Customer Reviews for

Blue Plate Special

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from missprint DOT wordpress DOT com

    1977. Elmira, New York: All Madeline wants to do is forget her life. She'd give anything to be like the popular cheerleaders at her high school. But she isn't. She's fat and homely. Her mother is a drunk. Music is the only thing that keeps her sane and food is the only thing that helps her forget how how empty she feels and how starved she is for just a little bit of affection. Living on Welfare, Madeline tries to keep her head down, hide her savings and look toward graduating and getting the heck away from her mother. At least until a counter boy at McDonald's looks at her, really looks at her, the way no one, not even her own mother, ever has.

    1993. Johnson City, New York: Desiree doesn't really have plans for her future. She'll probably graduate high school and then maybe she'll move in with her boyfriend Jeremy. They can live next door to Carol Ann and Eric and everything will be chill. Beyond that the future is hazy. Except for one thing: Desiree knows she'll be the best mom ever. She won't be a jerk like her own mother. She won't have a boyfriend like her mom's who keeps leering at her and trying to get her alone. Des won't let anything happen to her little girl. Not like what happened to her.

    2009. Poughkeepsie, New York: Ariel is pretty ordinary. Good grades, lots of AP classes and getting ready for the college crunch in her senior year. Sure her dad is in prison for murder and her mom works really hard. But those aren't things she talks about. Still, none of that matters because Shane didn't notice any of the other, prettier, girls at school. He noticed her. And yes it's a lot of work remembering to wear clothes he'll like and make time for him and keep him happy. But he's worth it, isn't he? At least, Ariel thinks he is. When her mother announces a sudden trip to see the sick grandmother Ariel has never met things suddenly start to seem a lot different not just with Shane but with her whole family in Blue Plate Special (2009) by Michelle D. Kwasney.

    Blue Plate Special alternates each chapter between the three narrators (Madeline, Desiree and Ariel). Each heroine has her own unique voice and the characters all really stand out as individual people. Madeline and Ariel have their own distinct style of narration while Desiree's sections are written in verse. All of the girls' stories are compelling and poignant. The entire book is very well-written and Kwasney is clearly a very talented writer with a bright future.

    That said, Blue Plate Special was a very hard book to read. It was extremely depressing partly because these are characters with hard, painful lives but also because a lot of their tragedies cannot be undone and, by the time the story is being told, redemption might be too far off to grab. The air of desperation that hangs around all of the characters was also a little hard to take. Parts of the story felt heavy handed, especially in Ariel's sections, but the whole book was hard to take because it was so sad which may have played a part there as well.

    Blue Plate Special is a good, literary book. It's well-written and has a strong plot with context, subtext, emotion and a lot of substance. It's the kind of young adult book one might easily recommend to a person who looks down their nose at young adult literature for being somehow less than when compared to "adult" literature.

    Possible Pairings: Sleepless by Cyn Balog, How to (un)Cage a Girl by Francesca Lia Block, The Secret Life of Prince C

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Three different girls. Three different generations. One really g

    Three different girls. Three different generations. One really good book.

    Blue Plate Special starts off by introducing you to three girls: Madeline in 1977, Desiree in 1993, and Ariel in 2009. All three teenage girls are in problematic situations, but it isn’t clear right away how their stories are related to each other. As the book progresses, it becomes clear just how interwoven these girls’ lives really are.

    Two of the three stories are written in prose (Madeline and Ariel) and one is written in verse (Desiree). Each of the girls has a distinctive voice. While their stories are similar (each is about a mother and daughter, love, mistakes, forgiveness), each is unique in their own way.

    This book really surprised me. It was hard to put down and I could have easily devoured it in one night rather than a day and a half.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2013

    Loved it!

    This book was excellently written and interwined three generations beautifully!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Excellent twist!

    The book is very enjoyable - it flows nicely and the twist about 2/3 of the way through is a doozy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Great book

    Great book with interesting characters. I couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed reading it ans will definitely be reading more from this author soon!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Hidy

    Whats your email

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Amazing

    No other words to describe it but incredible. Couldnt put it down. Absolutely loved how all the eras intertwine together. Read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    If you like the movie precious or for colored girls you will like this

    This is a very good easy read. The plot is a little predictable and anticlimatic but still a very good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    Idiott know what to do...

    *Smacks you both with fish!!!*

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    Love, love, LOVE this book!!!

    Couldn't put it down. Contrary to what a few reviewers have said, it is an easy read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Amw A

    Amazing book.

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  • Posted February 11, 2012

    great book

    There are different stories going on and somehow the stories all interact with eachother. Loved the book picked at a starbucks spur of the moment type think really enjoyed reading it

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Best Book I have EVER read!!!!!

    I do not normally read, but I could not put this book down!! It is AMAZING!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

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    Posted June 19, 2013

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    Posted June 28, 2013

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    Posted August 7, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2012

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