Review: Ready or Not by Meg Cabot

70. Ready or Not by Meg Cabot
Publication: HarperTeen (May 1, 2007), Paperback, 336pp / ISBN 0060724528
Genre: Fiction, YA/Teen
Read: March 20, 2010
Source: BookMooch
Summary from Amazon:

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.”

Sequel to All-American Girl


I’ve been putting off reviewing this because I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to say about it, but three months on and I’ve finally figured it out! Makes me wonder if I have things to say about books I read last year but never reviewed for want of something to say– might be interesting.

Ready or Not is an unusual Meg Cabot book, mostly because it’s so frank about sex and sexual relationships between teenagers. Initially this really put me off the book, because sex in YA books makes me uncomfortable for some reason. And I totally wasn’t used to Meg Cabot having sex in her YA books, because normally she stays away from anything going beyond a chaste kiss. But, after reading three extremely similar MC books in a row, I’ve become much more appreciative of this anomalous book, and I’m strangely proud of Meg Cabot for trying something new and, well, kinda daring.

It’s not that the sex in Ready or Not is descriptive, or anything like the sex you’d find in a Harlequin novel. But the whole storyline is about whether or not it’s okay for teens to have sex (it is), when they should have sex (when they’re ready), and how parents should deal with the whole thing (be supportive as possible and don’t play the shame game). It’s a really informative book– and I don’t mean that in a how-to way, more like think-about-these-things-beforehand. Plus it’s got stuff in it about using condoms and whatnot!

I suppose I just really like the idea that someone’s written about teen sex without making it something shameful, stressing the importance of only having sex when you’re emotionally ready and using protection when you do, and that it’s totally fine for girls to take control of their own sexuality and not depend on the boys to tell them the important stuff (if they ever do). And because it is a Meg Cabot book, it’s got humorous situations and the whole awkward teens doing awkward things storyline that lightens everything up. It could have been a much more serious (and therefor boring) book, but it’s not. And I really liked it.


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Other reviews: Debbie Winkler | Bookworm Burrow | Serenehours (spoilers at the end)

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