Thursday, December 3, 2009
The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein by Libby Schmais
Release Date: December 8, 2009 from Delacorte Book for Young Readers
An adorable, completely original YA voice.
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 à 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?
I was so happy to have the author of this book doa guest post as part of the blog tour. If you haven't read it, it's the post just below this one. It also has details of an amazing contest where you can win an autographed copy of the book and a $25 Sephora gift card...oh how I do love Sephora. I don't even wear makeup; I just love the place.
Anywho, back to my review. The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein is pure genius. I truly loved every minute of it. Lotus reminded me of Eloise (my favorite picture book character of all time) all grown up, moved out of the Plaza, and adopted by a completely wacky and yet lovable family. Lotus is exactly who Eloise would be as a teenager.
The entries that Lotus writes to her teacher, Ms. G., are witty, original, and honest. What I love most about Lotus is that she's fearless. Who else would gladly create a French club who only three people want to join? I could relate to Lotus' dream of traveling to France. I've always wanted to travel the world. Who hasn't at sometime felt like the people surrounding them just don't get them....things will of course be better in a foreign country.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's funny, touching and wonderfully quirky and it made me practice that French that I haven't studied since...well, forever. Lotus will make you laugh, which is well worth the cover price.