March 7, 2011
The President's Daughter (Ellen Emerson White)
There's more I could tell you, but I think you get the gist. There aren't any vampires in this book, or in this series. No ghosts, no aliens. Instead, there's a political race, and a teenage daughter who doesn't really want to be involved. I think you should read this book. In fact, I know you should read this book, and ALL the books in this series, and I will tell you why:
1. Family. A lot of YA these days have orphans, distant/stupid parents, mysterious circumstances of birth... Anything except a real family. The President's Daughter has that. Meg has two kid brothers who crack stupid jokes, and two parents, both successful, who bicker about spending more time with their children, parent as best they know how, and feel like real people. This family is a real family, with all of the benefits and drawbacks that come with it, and it's refreshing to see.
2. Politics (and the White House). I probably know more about politics than the average person, but I certainly don't know everything -- I can't call White on every little detail, but the politics of the book feel real. Also, there's a lot of stuff about Secret Service details, etc. Again, what do I know about Secret Service details? Not much, but what is here feels real, makes sense, and paints a very good picture of what day to day life would be like, if you lived in the White House.
3. Meg. She's got a couple of quirks, but that's what you love about her. She's the average intelligent teenager, angry at her parents occasionally, worried about doing/saying the wrong things, and it's lovely to walk through this story with a real person instead of an alien. She has a great snarky sense of humor, which she puts to good use on the campaign trail, much to the dismay of her mother's campaign team. Plus, she KICKS ASS in the third and fourth books. Just saying. So you have something to look forward to.
Bottom line: Read these books if you like contemporary YA, politics, real families (and people), and great writing. These books were first released in the 1980s, and got a reissue in 2008. In my opinion, this series is a hidden gem -- one that has gotten far less attention than it deserves. I highly recommend them.