Girls Dinner Club [NOOK Book]

Overview

The love of Junie's life for the past year is suddenly acting like a crazed puppy.

Celia's dad has found the most ridiculous woman in all of Manhattan—and decided, after fifteen years of being single, to date her.

Danielle's hot-guy-in-a-band ex-boyfriend is trying to convince her that he's "changed."

Sometimes living life is a recipe for ...

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Girls Dinner Club

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Overview

The love of Junie's life for the past year is suddenly acting like a crazed puppy.

Celia's dad has found the most ridiculous woman in all of Manhattan—and decided, after fifteen years of being single, to date her.

Danielle's hot-guy-in-a-band ex-boyfriend is trying to convince her that he's "changed."

Sometimes living life is a recipe for disaster.

Sometimes, girls just have to make their own recipes.

Junie, Celia, and Danielle, three ethnically diverse high schoolers in Brooklyn, form a friendship while cooking dinners together and helping one another sort through their romantic entanglements.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, July 2005: This entry in the YA chick-lit genre is both serious and entertaining, with three intelligent 17-year-old girls at the center of the story. They form a close friendship--an informal dinner club, cooking and sharing meals in one another's kitchens. The reader goes from girl to girl, entering into each one's life and family, and enjoying the times the girls are together, bringing their individuality to their friendship. The girls are Celia, an African American daughter of a sculptor; Junie, a Japanese-Jewish runner and scholar; and Danielle, from a large Italian family consisting mostly of women. They live in Manhattan and have a lot of freedom--suburban girls can only envy them, I'm sure. Yes, there is sex in the city, as each girl struggles with her love life. Danielle is attracted to a handsome loser, who cheats on her. Junie had a first sex experience with a longtime boyfriend and isn't ready to continue at that level of intimacy; in her confusion she breaks up with him. Celia has never had a boyfriend and in the course of the story falls in love with a visiting Pakistani from England. There is a lot more to their lives than romance, however--for instance, Celia's widower father has a gallery show; Danielle's beloved grandmother dies; and Junie's high-powered parents return home to spend some time with her. The friends share their feelings as they chop vegetables and enjoy sumptuous food (yeah! adolescent girls enjoying good food!) together. We really care about these young women. This is a first novel by a writer who knows New York City well since she went to Columbia University and currently lives in Brooklyn. KLIATT Codes:S--Recommended for senior high school students. 2005, HarperCollins, 246p., $7.99.. Ages 15 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
Children's Literature
Junie Wong-Goldstein has been happily dating Brian for almost a year. They have recently had sex for the first time and Junie regrets it, and does not know how to confide in Brian about her feelings. Her best friend Celia is dealing with heartache of a different kind—her single father has suddenly begun dating a woman who Celia cannot stand. Danielle, who goes to school with Celia, is still getting over her recent break up with Steve. She discovered Steve had been cheating on her and she ended the relationship but cannot help still having feelings for him. The three girls come together for a meal at Danielle's house, bond over food and their shared heartaches, and the girls' dinner club is formed. Throughout their regular get-togethers the girls find a support system in each other that they had not previously had. Junie breaks up with Brian and pursues her crush on Danielle's cousin. Celia is forced to play tour guide to Henry, the nephew of her father's girlfriend, whom she begrudgingly develops feelings for. And Danielle believes that Steve has changed his ways and gives him a second chance only to go through heartache all over again. The girls laugh and cry and mature together. This is a sweet story of teenage friendship with mature story lines and frank talk about sex, drinking, and staying out past curfew. The characters in general have little parental guidance or supervision. While the book is advertised for ages 12 and up, the treatment of the material might be too mature for some young readers. 2005, HarperCollins, Ages 12 up.
—Jennifer Chambliss
Children's Literature - Heather Robertson Mason
Junie, Celia, and Danielle are girls from different backgrounds who have discovered two of the great joys of life: good friends and good food. Each of the girls is facing a different problem. Danielle's father is dating a woman she cannot stand, Celia's ex-boyfriend swears he is changed and wants another chance, and Junie's boyfriend's mind has been in the gutter ever since they had sex. When the three girls find themselves together one night, they decide to cook a big meal and commiserate. Soon this meal becomes a tradition; Celia's family even joins in. The tradition continues until tragedy strikes one of the girls and they need to decide just how strong their friendship is. The problems these girls face are problems that many girls can relate to. However, those problems are rather risque for some school teachers. There are a few scenes that deal with sex, albeit safe sex. While the text is easy enough for middle school, some of the situations in the story are only appropriate for high school students. If you have a girl that enjoyed the "Traveling Pants" series, she will also enjoy this book. Just be sure that she is mature enough to handle some of the subject matter.
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-Junie Wong-Goldstein lives in Brooklyn and has what others would consider a charmed life. Her parents are overseas on business all the time so she is rarely bothered by them, and hunky Brian adores her. However, Junie wishes she could turn back the clock to when her parents were home more often and before she and Brian became sexually active. Her best friend, Celia Clarke, is worried about not having a boyfriend at all, maybe because she's taller than most of the guys she knows. Add Celia's friend Danielle Battaglia, who's desperately in love with Steve the serial cheater, and that's the recipe for some serious girl-bonding. Junie and Danielle first meet at Celia's place, and the three of them rustle up something to eat while discussing their troubles. They eventually turn this into a weekly girls' dinner club, trying new recipes and sharing and supporting one another, somewhat like a YA version of Rebecca Wells's Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (HarperCollins, 1996). Each of the teens is clearly drawn and has strengths and weaknesses common to girls their age. Their families add unique ingredients to the story. Disturbingly casual sexual activity happens throughout the book, although condoms are mentioned multiple times. An interesting read for mature audiences.-Paula J. LaRue, Van Wert City Schools, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061954023
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/9/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,255,149
  • Age range: 14 years
  • File size: 490 KB

Meet the Author

Jessie Elliot attended Columbia University and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and her cat. Girls Dinner Club is her first novel.

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Read an Excerpt

Girls Dinner Club


By Jessie Elliot

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Jessie Elliot
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060595396

Monsoons,
Marathons,
and
Massages

A week and a half of relentless rain and Junie Wong-Goldstein was going out of her skull with stir-craziness. It had been one of those weird springs more suited to Seattle than Brooklyn: gloomy skies, angry winds, and passionate, basement-flooding downpours. The track team had been running indoors, lap after lap around the cinder-block gym. On Tuesday, Coach had canceled practice altogether; the boys' team needed the gym for an extended workout.

"So let's run outside," Brian said, waiting at Junie's locker for her to pack up her books. Brian was her boyfriend of almost a year, always good for a wacky idea.

"No way. It's monsooning out there." Junie, one of the top female sprinters in the Brooklyn High School Athletic League, ran five miles a day as a matter of habit. Heat, snow, fog, wind -- no meteorological phenomenon could stop her, except for heavy rain. She hated to run in the rain. Her sneakers sloshed, her shorts glued themselves to her thighs, and she always ended up with water in her ears. "Don't be a wimp," Brian said. He'd just gotten out of gym and was still wearing shorts, plus a white T-shirt and one of the thread necklaces Junie braided for him when she got bored in precalculus class.

"We'll catch pneumonia," she said.

"You sound like my mother," he said.

From the look on Brian's face, she could tell he wasn't about to be swayed. "Oh, fine." She shrugged. The run would break the monotony of the past week and a half, and besides, she needed the exercise. She followed Brian out of Brooklyn Prep and into the deluge. She wished she wasn't wearing jeans. Rain poured off the high school's front awning in sheets.

"On your mark, get set . . ." And he was off.

"This is so insane!" Junie shouted as she chased him down Brooklyn Prep's front lawn, her sneakers squeaking in the mud. She watched as his T-shirt grew translucent, exposing his freckled back with the tattoo of the dancing bear. She was glad she was wearing a black tank.

"Let's go, Goldstein! No chatter!" Brian barked. They turned down Sixth Avenue, dodging fire hydrants, parking meters, and umbrella-toting shoppers who stared at them as if they were crazy. Even though Brian was more than a foot taller than she was -- six-one to Junie's five-foot-nothing -- she pumped her arms harder and soon caught up with him. She squeezed her eyes shut against the downpour and felt her ponytail drip water down her back.

"You know, it's at least five miles to my house," she said.

"Not a problem," Brian said, sailing over a pile of dog crap on the sidewalk. They ran past the fruit stores and coffee shops of Bay Ridge and alongside the Chinese and Latino groceries of Sunset Park. Rain plastered Brian's blond hair to his forehead and ran in rivulets down the backs of his knees. He took off his shirt and tossed it in a garbage bin.

With Junie in the lead, they turned into the vast Green-Wood Cemetery and skirted the ancient gravestones. The willow trees in the cemetery were sagging with the weight of the rain, but Junie was starting to really enjoy herself. The exercise, the oxygen, the clean air on her skin -- it all felt deliriously sweet, even though her backpack was soaked and her sneakers were flooded. "How you doing?" she called over her shoulder.

"All good." Brian shook the water off his head like a wet cat.

"Want to take a break?"

"Breaks are for losers," he said, and sprinted ahead, trying to pass her on the left. His messenger bag flopped along his side.

"I don't think so!" Junie shrieked, reaching out to tickle him. He caught her, kissed her, and then let her go. This was the most fun they'd had together in weeks.

Out of the cemetery, up Fifth Avenue, turning down Ninth Street, making a right on Smith, and then up through Carroll Gardens. Past the Italian bakeries, the grand old churches, the hipster bars, the park. A left on Bergen Street. Past the first stoplight. And then they arrived, finally, soaked to the skin and panting. Junie's enormous nineteenth-century brownstone, where the porch lights were always on and nobody was ever home.

"That was excellent," Brian said, drying his shaggy hair with his hands. They had tossed their clothes into the dryer and were wearing Junie's parents' fluffy bathrobes, lying on their king-sized bed, listening to the Shins. Junie's parents traveled so much that she slept in their room most nights; their bed was softer and bigger and their walls were wired with surround sound. Brian had hooked up her iPod to their speakers.

"I think we made pretty good time, too, considering." She tilted her head and smacked her hand against her ear. "That should be a new Olympic event. The monsoon marathon."

"Or it could be one of those ESPN extreme sports," Brian said. "They could have it in India, during the rainy season." India was one of Brian's obsessions. The others were Phish, Frisbee, snowboarding, and Junie.

"Ooh, that's a good idea. And they could use underwater cameras to record it. And everybody could run in wet suits."

"And they'd have to swim through rivers and stuff. Dodge crocodiles."

"Or piranhas."

"Or gun-wielding political insurgents." Brian sat up, took one of Junie's feet in his hands, and began to rub.

"Like a combination X Game, international-crisis-type sporting event," Junie said, leaning back and closing her eyes. Brian gave the best foot rubs in the world. "Thanks for making me run," she said. "I needed it."

"I could tell." Brian pressed the ball of her foot. "You've seemed pretty stressed out lately." He moved his thumb in circles and then climbed his hands up her ankle to her calf. He rubbed first her right leg, then her left.

"Oh my God, that feels so good." She sank drowsily into her parents' jumbo silk pillows, stuffed fat with goose down.

Continues...


Excerpted from Girls Dinner Club by Jessie Elliot Copyright © 2005 by Jessie Elliot. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 14 of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    NICE READ!!!

    This is a nice book. Friendship, some heartbreak and a nice kitchen. I'ts full of life. The book makes you think of your life, the things that you could have being through and all your lovely friends. Just a good and nice book...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com

    Celia, Junie, and Danielle all become friends on a whim. Celia and Junie are already friends when GIRLS DINNER CLUB starts, and one night, Danielle was at Celia's house while Junie was there. Danielle offers to make them both dinner, and because of this all the girls become friends by regularly meeting at each others houses and making and having dinner together. They celebrate with each other through the good times and the bad. Some of the things that happen to the girls include: crushes, boyfriend problems, and family issues; just the basic teenage girl problems. It's definitely not written in a depressing way, as there are so many funny things that happen in the book. During one of their dinners together they even get in a food fight! It shows a great friendship that grows between the girls. I would recommend this book to any girl who loves to read about friendships, relationships, and great food. <BR/><BR/>While I was reading GIRLS DINNER CLUB all I could think about was how good of friends the girls became. All formed such a close bond over something everyone loves--food! This is the first book that Jessie Elliot has written and there will hopefully be more to come. Even though this is Ms. Elliot's first book, it feels like she has written a million stories! GIRLS DINNER CLUB is so well-written and the characters seem so real that it feels like you could be their friend, as well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2007

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    Celia, Junie, and Danielle all become friends on a whim. Celia and Junie are already friends when GIRLS DINNER CLUB starts, and one night, Danielle was at Celia¿s house while Junie was there. Danielle offers to make them both dinner, and because of this all the girls become friends by regularly meeting at each others houses and making and having dinner together. They celebrate with each other through the good times and the bad. Some of the things that happen to the girls include: crushes, boyfriend problems, and family issues just the basic teenage girl problems. It¿s definitely not written in a depressing way, as there are so many funny things that happen in the book. During one of their dinners together they even get in a food fight! It shows a great friendship that grows between the girls. I would recommend this book to any girl who loves to read about friendships, relationships, and great food. While I was reading GIRLS DINNER CLUB all I could think about was how good of friends the girls became. All formed such a close bond over something everyone loves--food! This is the first book that Jessie Elliot has written and there will hopefully be more to come. Even though this is Ms. Elliot¿s first book, it feels like she has written a million stories! GIRLS DINNER CLUB is so well-written and the characters seem so real that it feels like you could be their friend, as well. **Reviewed by: Taylor Rector

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2007

    Greatt

    Wow. This book is soo good. Prob almost the best book i ever read. You got to get it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2007

    AWSOME

    This Book was so good I had to pace myself so I wouldn't read it all in one day! but i still only took me 3 days you should definately resd this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2006

    It was pretty good

    I liked this book, i wish my life was like one of the relationships in this book, but its not. It didnt really keep me entertained and i didnt care for the ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2006

    the recipes of life

    The Girl's Dinner Club is a great book for all preteen and teenage girls. It is a book that all girls can relate to through breakups and crushes and love. It is set in the heart of Brookland where anything can happen. The girls stick together through thick and thin, including someone's death and are always by each other's sides.this book is truely amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2005

    Great!

    I'm not finished with this book yet, but so far it is very good. I like how it is about 3 very different girl and how they come together.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2005

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS BOOK!

    This is possibly one of the best books i've ever read....i recommend it also to all teenage girls.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2005

    Great Book

    This book was soo good! I truly couldn't put it down, I finished in two days! I would recommend this book for all teenage girls!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2005

    I LOVED GIRLS DINNER CLUB!

    This book was great!! I was never bored and read it really quickly! Read this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 14 of 13 Customer Reviews

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