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Bittersweet Sixteen

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  681 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Balloons and streamers? Carvel cake? Those might be standard fair for your average birthday party, but Whitney Blake and Sophie Mitchum are anything but average.

I'm Laura Finnegan – thrift store junkie and scholarship student at Tate, our posh all–girls high school in Manhattan. I'm not like Whit or Soph, but that doesn't stop us from being BFFs. But then they started tuni
...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by HarperTeen (first published June 27th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

Fifteen-year old Laura Finnegan can't quite decide if she's blessed or cursed to be able to attend Tate Academy, the top private all-girls school in New York. Since her parents are both professors at NYU, they definitely can't afford the twenty-thousand dollar a year tuition, so she's there on a scholarship. Laura definitely appreciates the opportunity, but there are times that the over-the-top behavior of her fellow students drives her crazy. Laura's passion i
...more
Juliet Small
Oct 31, 2016 Juliet Small rated it it was amazing
Bittersweet Sixteen Book Review

Throughout Bittersweet Sixteen, by Carrie Karasyov, there were many aspects about the book that I really enjoyed. I think that the book was really funny and enjoyable. It was enjoyable to read because there were so many different emotions that were going on throughout the book. Some emotions included sadness, happiness, hilariousness, seriousness, and angriness. All of these emotions were spread throughout the book, causing me to enjoy reading it because I could fe
...more
Nian
Dec 24, 2007 Nian rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: only if you're extremely, over-the-top bored
Shelves: 2007
There are a lot of things about books that just really bug me. The first is when you have characters that don’t undergo changes throughout the story. Second is when the plot is too scattered and/or boring. Third is when stories begin with: Hi! My name is INSERT NAME, AGE, and LOCATION. (If I wanted to read something like this, I might as well read someone’s profile or a name-sticker that’s start like that.) Fourth is when the character comes right out and tells you the message of the book and/or ...more
Maryam_a_140a513
Oct 22, 2013 Maryam_a_140a513 rated it liked it
Fashion, cliques, high school, and boys – your regular chick flick in hardback copy. If you have a real fascination with the drama centered around teenage girls, and not to mention, a real sucker for love in the big city, this is the book for you. However, if you’re just looking for an interesting and thought-provoking read, you might be disappointed. Being so well versed with chick flicks and high school drama, I found this book to be highly predictable and extremely stereotypical. Therefore, ...more
Anjum
Aug 31, 2013 Anjum rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood
I loved this book as a preteen, and read it on multiple occasions. When I went back to read it as a teenager, I still loved it just out of nostalgia, but it was also just kind of impossible to get through because of the voice. The constant usage of text-talk type stuff... I just can't handle it anymore. I guess it was okay, because this book was written at the peak of kind of usage. Now, though, I couldn't do it. For a 10-13 year old, though, this would be a great, typical girly book. So it gets ...more
Ella
Apr 22, 2015 Ella rated it really liked it
Shelves: rwr
In this exciting novel about the glamor of the upper east side, we follow a scholarship student trying to navigate the birthday extravaganzas. My favorite part was hearing about Laura, the main character, making new outfits on her sewing machine. The climax hit me hard and felt personal and relatable. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time and couldn't put it down. I wish there was a sequel!
Lauren (likes literature)
I couldn't bring myself to read every word of this drivel,but I did give it a thorough skimming. It was cliche and unrealistic. It wasn't even funny. The characters were dumb, entitled, and stagnant; the plot read like a rich clique girl's diary. Overall- there's not much to say about this- it was just boring tweenage chicklit.
Alexandra Cisneros
Oct 09, 2016 Alexandra Cisneros rated it really liked it
By: Alexandra Cisneros
Bittersweet Sixteen: Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman
Throughout reading this novel I found the book to be very interesting. Toward the beginning of "Bittersweet Sixteen" I thought that the book would be boring, considering the plot seemed very over dramatic and predictable. As I continued reading the book I began to find that the novel was very interesting and events were always occurring, drawing me in to read whenever possible. I thought that this book really depicted
...more
Vanessa.a
Dec 08, 2011 Vanessa.a rated it really liked it
What happens when you are the only middle class student at a private high school in Manhattan where everyone else is super wealthy? This is what happens to Laura Finnegan. She is used to shopping at thrift shops and making her own clothes while her friends Whit and Soph shop at all the expensive department stores in the city.

The internal conflict is the story is how Laura always has a complex about not dressing as nice, or not having extravagant things like all the other girls she goes to schoo
...more
GraceQ
Apr 27, 2008 GraceQ added it
Laura Finnegan is a teenage girl going to a Manhattan school. She is middle class and her school is full of very wealthy girls. She has her circle of friends and they love to hang out with each other. Her very best friend is Whitney Blake. Early on in the story, a new student arrives to the girls’ school. Because of her father, she knows a lot of celebrities and has no problem with dropping names in her classes. Laura and her friends welcome her with open arms. Whitney, however, has some trouble ...more
Danielle
Jun 15, 2015 Danielle rated it did not like it
This book had much potential. Unfortunately, the authors did not understand how to write a book in the viewpoint of a teenager, let alone a sophomore in high school. This book was geared toward a younger audience and had a very MIDDLE SCHOOL vibe! The characters talk in middle school lingo. One example of this middle school dialogue is on pg 119 when the character Whitney says, "I am weeding the friendship garden!". From personal experience of being a sophomore, I know that no teenager would say ...more
Kai Yi
Jun 10, 2009 Kai Yi added it
this book is about two friendship, laura and tate, sohpie, laura and tate. what is the problem with adding one more person to a friendship? a lot of things will go wrong because one will be ignored and 3 is a odd number. laura is one of those kind girls that doesn't really do anything, but when she is caught up between sophie and tate, she doesn't know which side she should stand on, her bffl or the new girl that seems so nice. when tate and sophie is planning their sweet sixteen, but everything ...more
Lena
Jun 19, 2014 Lena rated it really liked it
Laura is your typical scholarship student in the midst of a wealthy, influential student body. Her two best friends, Sophie and Whitney, have everything they want. Money, a mansion, clothes, boys. You name it, they have it. And even though Laura convinces herself that she doesn't need any of that, when her two best friends start excluding her for each other, she starts to doubt what she thought she would always believe. Throw in a competition for the best Sweet Sixteen, a four-way love square, ...more
Cat
Aug 05, 2008 Cat rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: I'm not sure I would..
Recommended to Cat by: Grandma..
Bittersweet Sixteen..

The plot was cool.. real. It could totally happen.

Best friends + new girl + cute male friend = baad..
Then you add the rich girl/sweet sixteen thing..

But what bugged me was that it was extremely straightforward.. As a reader, I like to try and figure out what things mean.. "I changed over the past two months.." Ew. What is that? If it was written differently, we would have been able to figure out what Laura had learned, how she was dynamic..

But I loved that it explored friend
...more
Carly
Sep 26, 2011 Carly rated it it was amazing
This was one of the first books that I actually really enjoyed. Also, it was the first full book that I actually finished. I am not a big reader, but this book made me enjoy it. Its about 3 wealthy girls who live in New York city. All their secrets, and scandals were unleashed in every chapter. They went to the best private school in New York city. The main plot of this book was about growing up. All these girls were going to turn 16 and they had to learn a lot about being mature and growing up.
Polly
Nov 21, 2011 Polly rated it really liked it
The book is about Laura Finnegan (If I remember correctly) and her really hard and confusing situations with her friends and fancied boys, and over the top Sweet Sixteen Bash. I really enjoyed this hell-of-a-kind book! Since I'm a teenager, I can totally relate with the situation that the novel has! The way the words are created/expressed and delivered was totally creative and sweet~ The lingo used totally gave life to the whole conversation, and the changes of events were totally surprising~
Jaime
Sep 28, 2013 Jaime rated it liked it
I thought that this book was a quick and easy read. I don't think I'll be catching my self rereading this book any time soon though. I liked the setting. New York in fall sounded just perfect. I wish I lived in Laura's apartment. I did not fine my self lusting about our leading man, but I could see a lot of girls melt just by his cute ideas of romance. This was neatly packaged in on book and I'm not expecting another. It was in three words sassy, fashionable, and romantic.
Melissa
Apr 01, 2009 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-chick-lit, teen
Great pick for fans of the Clique books. Girls at this exclusive Manhattan private school go all out to out-do each other for most expensive Sweet Sixteen party... except Laura. She's a scholarship student. And her two best friends have the same date for their Sweet Sixteen. A great story about a girl who is not afraid to stand up for herself. And a nice romance. I thought from the title that it would be appropriate for high schoolers but it's actually more appropriate for middle schoolers.
dearlittledeer
Feb 06, 2012 dearlittledeer rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I kept this book in my bag for a long time just in case my Kindle ran out of batteries. But when I eventually got around to reading it, I was pleasantly surprised! Sure, it's fluffy chick lit, but the book isn't entirely without soul. I really liked how the main character's parents were very involved and level-headed and also how she herself stayed above the sweet sixteen madness. Cute love interest, too!
Megan
Jun 16, 2008 Megan rated it it was ok
Back when I read this, I was attracted by the shiny pink and white cover. It turned out to be another story about snotty, rich, spoiled private school NYC girls, though the twist in this one is that the main character actually goes to the school on a scholarship and is sad to be the only one from her school not having some horrid MTV-type "sweet sixteen" party for her birthday. I know it's hard when everyone you go to school with is richer than you, but come on.
Toree Tedder
May 28, 2014 Toree Tedder rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I think it's so cool that two friends can write as book like this together. Also I enjoyed reading about the competition to one up eachother because even at non fancy rich schools with rich people things like that still happen. I enjoyed relating this book to real life situations as well.
Carrie
Jul 03, 2009 Carrie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a lot of drama in a good book
Recommended to Carrie by: another book.....lol
This book kept me on the edge of my seat. Two popular girls, Whitney and Laura, are just starting school. A new girl, Sophie, comes and she starts to become popular also. They become friends and then Whitney and Sophie find out their Sweet Sixteen birthday is on the same day, January 28th! The fight breaks out. What happens? You could ask me but I wouldn't tell you! :-)
Amethyst
Sep 28, 2010 Amethyst rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!! It was such a cute, fun, little romance and it kept bringing warm smiles to my face, well unless something bad was happening (mostly girl drama) then not so much...but still I loved it and I loved Josh!!! =P
Katie
Feb 16, 2010 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
This was a great book about how girls get jealousy of each other and think about their themselves and how they put other people in between and do tug-of-war with that person.

I really enjoyed. Strongly recommended for a fun read.
Alice
Jan 27, 2008 Alice rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: a middle school/high school girl
Recommended to Alice by: No one.... I kind of found it at Barnes and Noble......
This book ROCKS!!!!! It's about two girls having joint sweet sixteen parties, but then they have this huge explosion against each other over a guy named Jake. The main character (Laura) is kind of mixed into it all. I really recommend this book to any girl or even a boy [[maybe]]
Sheryl
Jan 04, 2009 Sheryl added it
I love "Tween" books and this only took me three hours to read. I related to a lot of the events and really enjoyed reading it from the perspective of someone who graduated from a similar High School right across town from where I graduated.
Cassidy
Aug 12, 2009 Cassidy rated it it was amazing
AWESOME book! one of the best I've ever read. I like these kind of books. And the ending was how I wanted it to be. So yay! And I'm reading lots of "Private-school-girl-from-new-york" books lately I like them!
Mary Eveleen
Mar 18, 2011 Mary Eveleen rated it liked it
Shelves: so-so-books
This book was very meh-ish for me. It felt like your average middle school girl cat- fight. I predicted what would happen. But you do develop a connection with the main character. If you like books that are basically civil war chick flicks then sure...you will like it!
ℑ.ℓ☺
Mar 11, 2010 ℑ.ℓ☺ rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like MAJOR drama
Recommended to ℑ.ℓ☺ by: Amazon.com
This was very good, my type of book. Although it is very rich-girl-ish, I still loved it. If you like drama, read this book!
Wisty
Sep 29, 2013 Wisty rated it it was amazing
So good! I've never really loved a main character,but I just loved Laura. She was so normal, and she never did anything annoying! I also loved Jake, and Laura's parents. Everyone else was horrible!
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Carrie Doyle Karasyov was born in New York City. Upon graduation from Barnard College, where she majored in Russian Language and Literature, Carrie worked in the features department of Harper's Bazaar. In 1995, Carrie moved to Moscow, Russia, to help launch the Russian edition of Harper's Bazaar. The following year, she became founding Editor-in-Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire. After ...more
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