Title: All-American Girl
Author: Justine Dell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right. ~Maya Angelou
Young love. It’s so pure. So real. So magical. Samantha Moore has known Lance Cummings ever since she was a little girl, and she knew without a shadow of a doubt that she was in love with him. Finally, her dreams came true, and Samantha spent a perfect, unforgettable night with Lance and gave him her most perfect and treasured gift–her virginity. But the very next day, everything changed. Betrayal has entered the picture, hearts were broken, and Samantha’s perfect dream was shattered. After receiving notification of acceptance into writing school, she eagerly runs off to New York leaving her life, her grandmother, and brother behind, as well as the boy who broke her heart.
Samantha vows that she will learn from the experience and will write beautiful novels full of men who didn’t “use her” and full of fun, something should could never have in Vermont. She is determined to take Lance’s betrayal, build and grow from it. She will not return to Vermont until she is “whole” again.
After her grandmother has a life-threatening stroke, Samantha returns to her hometown of Burlington, Vermont. It is at the hospital that she sees Lance for the first time in twelve years. This is where things start to get interesting. Samantha is NOT the same girl she was when she left Vermont. The girl who was valedictorian and prom queen, played sports, was in numerous clubs, and voted most likely to succeed feels like a failure. She has a temper, is bitter and very angry, especially towards Lance. Little does Lance know that Samantha’s writing career has taken a nose dive, nor that she’s had two disastrous marriages, a step-child taken from her, and has been in counseling. But Lance recognizes Samantha’s “cry for help” and is bound and determined to give her all the time and space she needs but needs to know why she threw away their future and just left him twelve years earlier without any explanation.”
“Well, thanks for the tip. I’m pretty good at taking care of myself, you know. I’ve been on my own for quite some time and I don’t need someone else butting in my affairs. And as far as you’re concerned, the attitude problem was well-earned.”
I have to admit that after seeing the cover of All-American Girl, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I am a visual person and many times I am drawn into a book based on the cover. However, once I read the first excerpt and saw the inspiration for Lance, I knew I wanted to read this book. Lance Cummings is hard working, a little stubborn, persistent, sweet, strong, and has the ability to sweep you off your feet with his words and charm.
“I can’t take back those years of rejection you felt. All the pain you went through. I would if I could. Know that you weren’t alone in your suffering. I want to make it right.”
Author Justine Dell does a fantastic job at writing All-American Girl in third person. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter are a nice added touch as well. There is so much more to this story, but you have to read it, go through it, and understand it to fully appreciate the central themes: friendships, family & love.