Manual Blue Plate Special

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Another suggested diners served their value meal of the day on blue-rimmed plates. Can you be more definitive? Is there a quiz on somewhere? If I give the right answer, do I get a share of the prize? But by a coincidence that makes me feel I have a lexicographical fairy godmother, a brief discussion about the term appeared recently on the mailing list of the American Dialect Society, which helped a lot with the background and dates. As you imply, a blue plate special is or was a set meal served at a reduced price, usually in the cheaper sort of restaurant.

The first example in the big Oxford English Dictionary is from a book by Sinclair Lewis dated , but it is also the title of a story by Damon Runyon published in A good description of the way the term was used is in an issue of the periodical The Restaurant Man for January under the title Quick Lunchplaces Have Own Vernacular. My thanks to Barry Popik for finding this. So far so good, but finding out where the phrase comes from is rather more difficult.


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The idea that it comes from a real blue plate on which the meal was served seems to be the right one. The Dictionary implies that the inexpensive meals were served on such plates. He claims the first use of blue-plate special was on a menu of the Fred Harvey restaurants on 22 October For Veteran's Day, I'm assuming. The idea seems really odd - decorating graves for the dead when only the living can see them. As we weave in and out through the markers, Mom reads names off the stones It's hard to believe that everyone of these graves represents someone who used to be alive, above the earth like mom and me, and now they are below it decomposing.

I decide when I die I'll be cremated. That way no one will walk on me, muttering my name while they search for someone else. Jul 31, Heather Munao rated it it was amazing Shelves: young-adult , young-adult-that-adults-will-love. We have Madeline, an obese girl in the 's eating her feelings, neglected by an alcoholic mother, who finds love accidentally and is making a fragile new start for herself. Then we have Ariel, a girl in who has the supportive mother Madeline and Desiree never had but a boyfriend who con OMG.

Then we have Ariel, a girl in who has the supportive mother Madeline and Desiree never had but a boyfriend who controls and manipulates like Madeline's and Desiree's never did. Uniting the girls' separate stories is a diner, a place for people having the highs and lows of their lives and trying to use the leftovers of life to make something palatable blue plate special. One of the things I took from this book is the universality of girls' experiences of pressure and consent about sex, as well as girls' deep need for a mother. Anything beyond this description would be a spoiler. Really a must-read!

Apr 06, Colin Altevogt rated it really liked it. The triumvirate of narrators was interesting, although I wasn't a big fan of Desiree's form of delivery. Here is a slow build to the ties between the three which felt appropriate. It's a good book overall, and the reader can feel attached to the characters. Jul 26, Lauren Coyle rated it it was amazing. I read the entire book in one sitting.

I enjoyed all of the characters and I loved how there was never a point where I wanted to read forward- I soaked up every word and I absolutely recommend it! Nov 23, Vicki Moreno rated it really liked it. Enjoyed this book! Dysfunctional families and insight into how they got that way. Strength and love shown through personal struggles. Oct 14, Justyna rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. It's a pity that not many people know about this book. Mar 12, Emma Miss Print rated it it was ok Shelves: vine. Elmira, New York: All Madeline wants to do is forget her life.

She'd give anything to be like the popular cheerleaders at her high school. But she isn't. She's fat and homely. Her mother is a drunk. Music is the only thing that keeps her sane and food is the only thing that helps her forget how how empty she feels and how starved she is for just a little bit of affection. Living on Welfare, Madeline tries to keep her head down, hide her savings and look toward graduating and getting the he Living on Welfare, Madeline tries to keep her head down, hide her savings and look toward graduating and getting the hell away from her mother.

At least until a counter boy at McDonald's looks at her, really looks at her, the way no one, not even her own mother, ever has. Johnson City, New York: Desiree doesn't really have plans for her future. She'll probably graduate high school and then maybe she'll move in with her boyfriend Jeremy.

They can live next door to Carol Ann and Eric and everything will be chill. Beyond that the future is hazy. Except for one thing: Desiree knows she'll be the best mom ever. She won't be an asshole like her own mother. She won't have a boyfriend like her mom's who keeps leering at her and trying to get her alone. Des won't let anything happen to her little girl. Not like what happened to her. Poughkeepsie, New York: Ariel is pretty ordinary.

Good grades, lots of AP classes and getting ready for the college crunch in her senior year. Sure her dad is in prison for murder and her mom works really hard. But those aren't things she talks about. Still, none of that matters because Shane didn't notice any of the other, prettier, girls at school. He noticed her. And yes it's a lot of work remembering to wear clothes he'll like and make time for him and keep him happy.

But he's worth it, isn't he? At least, Ariel thinks he is. When her mother announces a sudden trip to see the sick grandmother Ariel has never met things suddenly start to seem a lot different not just with Shane but with her whole family in Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Each heroine has her own unique voice and the characters all really stand out as individual people.

Madeline and Ariel have their own distinct style of narration while Desiree's sections are written in verse. All of the girls' stories are compelling and poignant. The entire book is very well-written and Kwasney is clearly a very talented writer with a bright future. That said, Blue Plate Special was a very hard book to read. It was extremely depressing partly because these are characters with hard, painful lives but also because a lot of their tragedies cannot be undone and, by the time the story is being told, redemption might be too far off to grab.

The air of desperation that hangs around all of the characters was also a little hard to take. Parts of the story felt heavy handed, especially in Ariel's sections, but the whole book was hard to take because it was so sad which may have played a part there as well. Blue Plate Special is a good, literary book. It's well-written and has a strong plot with context, subtext, emotion and a lot of substance.

It's the kind of young adult book one might easily recommend to a person who looks down their nose at young adult literature for being somehow less than when compared to "adult" literature. Apr 07, Della rated it liked it Shelves: kindred-connections-bookclub-book. Kwasney I'm still trying to decide exactly how I feel about this book. If I took anything away from this novel, it would be an appreciation of family. The girls in this book all have horrific experiences that no one should have to go through.

Blue Plate Specials

My emotions ran the gamut while reading this one. I went from shock to pure outrage with lots of other emotions thrown in as well. I couldn't help but think of my daughter and mother while I was reading blue plate special. The main characters of blue plate special are three girls, Madeline, Desiree, and Ariel, who live in different decades. Kwasney does a good job of creating the imagery associated with each girl, where each girl lives and what it's like to be each girl living in a specific time. The writing styles that Ms.

Kwasney used made it very easy to keep track of who was who; each girl had a very distinct voice that was not easily confused with the others. Some may say that Ms. Kwasney tried to include too much in her book but I don't think so. She did a very good job of tying everything together. I was really surprised when I found out that the girls were all connected. However, by the end I came to understand the reasons behind what happened, and like one of the main characters, began to forgive one of the other characters.

I'm going to give this book 3 stars, because in the beginning it was so depressing, I'm not sure I would have finished it if it wasn't a book club book, however as far as writing and imagery goes I give it a 5. Aug 18, Melissa rated it really liked it Shelves: with-reviews , read-in , teen-realistic-fiction. Three girls, three generations, three stories of life, loss, and finding your way in a complicated world.

Madeline takes care of herself, her mother, and the house.

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Overweight and underappreciated, everything changes for Madeline when she meets Tad. Three stories, three threads, weaving together a tale of mothers and daughters. This was another novel that I managed to finish in one day. This one perhaps needed a little time to sit. When I first read the book I was ready to give it three stars. It seemed perhaps a bit too melodramatic, but after I had taken a little time to process the novel, I began to realize that I did enjoy it. The stories of the three girls show all three teens attempting to get through the toughest years of being a teenager.

Dealing with boys, self image, and families is never easy and each day is a struggle for these three girls. The characterization in this novel is superb. While some characters come off a little flat, the main characters shine. The pacing in the novel is perfect. Although you may begin to unravel the threads of this novel long before you get to the end, you will want to stick with it to the end.

There is something to keep you reading in every chapter making this a quick and easy read. Overall, an interesting story of teens growing up and discovering what they need for themselves. Keep in mind some mature themes are explored in this novel, and that it might not be for everyone. Cautions for sensitive readers: Sex, Violence, and Language are all present in this novel. Definitely for the mature reader. Oct 15, Steph Bowe rated it it was amazing. This novel is told from the perspectives of three very different teenage girls - Madeline in the s, Desiree in the s, and Ariel in the s.

I found that each of their perspectives were brilliantly written, and each of their stories moving. I especially loved the sparse verse that is used in telling Desiree's story, and all of the music references used to ground the reader in the era of each of the girl's stories. Though it may seem as if chapters jumping between three different girls a This novel is told from the perspectives of three very different teenage girls - Madeline in the s, Desiree in the s, and Ariel in the s.

Though it may seem as if chapters jumping between three different girls and three different decades would confuse the reader, I thought the tricky narrative was pulled off brilliantly. I think in parts things were spelt out a little too much - at one point, there is a big reveal, and I wished it had have come out a little earlier in the novel, allowing the reader to make the mental leap on their own. However, the power of the novel is not affected by this fact, and I believe that - because of the multiple viewpoints from different decades - this is a novel that will have cross-generational appeal.

I will also say that I wished we could have learnt more about Ariel, and who she is, rather than her entire story centering around her boyfriend. I also found the technological references to centre her story in the modern day were slightly unnecessary. Overall, though, I found each of the girls to be really interesting, multi-layered characters, and I think though they made bad decisions, they were born into a lot of the bad circumstances they found themselves in, and they were each very likeable.

blue-plate special

I also loved the recurring references to the Blue Plate Special, and it's importance to Tad and Madeline. I got this book in hardcover, and it really reminded how much I love hardcover books. This novel would certainly make a great gift. A really powerful novel, that emotionally involves the reader and brilliantly pulls off multiple viewpoints. Dec 22, Christian rated it really liked it Shelves: ir-reading-books. Kwasney, is and excellent story about three girls. Madeline, Desiree, and Ariel are all living hard lives they have had to grow up faster then other girls their ages.

Madeline has issues with her weight and her alcoholic mother, she lives a life where the mother and daughter roles are reversed. Desiree has a neglectful mother, but also has the unwanted attention from her mothers boyfriend who is a little to nice to her.

As the story unfolds you find out that all of these girls are all related in though three generations. The message I think this book is trying to say is that you have to make the best of the situation your in and that talking about the past can keep the past from repeating itself.

I think this story can relate to life because there are a lot of people, especially girls that deal with the things that happened to the girls in this book. Many people struggle with connecting with their families enough to share problems like have low self-esteem levels or tying to tell your parents that your pregnant or have been raped. This book had all of these problems in it and I think anyone who went though anything like the girls in this book did they would identify the strong connection between themselves and the book. I know I connected with Madeline because she has a very low self-esteem in the book about her physical appearance but not academics and I feel the same way sometimes.

I would recommend this book to girls mostly, but really anybody who like teen improvement books or books about life difficulties. I gave this book a four of five because I thought this book was beautifully written and I loved the plot of the story but also how every chapter the book changed perspectives. May 27, Christian Montalvo rated it really liked it Shelves: ir-reading-books.

This book was downright amazing. I wasn't exactly drawn to this based on the cover or the title, but the reviews I was reading made it sound good, so I decided to read it and see what all the fuss was about. The book is centered around 3 girls, each struggling in their own ways. We read a chapter about Madeline, then one about Desiree, and then one about Ariel.

Always in that order, each chapter is relatively short, and usually leaves a bit of a cliffhanger at the end. Because of the many questio This book was downright amazing. Because of the many questions unanswered I found myself unable to put the book down! Kwansney reveals information at a perfect pace. She never gives too much away, yet never holds too much back.

I admire that in an author, because its easy to just dump all the answers on a reader at the end and call it a wrap. It takes an artistic writer to unfold a mystery with such finesse. I love how relatable the characters are. Though their circumstances are all different, they each have deep insecurities that any girl could relate to on some level. Be it a weight problem, or a pressuring and smothering boyfriend, or an abusive relationship, each of these girls has the task of looking within themselves and finding their way out from under the burdens of their mothers past.


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Blue Plate Special is insightfully written. The reader gets an intimate look into the motivations of the characters, leading to a deep understanding of the events that take place throughout the book. The stories are tragic at times, yet the characters persevere and atone for their pasts as they gain a deeper understanding of how their unique circumstances came to be. Masterfully written, this book is going on my "favorites" shelf, and this Michelle D. Kwansney is going on my "authors to watch" list.

Dec 30, Lisa Gibson rated it really liked it. This wound up being my final book of the year. This little gem was number I saw this on a list for teens, made by teens, for my library I try to keep up with what they're talking about. I enjoyed this book a great deal. One of the girls sections was even written in free verse. You know that's been my thing lately. Anyway, for all of their differences, these girls had undercurrents of similarities. You know we're all more alike than we realize.

They were all very different people though. T This wound up being my final book of the year. The times were different and I thought that part was really cool too. I had my favorites of the girls, but loved their stories individually and the meshing of them as well. I kept thinking, now I know these girls have to be linked in some way. It took awhile, but did start becoming clear.

About Blue Plate Special

However, there was one final link between all of them that I never saw coming. It was like lightning out of a clear blue sky. Where did that come from?! It was awesome! Hats off to Ms. Kwasney for sneaking that one in there and blowing me away with it. I loved this book because it told you that while yes, we come into life with leftovers, it's all in how you use them.

It told girls that it's okay to value who you are and NOT allow yourself to be abused or taken advantage of. It spoke to the strength of women, whether we know it or not. We, as women tend to sell ourselves short or let ourselves feel 'less than'. This book celebrates women in all of their flawed, broken, but still amazingly strong states. And the cover is very cool really. I'm giving it 5 kisses! Feb 22, Baylee Welch rated it it was amazing.

I decided to read this book since I couldn't find anything else. I just picked at random, but I'm very glad I read it. This is the story of a family, 3 generations, and it covers the 3 generations of girls in their teenage years. Madeline is an overweight high school student who often gets bullied, doesn't have any friends, and also has an alcoholic mother. Madeline later becomes the grandmother. Her daughter, Desiree is raped by her mothers boyfriend, and later, becomes pregnant. Since her moth I decided to read this book since I couldn't find anything else.

Since her mother often yells at her and abuses her, she runs away with her boyfriend Jeremy. They move from New York to Florida, get jobs, and raises her baby, who grows up to be the youngest generation in the book. Desiree's daughter Ariel is trying to figure out who she is. She tries to balance her life between her boyfriend, her best friend, and her mother. All three stories are told at once, switching between the stories like chapters. It goes from Madeline to Desiree to Ariel.

My favorite story was Madeline. I liked this story, because it has a positive feel to it. She goes from hating herself, to loving herself after she meets Tad. She is becoming happier throughout the book.

EmiSunshine, Blue Plate Special, December 26

I am very glad that I read this book, since it was very fun to read. I liked the suspense of waiting until it gets back to the story you just read. I would recommend this story to my friends since it teaches many lessons throughout the book, and it is just really fun to read. I read this book in less than a week, since I didn't want to stop reading it.

View 1 comment. Aug 14, Jessica rated it really liked it Shelves: 4-stars. This book wasn't even predictable, per say. The thing is that in the beginning, I had trouble figuring out how the three girls' stories correlated to one another. Each had different problems, different families, and even different decades. None of their individual plot points lined up. But their stories are connected, and they're connected in a way that you'd never believe if I told you. Plus, it's kind of hard to explain. Which is why I won't explain it - go pick up a copy of Blue Plate Special This book wasn't even predictable, per say.

Which is why I won't explain it - go pick up a copy of Blue Plate Special and read it for yourself! All in all, Blue Plate Special was a shockingly original book and a very gripping read. I was hooked from start to finish and will definitely be recommending this book to several other people. Kwasney created a wonderful novel filled with love, loss, heartbreak, drama, and perseverance - all woven together in a single thread that connects all three stories.

I really liked this book and definitely recommend picking it up if you're in a reading slump and need a for-sure way out! This is just a small piece of what I had to say about Blue Plate Special. Jun 28, Kim Baccellia rated it really liked it. Three generations of girls, all tied together into one novel. Madeline's the fat girl at school and has to deal with a drunk mother. No one pays any attention to her until that one day at McDonalds. Tad seems to like her regardless of her weight. Desiree's mother is always nagging on her about how slutty she looks.

Larry, her mother's boyfriend, seems to be the only one who 'gets' her until one day his interest goes too far. Ariel's father is in prison and her mother works all the time. Her boyfri Three generations of girls, all tied together into one novel. Her boyfriend Shane seems to be everything--hot, interesting, and making her feel special. Ariel's mother warns her about Shane. Then one day all their lives come together with some unexpected results.

I really enjoyed this story. I especially loved how effortlessly the author wove the different POVs throughout the story. All these teens not only are related but learn to deal with the harshness life throws their ways. Heart touching and revealing, this tale emotional punch will stay with the reader long after they finish reading the last page. This is the first YA book from Chronicle Books. I can't wait to read more. Jan 26, Rosa rated it really liked it Shelves: young-adult , chicklit , , realistic-fiction. This was an amazing read.

In the 's Madeline spends all of her time taking care of her alcoholic mother, making no life of her own until it is almost too late. In Desiree's mother ignores her, unless it's to criticize. When she is raped by her mother's boyfriend, everyone's life is forever changed.

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Ariel is being raised by her mother. Ariel's boyfriend Shane wants just a little bit too much from her. The chapters alternate in each young woman's voice and Desiree's story is written in a This was an amazing read. The chapters alternate in each young woman's voice and Desiree's story is written in a different format, although it is still prose. The book follows three seperate teenagers each about 15 years apart.

Over the course of their stories, you realize that the girls are related. The reader is able to see how the previous generation's experiences affect the future's, both for the negative and the positive. This story really focuses on realizing how chains of events are set into being. They also serve as a reminder that no one's life is easy and sometimes people just don't know how to handle what is thrown at them. Jan 24, Diane Ferbrache rated it really liked it Shelves: washyarg. Three girls in three time periods deal with life and love. When a boy shows interest, she loses weight and falls in love.

Desiree writes in poetry about her abusive stepfather, her overbearing mother, and the boy who loves her more than anything. Ariel has a father in prison, a mother who adores her, and a controlling boyfriend. The reader Three girls in three time periods deal with life and love. The reader suspects from the beginning that their stories are intertwined, and the author reveals the connections slowly and skillfully until the complete story is told. Each girl has a unique voice, the time periods are easily identified by pop cultural references, and the reader is inevitably drawn into the story.

I read this in only a few hours, frantically turning pages to see just how the girls were connected. A good read, sure to appeal to teen girls. The is strong language and mature themes, so Recommended for high school students. Three troubled young women. Three lives about to intersect in unimaginable ways. Readers also enjoyed. Young Adult. Realistic Fiction.

About Michelle D. Books by Michelle D.