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Friday, February 25, 2011

Flirt Club by Cathleen Daly

Title: Flirt Club
Author: Cathleen Daly
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Page #: 281
Source: From my public library

"Having trouble meeting boys? Feel just a little bit too awkward? Isabelle and Annie (aka Cisco and the Bean), two self-professed theater geeks, sure do. So when all else fails, they start flirt club, an after-school support group for the similarly afflicted.

This uber-confabuloso (in the words of the Bean) book is told entirely through their notes passed in school, diary entries, and the occasional e-mail."
First Lines:

"Dear Cisco,
Well, it turns out 8th-grade math is just as breathtaking and exciting as 7th-grade math. (NOT!) My math teacher, Mrs. Heinick, is a rover, so I have to write you in spurts and spasms... She likes to stroll down the aisles real slow - she's like a silent hovercraft or some scary sci-fi phenomenon... like a big floating eyeball with teeth."
Page 1

This book was hi-larious. There is something so real and honest and quirky about the voices of middle school girls, isn't there?

The story is of two girls who constantly write letters back and forth throughout their school days. They are the ultimate definition of BFFs. Nothing to tear them apart. And they decide it's time that they learned how to talk to boys and not be total spazzes. They are completely into drama and love making up words and such. They are seriously funny and lovable. And they are excellent at creating nicknames - a skill I wish to develop.

One of the things I loved about this story was the emphasis on written letters. So many books have texts, emails, blog entries... this one is notes written during class. Now, this will absolutely date me, but my years of middle and high school were all about passing notes all day long. We didn't have all that tech stuff :). Okay, it was there, I just didn't have it. ANYWHO! This book took me back to my high school years. We used to write notes like it was our job.

I also loved the amount of theater love throughout the story. Anyone who did theater in high school knows that most of the actual drama took place off the stage. This book does a great job giving the theater geeks a voice. What book about middle school girls would be complete without a look at cliques? It's a very funny and realistic look into school drama, that's for sure.

There were some parts of this book where I found myself literally LOLing. I think it's because it reminds me of my high school years so much (minus the obsession with learning how to flirt). Friend group lines blurring, best friend teasing, the awesome nickname giving.... just an all around fun book.

I just have to mention this because it bothered me a little bit. The cover is super-duper cute. Really. I envy that chick and her cuteness. But here's the thing... there are no specifically blond characters. Black haired? Yes. Blond? No. So... who's this supposed to be?! I kinda decided that she was one of the non-physically described girls. Still... annoying.

This book really is perfect for the middle school girl. It's written in their voice and about their drama. I think the author does a great job keeping her audience in mind. There's enough juice there for some serious boy stuff... but also enough silly friendship stuff to keep your spirits high. It's a worthwhile read, for sure.

Anyway, this author is a YA/MG debut this year and I've officially fallen in love with her first book. I'll be looking out for more excitement from her! It looks like Ms. Daly has created a brand spankin new blog! So, go give her some love and more followers :).
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Pixie (Author interview)
Moirae (The Fates) Book Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Middle Grade Reads
Clearly, not nearly enough people have read and reviewed this book. It's hilariously awesome, people. Give it a go!


Readingjunky said...

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cathleen a. daly said...

Hi, Thanks for this delightful review! "We used to write notes like it was our job" EXACTLY! (me too). I agree with you about the cover, she's cute but who IS she? Anyhoo, you have a great name, I have a picture book coming out in a year or so called "Emily's Blue Period", that's how much I love it :)

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