Doomed loves, failed families, nixed dreams—someone else's leftovers are heaped on our plates the day we come into this world.
Big Macs and pop tunes mask the emptiness as Madeline watches her mom drink away their welfare checks. Until the day Tad, a quirky McDonald's counter boy, asks Madeline out for a date, and she gets her first taste of normal. But with a life that's anything but, how long can normal really last?
Hanging with Jeremy, avoiding Mam, sticking Do Not Disturb Post-its on her heart, Desiree's mission is simple: party hard, graduate (well, maybe), get out of town. But after Desiree accepts half a meatball grinder, a cold drink, and a ride from her mother's boyfriend one rainy afternoon, nothing is ever simple again.
Too many AP classes. Workaholic mom. Dad in prison. Still, Ariel's sultry new boyfriend, Shane, manages to make even the worst days delicious. But when an unexpected phone call forces a trip to visit a sick grandmother she's never met, revealing her family's dark past, Ariel struggles to find the courage to make the right choice for her own future.
Three girls from three different decades find out it's what they do with their leftovers that matters—because, after all, life is your own blue plate special.
Blue Plate Special is best if you go into it knowing nothing more than what you read on the jacket flap. It will reveal itself to you bit by bit until you are left sitting there stunned and extremely impressed, at least I think so. Unfortunately for me I knew a bit more than what the jacket tells you but it didn't matter. It just gave me a few more clues to work with. I was still very very impressed with Kwasney's ability to weave these three stories together. It's heartbreaking, honest, raw and real.
All three girls have rough lives for one reason or another. While there was just a tad bit of overlapping in their struggles (a dilemma or two were similar for two of the girls) I thought Kwansney did a great job of distinguishing their voices and making them all likeable. I thought it was a nice touch that Desiree's part was written in verse. She used far fewer words but you get to know her just as well as the other girls.
I think Blue Plate Special is a book that begs to be read a second time. Once reading it you know a lot more than when you started and reading it a second time would allow you to put together the pieces as you read, more so and start to notice things you might have missed the first time.
This is a book that will stick with me and I was extremely impressed by it.
Blue Plate Special was released on September 23rd
Genre: Young Adult
Review copy provided by the publisher