Monday, June 3, 2013

the pillow book of lotus lowensten

by Libby Schmais — published December 8, 2009 — Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Lotus Lowenstein's life is merde. She dreams of moving to Paris and becoming an existentialist. Yet, here she is trapped in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with a New-Agey mom, an out-of-work dad, and a chess champion brother who dreams of being a rock star. Merci a Dieu for Lotus's best friend, Joni, who loves French culture enough to cofound their high school's first French Club with Lotus. At the first meeting, the cutest boy in the world walks in. His name is Sean, and he too, loves French culture and worships Jean-Paul Sartre. 
At first, Lotus thinks Sean is the best thing to happen to her in years. He's smart, cultured, and adorable. Unfortunately, though, Joni feels the same way. And having an existentialist view of love, Sean sees nothing wrong with enjoying both girls affections. Things come to a head when all three depart for Montreal with their teacher, Ms. G., on the French Club's first official field trip. Will Sean choose Joni over Lotus? And will Lotus and Joni's friendship ever recover?

This book was written in the form of diary entries, like a "pillow book" or the thing that she was reading in the book. It's not my favorite form for books to be written in, but it worked for this book, and it would have been weird if it weren't written in diary form.

In general, the book was pretty decent. The plot itself was interesting enough, and it moved quickly and didn't bore me. But the downside? I HATED Lotus. I mean, with a fiery passion hatred. She was dead set on moving to Paris (without ever having been there), becoming an existentialist (without knowing what that actually is), and living the Parisian lifestyle (though she's not actually French and doesn't even SPEAK French!). It was ridiculous. Enter Sean. He was basically a loner with no friends who wandered into their French club meeting, and started a thing up with both girls.

Then Lotus got mad that he was also with Joni when Lotus told Sean she was fine with it. How is he supposed to know she's not unless she tells him?

And then Lotus went on and on and ON about some French author's book and diet, but she didn't even follow it and was mad when she didn't lose weight. The main book was fine, but the fact that the main character was detestable in every way imaginable just dropped the whole thing for me. I just hated her.

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