The President’s Daughter by Ellen Emerson White

I’ve been looking forward to getting this book ever since I featured it in my Want Books meme. Oh gosh, was it only just last month that I posted about these books? It feels longer! I was so excited to get this one by special order from Fully Booked for P460. It’s not that cheap, I know. But not bad for a trade paperback of a book that isn’t locally available. Both Michelle and Angie have been recommending these books for the longest time and I’m glad I finally got copies.

Here’s the summary from Ellen Emerson White’s website:

Sixteen-year-old Meghan Powers likes her life just the way it is. She likes living in Massachusetts. She likes her school. And she has plenty of friends. But all that is about to change, because Meg’s mother, one of the most prestigious senators in the country, is running for President. And she’s going to win. Now Meg and her whole family have moved to Washington, D.C. to live in their new house – the White House. Meg and her brother are being escorted to school by Secret Service agents, and reporters won’t leave them alone. Meg’s tired of being in the national spotlight. But how can she tell her mother she hates being the President’s daughter?

I know the premise isn’t that new – there have been several stories about daughters of US presidents before, although probably more in movies than in novels. This one is different because the presidential parent is a woman. I found Meg very believable as a character. She’s smart, snarky, has a great sense of humor and tries to act like her mom running for president is no biggie. As if things aren’t hard enough for her, she looks exactly like her mom. Although it’s obvious based on the title that her mom will win the position, the first half of the book deals with the campaign trail and how a well-respected senator fought to become the first female president of the United States. I admit that a lot of the political talk went way over my head. You all know that I live in the Philippines and we have a different political system from the US. Even though the political events and processes were explained in detail, I was still a bit lost. Also, we’ve had two women presidents over here so it’s that not big of a deal compared to the US.

The book focuses on Meg and her family and how they adjust their lives according to her mother’s profession. I liked Meg’s family – her mom, dad and her brothers Steven and Neal. It’s understandable that the dynamics of the family changes according to Mrs. Powers’ political career. I found the characters endearing, each of them vulnerable in their own way. Since I’m a fan of humor, I kept noticing how it’s natural for the entire family (except for Neal because he’s only six) to constantly joke around. Even though I liked the characters, I had a pretty lukewarm reaction to the book as a whole. Aside from having problems understanding the US political situation being depicted, I also kept waiting for something big to happen and nothing turned up. I don’t know why but I was expecting a climactic event. I’m still planning to read the other books in the series because I already have them. I have a feeling that they’ll be more exciting than this one based on the book summaries.

Shout out to Michelle and Angie, I feel bad that I didn’t fall in love with this one because I know how much you both love the series. 😦

Other reviews: (manually generated)
Book Harbinger
See Michelle Read
A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy
Bookshelves of Doom

16 thoughts on “The President’s Daughter by Ellen Emerson White

  1. Well, I am sad that this one wasn’t your favorite, but let me tell you – if you are looking for big climatic events, the next three pretty much take the cake. Doozies every single one of them. Although I understand that the whole political system must have been a bit confusing for a non-American – especially in this book. The other three don’t have as much detail on the election process so that’s a bonus. Although, obviously politics continue to be an issue throughout the rest of the series.

    But I do agree, the humor in this one is a standout and I love Meg. I hope you end up liking the others a little bit more. Glad you took a chance on these ones!

    • I didn’t even read the summaries at the back of the latter two books because I didn’t want to see spoilers. Even if I didn’t fall in love with this one, I’m still looking forward to reading the other books in the series. The first book felt more like an introduction so I know that there’s a lot more in store for Meg. Good to hear that there’s less of the political aspect in the next ones! I just need to finish the book that I’m currently reading then I’m all set to dive into the sequel.

  2. hi chahic! this particular book looks really interesting for me. I’m new to young adult and for me this kind of storyline is refreshing. a bit expensive hehehe. anyways, it’s worth it i guess. have fun reading it! 🙂

  3. Oh I’m sorry Chachic. I would’ve never thought about the politics not translating. I’m sure the whole electoral election process was confusing. I found it exciting still because I’m familiar with it. The fact that you already know she wins can make the book as a whole un-climatic for sure.

    Try the next book when you’re in the mood.

    • Actually, I have a couple of friends who follow the elections over there closely. My mom does that as well. I’m sure I could’ve asked her questions about the whole process if I wanted to. I just found it a bit confusing when I really wanted to like the book. 😦 Still, I don’t regret reading it and like I told Michelle, I’m going to read the next books soon.

      • True true. I didn’t think about that. It’s still so different when you’ve grown up with it though. It’s like second nature.

      • I know what you mean. It’s probably the same if you guys read a book set over here. US pop culture is pretty easy to understand because it makes its way here but politics, not so much.

    • Actually, this is the first book of its kind that I’ve read so maybe you could give this a try as well? I’ll keep all of you posted on how I feel about the next books in the series.

  4. this has been on my radar for a while and I will include it in my next bookdepository order … for a while my mother was in politics and I will always remember those years among the most stressful of my life, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be the daughter of the Us president.

    • My dad used to work in politics too but he wasn’t a candidate, he worked behind the scenes. I have a feeling you’ll be able to read this soon, Ari, as it comes highly recommended by both Angie and Michelle. 🙂

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