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Bittersweet Sixteen Paperback – May 1, 2007
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10–Laura, a scholarship student at an elite high school in New York City, is surrounded by superficial, backstabbing rich girls, all obsessed with having the best Sweet Sixteen party. Despite the differences in lifestyles, she has a solid group of friends, as well as a best friend, Whitney. Everything is running smoothly until the new girl, Sophie, arrives. She is extremely rich, pretty, and fashionable, and wiggles her way right into Laura's group of friends and disrupts the equilibrium of the clique. Before long, everyone is fighting. Laura is the only one who remains true to herself and, with the help of a certain boy, learns about the importance of friendship. Designer names are dropped throughout and the girls are fixated on their weight, capturing some of the issues that teenage girls obsess over in America. But underneath all the fluff and superficiality are lessons on friendship and love.–Kristen M. Todd, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Teen readers will love the details and vicariously whirl their way through social contexts they only read about in magazines, but they will also see what it means to be true to oneself.” (KLIATT)
“Disappointed that the multi–million copy selling Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar has closed the final chapter on the young socialites’ high school years? If you are, well then here’s the book for you.” (Right On!)
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However, when it comes to the book contents itself, I LOVED this book. I read it many many years ago and when I remembered it again I just wanted to snatch it up so that I could read it whenever I wanted.
The wittiness of the characters, the pleasant surprise of the interests each character held, and the stereotypical portrayal or "rich girls" and whatnot really made this a great book. Yes, it was cheesy sometimes but overall, a pleasant read for any young adult. I give the book and the authors FIVE STARS for the content. :)
Sophomore year is the biggest at their school. Add one part Sweet Sixteen, one part girl, and countless parts money, and it becomes a race to see who can throw the best, most expensive and star-studded birthday bash. Until now, it's been assumed that Whitney's event will be the celebration to end all celebrations.
The arrival of California party-girl Sophie Mitchum shakes up Whitney's planned bash--and it gets worse when Soph totally crushes on Jake, a student at a private boy's school on who Whit has staked her claim. With Laura caught in the middle, tensions between Whit and Soph escalate into full-blown Prada-flinging war.
Heavy in teen lingo and emotional drama, Bittersweet Sixteen introduces teens to an exclusive world dripping with money. What middle- or lower-class kid doesn't wish they could spend a day with their wealthy peers? These kids are represented in the character of Laura. She exists both in and outside the culture of the extremely rich, and it's not all kicks and giggles. As with any other social class, people are people, and everyone can find trouble, fight with friends, and find redemption. The question is how to get to where you want to go; and this is Laura's story of that journey.
Karasyov and Kargman write in a hip, chick-lit style that will appeal to most teenage girls. Despite the humorous beat, they evoke feelings common to today's teens. Think of this as the modern fable for the average kid who wishes they could grasp something more. "The grass is greener on the other side" is the theme here, only "The Jimmy Choos are better on the other side" might apply.
Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer
4½-Books / 5-Stars for Amazon
Whitney Blake, Laura's greatest friend, also happens to be the most popular girl at Tate Academy--and one of the richest. They have the perfect type of friendship; Laura never takes advantage of her friend's unlimited spending limit, and Whitney gives her friend the things she'd otherwise never get, like hand-me-down fashion designer clothes, trips with her on family vacations, and a guaranteed spot on the A-list. Things get a little crazy, though, when Sophie Mitchum moves from California to New York.
Sophie and Whitney circle each other like sharks on that first day, both knowing that they hold a special position in Tate Academy's pyramid of popularity. Whitney has always been Queen Bee, and instantly feels threatened by Sophie's sudden intrusion. Sophie held the same title back in California, and is determined not to ruin her chances on popularity at this new school. What follows is a short period of wariness that leads to mutual respect. That is, until Whitney learns that Sophie has scheduled her sweet sixteen blowout party on her birthday. Seems the girls share the same day, and things will never be the same at Tate Academy.
As the girls decide that maybe the situation can be salvaged by holding joint birthday parties (which just happened to be Laura's idea), things go from bad to worse. Laura finds herself in the middle of the mother of all wars when Whitney and Sophie can't work out their differences. Suddenly, designer handbags are flying, students are being used as pawns, boys are in the middle of a tug-of-war, and no one is getting the short end of the stick more than Laura. Whitney, her best friend forever, is causing more pain than a trip to the dentist, and Sophie, her new friend, isn't helping.
BITTERSWEET SIXTEEN is a funny, interesting look into the world of money, power, and popularity of teen girls who have more credit cards than they know what to do with. Definitely an entertaining read, as Laura must find out what having real friends is all about.
Most recent customer reviews
There are a lot of things about books that just really bug me.Read more
This book is annoying. The characters are shallow, cheesy and fake, and the author tries to use slang to make the kids look "cool" when it...Read more
Bittersweet Sixteen, a novel by Carrie Karasyov and Jill Kargman, takes place in the upper east side of Manhattan at Tate, a private high school.Read more