taking the same art class as Sam.
ALL-AMERICAN GIRL is a thoroughly enjoyable book. Reminiscent of Meg Cabot's bestselling Princess Diaries series, it's a fun, original and highly interesting read for young adults. One of the best things about Cabot's story is that it colors outside the lines of traditional romance novels. I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves the band No Doubt, its lead singer Gwen Stefani, and especially to girls who like to be unique. (Sep., 256 pp., $15.00)