Long Live the Queen by Ellen Emerson White

Long Live the Queen by Ellen Emerson White is the third book in the President’s Daughter series. The first two are The President’s Daughter and White House Autumn. I got the entire set by special order from Fully Booked and this one was worth P460. I think that the books can be read as stand alones although it’s a lot better if they’re read in order. The premise of this one is kind of spoilery so if you don’t want to know anything about the book, better skip this review.

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

Being the President’s daughter isn’t easy, but Meg’s getting used to it. She’s even starting to have a life again — okay, not a normal life, but things are beginning to fall into a routine.Then it happens — machine guns blast, a van screeches to a halt, and masked men grab Meg and take her away. Meg doesn’t understand what the terrorists want. She doesn’t understand how her security was breached. But she does understand one thing — they have no intention of letting her live — and she has no intention of dying.

It took me a while to pick this up because based on the premise, it seemed like something that isn’t easy to read. I was even warned that it has some trauma and that I should be prepared for it. Ellen Emerson White is an amazing writer but I feel like I have to be in a certain mood before I could read her books. Just when Meg feels like she’s starting to get used to being the president’s daughter, she’s forcibly taken by terrorists and she doesn’t even understand why. My heart was pounding the entire time I was reading Meg’s ordeal. Even though I already knew terrible things would occur, I was still scared because there’s no way that I could predict what would happen next. As a reader, I felt like I was with Meg every step of the way. It all felt very real. The storytelling is vivid and no detail is spared – all of Meg’s feelings and thoughts were documented. I actually wanted to jump forward in the novel to take a peek at how things will develop but it’s a good thing I waited. I admire Meg for being as strong as she was and she even keeps her unique brand of humor wherever she was.

One of the highlights of the novel (the entire series, in fact) is the distinct and realistic dynamics of the Powers family. You know they all love each other but they don’t really know how to act when they’re all together and as a result, most of their dealings are awkward. I don’t think I’ve read any other YA series that focuses on the character’s family as much as this one. Even the love story took a backseat. Also prominent in this installment is Beth Shulman, Meg’s best friend from back home. It’s a struggle for both Beth and the entire Powers family to reach out and help Meg as she continually pushes people away. I read this series because it’s been repeatedly recommended by both Angie and Michelle. I second (third?) the recommendation because this series is a different kind of YA but be prepared because the books are compelling but they’re not easy to read. I think the mark of a well-written novel is that it can make you care for the characters to the point that you don’t want anything bad to happen to them (or when bad things happen, you want them to overcome those situations). I have a feeling Meg’s recovery in Long May She Reign, the last installment in the President’s Daughter series, is going to be difficult but I’m hoping that good things will happen to her. She really deserves to be happy. I kind of wish she’d end up with a certain young and fashionable press secretary.

Other reviews: (manually generated)
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White House Autumn by Ellen Emerson White

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.

Other reviews: (manually generated)
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Book Harbinger
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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
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A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy
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