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One Trick Pony

One Trick Pony

4.8 9
by Daniella Brodsky

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MEET THE REGULARS at the One Trick Pony, Brooklyn's finest coffeehouse:

Jesse the Player - gorgeous, charming, and oh-so-irresistible, he goes through girls quicker than you can say, "Check, please!"

Abigail the Poet - quiet and beautiful, with a heart full of pain, she's scared that she won't recover from the loss of her mother.

Randall the


MEET THE REGULARS at the One Trick Pony, Brooklyn's finest coffeehouse:

Jesse the Player - gorgeous, charming, and oh-so-irresistible, he goes through girls quicker than you can say, "Check, please!"

Abigail the Poet - quiet and beautiful, with a heart full of pain, she's scared that she won't recover from the loss of her mother.

Randall the Musician—your typical procrastinator and Ÿber-sensitive emo guitarist, he can't find the courage to tell Abigail he loves her.

Kate the Know-It-All - stunning, overconfident, and a well-meaning buttinsky, she has everything figured out, or so she thinks.

When their favorite hangout closes, these four friends are more adrift than ever before. A mysterious young Frenchwoman named Caroline Deneuve reopens the doors of the One Trick Pony. And their lives will never be the same.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
Meet four affluent New York teens. There's Jesse, the one-night-stand guy who is irresistible to girls but not so important to his always-absent parents. There's Abby, who pushes her father farther and farther away as they both cope with the loss of Abby's mother. There's Randall, an oh-so-talented musician who, like his Dad, is talented at procrastinating. And then there's control freak Kate, who thinks her dictatorial "Kate knows best" approach is the only way. Their favorite hangout, the One Trick Pony coffeehouse, has reopened. It has been taken over by Catherine Deneuve, a mysterious French woman whose steamy coffee seems to have more than a bit of magic. A cup or two of a made-to-order brew seems to give these four the courage to change. It is no surprise that the ending is a fairytale cliche: Jesse learns to love while his parents learn that their son needs them, Randall takes a demo tape into a studio and gets signed by the studio executive, Abby's father agrees to stay in New York rather than move to Colorado with his new girlfriend, and Kate learns to let go of her need to be in total control. Finally, the mysterious Catherine, who appeared out of nowhere, disappears with the mystery of her past, her future and her coffee never fully revealed. Includes underage drinking, the use of fake IDs and a one-night stand. Reviewer: Anita Barnes Lowen
One Trick Pony was an ordinary coffee house until it was sold to Caroline Denueve, a French woman whose coffee has a powerful effect on its drinkers. Jesse, Abigail, Randall, and Kate, four friends with lives spinning out of control, find that the more time they spend at the coffee house, the more they can handle their problems. Jesse, who could not express his feelings, tells his parents that he needs them and confesses to Caroline that he loves her. Abigail, who is grieving the loss of her mother, shares her pain with her father and breaks up with her boyfriend. Randall makes a demo tape of his music and expresses his feelings for Abigail, and Kate learns that just because she can control a situation, it does not mean that she should. Caroline-who appears out of nowhere-and her coffee add an element of mystery to the novel. "Jesse had the weirdest feeling; he thought she could have stepped off the set of a 1940s movie." The magic of Caroline's coffee is never explained, but Kate is unable to understand her friends' changes until she switches from tea to coffee, and the more coffee the characters drink, the more confident they seem. The strength of the novel, however, lies in the characters themselves. They are as realistic as the coffee is magical. Their relationships with one another and with their privileged but dysfunctional families draw the reader into the story. Readers will relate to the characters' struggles and their triumphs. Reviewer: Christine Sanderson
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up
Four friends face major changes in their lives. Jesse, a handsome love 'em-and-leave 'em guy, is tired of being neglected by his wealthy but always absent parents, and Abigail's mother's death has her rudderless and drifting. Randall, whose mother has left and whose father can't seem to get off the couch, struggles to put his music in order and keep his love for Abigail a secret. Beautiful, know-it-all Kate can't seem to keep an internship without steamrolling over her bosses. Into this mix comes a mysterious French woman, Caroline Deneuve, who reopens the teens' favorite coffee hangout after the previous owner goes bankrupt, and her mysterious brew alters their relationships. Is it something in the coffee-or perhaps the owner of the One Trick Pony helps identify their weaknesses and gives them the courage to face their fears and change. The plot is slow and builds much on the mystery of what Caroline puts in the coffee, but that is never answered. There's so little character development that they become shells. The plot wraps up too neatly for some characters. Jesse's parents agree to slow down and pay attention to him, Randall walks into a music studio and gets the exec to listen to his demo and gets signed, and Abigail's father agrees not to move from Brooklyn to Aspen with his new girlfriend. This book is too simplistic and leaves too many unanswered questions to be satisfying.
—Lori E. DonovanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Caroline, a mysterious new owner, reopens a neighborhood coffee shop. Soon she is serving up advice and an odd assortment of coffees to four friends. Jesse, ever the player, finds himself longing for love. Frustrated musician Randall wants to find the courage to follow his music and his crush. Abigail, the dreamy poet, is still trying to find her way after the death of her mother. Kate, overconfident and often harsh, needs to let go. After drinking Caroline's strange concoctions, they begin acting in uncharacteristic ways. Chapters rotate through the four characters as they try to navigate the rapids of their lives. While the premise is interesting, the mystery of the French barista never pans out. The tendency to tip into cliche further weakens the story. Despite its flaws, though, the story is an interesting look at the lives of four well-heeled teens, living life in the big city. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

"Crap," Jesse Majors barked as he pushed open the front door of the apartment building with the tire of his bike. It was pouring again. And he had a hangover. From the way that girl Cassie or Carrie or Cammie or whoever was kissing him all over the face a second ago, he just knew she wasn't going to handle this one-night stand—which he hadn't made any attempt to disguise as anything but—very well at all.
He pulled his Saint Martin cap from his back jeans pocket and covered his freshly buzzed hair with it, the bill shading his face. The hat—like his Italian key fob; too-mature steel-rimmed sunglasses from Paris; and expensive Hawaiianshirt— was a souvenir from his parents. Armored up in all this stuff, Jesse felt like a walking, talking souvenir himself, something you bring home from a trip and forget about.
His cell phone rang right as he started pedaling home. It was his movie exec dad. "We're going to stay another week out here. This producer is really trying to ruin Kevin Sting's book. Could you imagine doing a musical of a horror picture?" No, as a matter of fact, Jesse couldn't. He couldn't imagine leaving his own seventeen-year-old son for months at a time, either, but that was something Jesse kept close to the vest.

"Don't worry about it, Dad," he managed to say, mustering up his most carefree voice. "I know you've got to do a good job. We'll do the hiking thing next month." They'd planned on heading up to the Catskills, where his mom had picked out an old Greek Revival place the previous year, but Jesse hadn't actually assumed they'd be going. They'd only been up there once since they bought it. Surely there was some rotting crap in the fridge by now.

"All right, Jess. Thanks for understanding. Why don't you go out and get yourself one of those new Nintendo Wii game systems? You've got the credit card. Everyone's talking about them over here. We've got two on the set. The Road Rage game is pretty awesome."

"Yeah, sure, Dad. Thanks. Talk later." Jesse tucked his phone back into the Velcro pocket on his left jacket sleeve and slipped his earbuds into his ears. Lately, he'd been listening to this garage band, the Flash, he'd heard at the One Trick Pony the previous month. The Flash had sort of a British punk sound and they'd played on the last night the place was open. Right when Jesse finished cleaning out the espresso machine and counting out his drawer, Jimmy had pulled a chair up in front of the coffee bar, settled his hands on the roundest part of his belly, and said, "This is it, Jesse. We're closing up for good. I'm bankrupt. Kaput. Dead. Over. If I thought you needed the money, I'd feel pretty bad about it. But I'm sure you can find a new place to pick up girls," he added with a wink.

"What are you gonna do now?" Jesse had asked. Jimmy was just about the worst businessman in the world—more into music and hanging out than keeping consistent business hours, or serving good coffee—and it wasn't shocking that the One Trick had gone under. But at least Jimmy had been around a lot, and he knew Jesse. He hated to admit it, but Jesse missed the whole scene.

Ah, but that was all history now. Jimmy had moved down to Miami and planned to waiter at a tapas joint. "People, possessions, money . . . it all comes and goes in life," Jimmy said before he left. That was exactly the way Jesse himself saw things. He found that if you didn't worry, life had a way of working out—ups and downs, ins and outs. There wasn't much point to any of it, so far as he could tell.

"Yeah, yeah, kiss her where it huurrrrrrrrts!" The music thumped in his ear as he coasted along Smith Street toward his family's luxury apartment, ready for a final school-free Friday of nothing and a whole lot more nothing. Maybe he'd order some wings later. Or take his car out to Brighton Beach for some Roll 'N' Roaster. Maybe Randall would join him, if he wasn't too busy waiting around for Abigail to fall in love with him. Randall sure knew how to make things difficult.

All of a sudden, Jesse's gaze was attracted skyward. As his eyes widened, he felt the scar through his right eyebrow tug a little. The dark clouds that had layered Brooklyn for the past month—making the air hazy, so thick you could grab a handful of it—now broke, and right above the chained-up facade of the One Trick, there was a sliver of crystal-clear blue. A huge gray bird of a variety you didn't normally see on Smith Street swooped down and Jesse slammed on his brakes in surprise. His eyes followed the bird soaring right down to the door of the One Trick. Jesse was shocked to see a black-haired woman crouched down, fumbling with the lock.

Jesse weaved seamlessly between a few cars across the street to the woman as the bird flew off frantically. He leaned his bike against the brick wall and asked, "Can I help you with that?"

She didn't seem surprised or frightened by the voice coming from behind her. Instead, she smoothly answered, "Oui, that would be wonderful."
A Frenchwoman, Jesse thought. He'd had plenty of dreams about them. But when she stood and turned to face him, Jesse had the weirdest feeling; he thought she could have stepped off the set of a 1940s movie. She had shiny, unfussy hair, pulled back into a lacy band, so that her milky white neck was revealed. It was the kind of neck Jesse had the urge to reach out and touch, ditto her tiny ears. She had enormous, almond-shaped eyes—as dark as her hair—and they seemed miles deep as Jesse's gaze was caught in them. Her thick lashes blinked and snapped him out of it with a start. The woman wore a classic trench coat, tied tight at the waist and flowing to her high-heeled shoes. She was beautiful, with her heady perfume and curved smile, and though she was older—he guessed twenty-something—he was very attracted to her.

Meet the Author

Daniella Brodsky is a freelance magazine writer and the author of several works of fiction. She lives in Connecticut with her husband. You can visit Daniella at www.daniellabrodsky.com.

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One Trick Pony 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Siddenly stepped back and he shoved his huge co.ck into her
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thx for checking on me tho!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stella sat at an individual table with Haley. Flora sat alone at her individual table on the sixth graders part of the room.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cool! I have a domestic wolf. (Yeah, I could tell by how she talked and she looks like a girl. Lol! RACIST SISTER! *claps hands abover her head*)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome! And Happy Birthday Broke! (It's ok yall I'm Cho Chang! No even better... 1, 2, 3 I BEAT THE DRAGON!!!)
cassay280 More than 1 year ago
it was sooooo good..just all around amazing..you should read it.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of the GOSSIP GIRL series or chick-lit in general then you are sure to enjoy this addition to the genre by Daniella Brodsky.

As with the other books, the characters in this book are all rich, over-privileged, gorgeous high schoolers attending a private school in NY. They are also flawed in one way or another. However, this time we have moved out of Manhattan to the borough of Brooklyn just a few subway stops away. They used to hang out at a coffee shop called One Trick Pony but sadly it closed when business declined, probably because it sat in the midst of a Starbucks on every corner. As quickly as it closed, One Trick Pony was reopened by a mysterious French woman named Caroline.

Let's take a look at the group of friends. Maybe within your group of friends, someone may seem similar. You have Jesse, who is total player - loving and leaving them has always been his mantra, but once he meets Caroline everything is different. Then you have Abigail, the poet and artist who is suffering from the death of her mother She doesn't think she will ever recover, but hanging around the new One Trick Pony has brought around some changes in her. Randall is the musician of the group and totally in love with Abigail. They would be perfect for each other if only he had the guts to actually say something to her instead of sitting around willing to be just her friend. Lastly there is Kate, sophisticated and worldly, but she is hiding a whole bunch of insecurities under her bitchy, cool demeanor. She thinks she knows how everyone and everything should act and be. Too bad no one sees things her way. Will hanging around the new One Trick Pony bring about any changes in her as they did with everyone else?

Caroline serves very special coffee, roasting and grinding the beans herself. Drinking her coffee is an experience and soon everybody just can't get enough of it. Alexander King once said "This seems to be the basic need of the human heart in nearly every crisis - a good hot cup of coffee". Coffeehouses hold a certain allure to the general public. Usually, they are comfortable places where you can gather with friends or where you go to unwind and gather your thoughts.

So is Caroline's coffee really magical, or is it just the allure of the place, a place that radiates with love and belonging that really brought about the changes between the four friends?