The thing that I simultaneously loved and hated most about this book was that it was an updated version of a book originally written in 1984. So basically I think the author went through and tried to make it sound like it was taking place in 2008 rather than the ‘80s. And usually it was fine—I could tell what had been updated, but it wasn’t too glaringly obvious. But every once in a while, some parts just screamed 1980s. Like one part was describing one of Meg’s outfit, and seriously, no teenager in 2008 would be caught dead in a pleated wool skirt, white oxford shirt, knee socks, and Top Siders unless it was a school uniform.
This book sounded like '80s teen fiction as well. Even before I realized it was an updated copy of a much older book, I kept thinking, “Hmmm . . . this book sounds like it should be from the '80s.” It’s just got that Judy Bloom feel, you know? Like you can tell it’s written by an adult for teens, rather than it just being a story about a teen. It vaguely feels like you’re being talked down to. Does that make sense?
Anyway, despite my criticisms above, I did end up liking the story. It doesn’t have much in the way of plot, honestly. It’s more just the story of how Meg reacts to her mother’s candidacy for president. It’s a fairly quiet book, and there’s no big drama or anything. Which may sound like a negative, but it worked for me in this book. It was really interesting actually, all the political stuff and how it affects Meg and her family.
Meg herself is hilarious. She’s a bit surly and sarcastic and can have an attitude, but I liked her a lot. I think she deals with all the crazy stuff going on around her fairly maturely and with a sense of humor. She’s just sneakily funny, you know? Like, I would forget how funny Meg could be until she made some dry, sarcastic comment that had me grinning.
Overall, definitely a book of the '80s, despite the attempt to update it. But still, I enjoyed it. I hear that the next books in the series get more dramatic than this one, so I’ll probably read them at some point. I just think they’ll be library books rather than ones that I rush out to buy.
Rating: 3.5 / 5