Flirt Club (ARC) by Cathleen Daly
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Pub. Date: January 4th, 2011
Age Level: 11+
Source: From publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis via Goodreads
When two self-professed middle school drama geeks––Isabelle and Annie (a.k.a. Cisco and The Bean)––fail at their attemps in romance, they start Flirt Club, an after school support group for similarly afflicted friends who decide to take decisive and strategic action with hilarious and touching results.
Flirt Club is the fun-filled, laugh-riot-a-minute, and refreshing upper MG debut from Cathleen Daly. Seriously, this book flarps! Read it and you'll understand; see, now I bet your dying to know. ;)
Izzy and Annie, aka Cisco and the Bean, are such hilarious and lovable protagonists. At first, their characters were very similar but as the book progressed, while their similarities could still be seen, they became more distinguishable from each other. It is so easy to see why these two girls are best friends and I wish I could have had friends like them and their friends when I was in middle school. Then we come to Lisa, Myrna, and Ariane. They didn't really get to shine all that much but their individual personalities were distinct. Lisa has almost a motherly quality about her and loves to sew and design clothes. She is also the most shy of the group. Myrna is a bit of a tomboy but later comes to grips with her inner feminine side. Last is Ariane, the profuse winker and slight bit of a tease whom I think it is safe to say definitely gained a lot of gumption from Flirt Club. And honestly, I loved them all. I don't really want to talk about the guys because I fear it may give some things away so you'll just have to see for yourself. I will say this much though, two I really liked and two I thought were total flupping butt-heads.
Flirt Club is probably one of the most humorous books I've read in a very long time. The idea behind the forming of the Flirt Club was very original and while the plot overall was fairly light and funny, there were some more serious moments of sadness and confusion and I felt these were very appropriately incorporated as well as realistically written. Flirt Club was not without a few small twists either, keeping things compelling, and was also very fast, but well, paced.
Flirt Club is told through a combination of notes left in lockers, journal entries, and Flirt Club meeting records. It was a satisfying and refreshing combination for me and I really enjoyed it. Though maybe a smidge bit over enthusiastic at times, Daly's writing style is one of both blunt and silly humor. There was the occasional discussion between Cisco and Bean that should have been awkward but was instead unbelievably funny. I have to applaud Daly for accomplishing that. However, there was one thing about the writing that had me a bit on the fence. This had to do with references to famous people, certain words, and phrases that she would use. For example: Davy Jones from The Monkees; ABBA; going steady; smitten. These are people, words, and phrases that are obviously from when the author was around Cisco and Bean's age. On one hand, Flirt Club is considered by the author as partially true and roughly based on herself, so the references fit in that aspect. On the other hand, most 8th graders will have know idea who some of these people are and while they most likely know words like smitten and going steady, they aren't words they use in day-to-day conversation. For the simple sake of relatability, I think Daly might should have modernized said things to fit the modern middle-schooler out there. That being said, this did in no way detract from the likability of this novel and aside from that, I thought the writing was very well done.
The ending for Flirt Club was relatively happy but not happily-ever-after fluff kinda happy, which I liked. It wasn't all joy, sunshine, and pretty pretty rainbows and I was very pleased with the ways things wrapped up.
All in all, Flirt Club is the perfect pick-me-up if you are having a bad day because this book could get anyone in a good mood. I would highly recommend this, especially to those middle school girls out there, though us teens and adults can certainly get loads of entertainment out of it as well. Flirt Club is for sure going to be a story I'll want to read again and I'd like to give Cathleen Daly 'lots of geeky celebratory noises' for her debut. Can't wait to read more from her.
Cover: C (Neither Cisco nor Bean have blonde hair. Just sayin'.)
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Flirt Club (ARC) by Cathleen Daly
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 1/04/2011 08:53:00 PM