Friday, February 26, 2010

Blue Plate Special

Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney. 2009. Chronicle Books. 366 pages.

"Register four is now open with no waiting," a ceiling voice booms, interrupting the Stevie Wonder tune playing over the intercom.

Wow. It's a bit surprising how wow-worthy this one is. If you're looking for something compelling, something almost impossible to put down, then you should pick this one up and give it a try. It's so well-written, so intense, so good.

Is it a little too dramatic? Well, you'll have to be the judge of that. It worked for me. And here's why it worked for me. I cared. About the characters. About the unfolding family drama. Blue Plate Special is the story of three women, three generations. Madeline (1977), Desiree (1993) and Ariel (2009). Three women who could learn a lot from each other. If they are willing to listen, to understand, to forgive. Not that forgiveness comes easy. Not that compassion does either. But each story was compelling. Each in its own way. How could I choose which narrator worked best for me? Each voice was so unique. (Especially Desiree's narrative which was written in verse.)

Relationships. Between mothers and daughters. Between boyfriends and girlfriends. Between friends. Life is complex. Relationships are complex. And sometimes you can't know what's going on behind the scenes, behind closed doors.

There were so many things done right in Blue Plate Special. It's a coming-of-age novel that authentically represents some of the harder issues of living life in an unfair world. A world where parents make mistakes too. It's a heartbreaking novel. One that could be a bit too much for some readers perhaps. But while tragic definitely comes to mind when describing this one, so does the word unforgettable.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Amanda 2:41 PM  

I loooooved this one! And really wanted it to win the Cybil. Oh well.

Lisa Schroeder 5:32 PM  

I was waiting to see what you thought of this one. I had no idea what it was about, but Jo Knowles, who I really respect, loved it, so I picked it up. Pretty soon I was engrossed in these three lives, not knowing if or how or even whether they intertwined. SOOO good.

Emidy 10:05 PM  

This seems excellent! And that cover is very familiar to me... I must have seen it some place else. I need to find this one in the library!

Une Parole

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP