White House Autumn is the second installment in Ellen Emerson White’s President’s Daughter series. I got the entire set by special order from Fully Booked and this one was worth P460. I read the first one a couple of days ago and even though I had a lukewarm reaction to that one, I had a feeling that things will pick up in the next books.
Here’s the summary from Ellen Emerson’s website:
Reading Seventeen was one thing – appearing in it was quite another. After ten months of living in the White House, Meg knew she should be used to it, but she wasn’t. Beyond the usual worries of senior year, college applications and her first serious boyfriend, Meg had to live up to what was expected from the president’s daughter. She had to watch her sense of humor and the way she dressed and spoke – and try to have a normal relationship with her boyfriend Josh despite constant publicity and secret service agents who followed her everywhere. Then, just when everything seemed to difficult, a shocking event made life in the White House even worse. Her mother may have chosen to be the first woman president, but there seemed to be few choices for the “President’s Daughter.”
I forgot to mention in my review of the first book that I was actually fascinated with the revisions that they had to make to modernize this series. It was first written in the 80s when the internet wasn’t such a big thing and there weren’t any cellphones either. The new editions now have all that in them. It must have been such hard work to update all the details and I appreciate that the publishers and the author went through all of that. Also, I’m glad they decided to have the series reprinted because it’s pretty hard to look for out of print books. I’m happy to announce that I had a better reaction to White House Autumn than The President’s Daughter. There’s a lot less politics in this one than the first book. I feel bad that I didn’t really understand US politics in the first one. Maybe I should follow the US elections more closely when it rolls around again. My dad worked in politics for most of his life (although he preferred to be in the background) so I know how crazy life can get when you’re involved in that field.
I think what makes this series stand out from other contemporary YA books out there is that it focuses on the dynamics of the first family. In most YA novels, the love story takes precedence over everything else. Not so with the President’s Daughter series! In my review of the first book, I mentioned that I was hoping for more action in the book. I got what I wanted in White House Autumn. Only a couple of chapters in, something big happens that shapes the rest of the novel. In this one, Meg is scared for her family and she tries to mask her fear by being angry. She lashes out at her boyfriend and her friends. I love how her best friend, Beth Shulman, doesn’t let Meg get away with it. Beth is a true friend in the sense that she’s there when Meg needs her the most but she’s totally honest when it comes to pointing out Meg’s flaws.
I can understand why Meg chooses to stay angry instead of breaking down and crying. All of us rely on our parents and it feels devastating when you find out that they’re vulnerable as well. You go through life, secure in the knowledge that your parents will always be there for you and then *Wham, Bam!* something happens that makes you rethink that situation. It is beyond difficult when you realize that and I believe we all have different ways of dealing with it. It is doubly hard for Meg and her family because they’re not a touchy-feely, solemn kind of family. They mostly show their affection through relentless teasing and that’s where most of the humor in the series comes from. So even if the book is pretty serious as a whole, it still has its light moments. White House Autumn is an emotional, family oriented novel about a teenage girl, trying her best to cope with the dangers of having the US president as a mother. Now I understand why Angie and Michelle have been encouraging me to read this series.