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Hot Lunch

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  386 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Molly Ollinger can't stand perky Cassie Birchmeyer. When they are forced to collaborate on a school project, their bickering escalates into a food fight in the Sunshine Day School cafeteria. But because Sunshine Day isn't your average high school, the girls' punishment isn't detention it's to work in the cafeteria as lunch ladies. Ewww. They will have to cook up a way to g...more
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published August 16th 2007 by Dutton Juvenile
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 567)
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Hot lunch is about two girls that start out as arch-rivals for some unspoken reason, then bond through a hot lunch program. They are opposites in every aspect except for their hate for each other.

This book was kinda bad. You don't go from hating someone enough to write a hate-fic about them to being bffls. Even if you cook 1000 lunches together that doesn't happen in real life. Maybe it's just because all the good books I've read have sad endings *cough*No.6*cough* but I'm starting to dislike b...more
Elena A. D.
Mar 23, 2012 Elena A. D. rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like cliches and chick lit
Shelves: reviewed, chick-lit
A rivalry is usually fun, but I absolutely HATE when the characters stereotypically become best friends because they get to know each other and stuff. It was funny at first, but then it took a turn for the worse. The chick lit I read is because I like to make fun of stereotypical characters, but books like this are completely unrealistic, and definitely overdone.

If you like books that are cliche, read this. If not, avoid.
It has been awhile since I've read a book, as I've been busy with other stuff. Thus, I was hesitant to begin this one....after all, if I'm going to read, it had better be a good book and I'm wary of some teenage book called 'Hot Lunch' with a blue-hair-girl on the cover. Wary, but curious. My crusade begins.
I read it in my usual time....a few days. Wow, I'm still chuckling and giggling about some parts. I loved it! Sure, there is some 'teen language' of the world, but not enough to bother ME...s...more
Laura Smith
Almost everyone has eaten a cafeteria hot lunch. Almost everyone who’s eaten a hot lunch has regretted eating a hot lunch. I’ve graduated past the days of dining in the cafeteria; yet by some strange quirk in the universe have found myself on the other side of the line, dishing out food to my kids and their classmates at their school cafeteria. Even though I only perform this duty once or twice a month, I always have visions of hairnets and lumpy mashed potatoes the morning before I go. Thankful...more
Although I thought the main character was a sulky brat, the storyline was great. A pair of teenage girls are unable to work together on a school project and get in a food fight at school. The principal decides the punishment must fit the crime, and assign them to lunch duty in the kitchen. The girls don't take it seriously, and play pranks on each other that spoil the food prepared by the kitchen staff. Eventually, they upset the head cook so much that she decides to announce her retirement, and...more
This book starts with two girls bickering and pretty much making fools of themselves. Molly is a somewhat sullen teenager who makes it her mission in life to keep others as far away from her as possible. When she is paired up with a new girl on a school project she does her best to push the girl away until they each decide to do their own project. Since this was not the assignment they get poor grades and get into a big fight in the lunchroom. This leads to a punishment of serving lunches for tw...more
Noah Kraus
I thought it was pretty well written. The reason I didn't rate this book higher is because it was a little to elementary. It didn't have an adult plot for me. I really didn't like the ending. SPOILER (it was to much of a happy ending, and everyone ended how you expected. I really like the conflict resolution between Casey and Mollie, from hating each other to being best friends. The same with Clide, she went from hating him to really liking him).
Jul 08, 2009 Jane rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
Hot Lunch by Alex Bradley
Molly Olinger is a sophomore at Sunshine Day school, “a hippie-run high school”. She is a loner who goes out of her way to alienate her classmates. She is partnered with Cassie Birchmeyer for a writing project on survival. The two girls can’t agree on how they would help each other if they were “stuck on opposite sides an ice-cold river in the middle of a vast wilderness”. Molly decides to write the paper on her own. In her paper, Cassie is unfortunately eaten by a “huge...more
Aug 03, 2011 Dlora rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Rebekah, Julianne, and all my daughters
Well, if it left me smiling and feeling good it must be a five-star book, right? I really enjoyed this story about a rebellious teen named Molly who ends up on kitchen duty at her liberal private school with new-girl normal Cassie as a solution (not punishment) for a stupendous food fight they got into over an English assignment. I enjoyed the humor and the cooking in the kitchen as Molly and Cassie get into further trouble, causing the head cook to quit, so the girls now are running the kitchen...more
My New Favorite Teen Book (for Today)

Kind of like the school lunches that Molly and Cassie are forced to prepare together--as punishment for their explosive inability to get along (which leads to a huge food fight)--this book gets better and better as it goes along.

I've been meaning to read Hot Lunch for a while now, and I feared as I started in that I might not like it--and oh, how I wanted to like it. The main character, Molly, is a little hard to take at first; she's downright prickly, and st...more
Blue-haired Mollie Ollinger is a bad-tempered brat. She has no friends and does not try to make any. She wears her oversized headphones every moment she possibly can in order to shut everyone out. When a teacher assigns a teamwork assignment and pairs Mollie with blond, perky Cassie, Mollie refuses to work on the assignment or even to talk to her. Bad feelings escalate between the two and after they have a food fight in the cafeteria, their punishment is to work in the cafeteria helping to prepa...more
HS sophomore Molly is having a hard time—she and her former best friend are no longer speaking, and now nothing is right. Things get worse after she and Sunshine Day School classmate Cassie are thrown together to work on a lame group project (“You and Cassie are on opposite sides of a river…you have a knife, a can of beans, etc. to survive…”) and not only get a bad grade for not properly completing the project, but end up fighting--as in, food fight--in the cafeteria, culminating in the long-tim...more
Zara Brumana
While it was at times hard to believe that this book revolved around a couple of teens who were at minimum 16-years old (or older) due to its juvenile way of painting them to be, for what it's worth, this isn't a bad story. It's not great either, it simply is a quick and easy to digest little novel that works well for teens who perhaps are not as keen to do much reading.

Recommended age demo is 10 years and up. Clean, easy reading with no objectionable material.
Jen Bojkov
This was a funny, smart book about fitting in and making friends told through the venue of the school cafeteria. I loved the voice of the main character and was surprised to learn the author was a man. (I assumed Alex was short for Alexandra!) It got a little preachy at the end with all the "food facts" so some kids might tune out a little, but otherwise, I thought this was a winner.
This was a fast and dirty fun brain candy type of book. Two girls are assigned to work on a flash assignment together. They don’t so much get on, and end up doing the assignment on their own. The D’s they receive for the assignment don’t sit too well with one of them, and she tries to persuade the other to redo the assignment as per the teacher’s original instructions so they can get a good grade. This leads to a really nasty food-fight in the cafeteria of the hippie-like private school they att...more
hilarious novel about friends, food fights and love.

Blue haired sophomore Molly can’t stand most of her classmates at her hippie-run high school. When she’s forced to collaborate with Cassie (who’s too perky & normal) their bickering escalates into a food fight in the cafeteria. Because Sunshine Day isn’t your average high school the girls’ punishment isn’t detention - it’s working in the cafeteria as lunch ladies.

Through this experience Cassie & Molly slowly become friends and other am...more
Jul 27, 2011 Medina added it
The book was ok it had an agenda more than a plot. I will say that after reading it I am more upset than ever about or schools hot lunch program. It is terrible it is not healthy at all. I feel terrible for the children that have no choice but to eat it. I don't eat it ever. Luckily I have that choice. If I forget my lunch which happens more than I want to admit i can go without knowing that I will have food at home but they do't have a choice for some of them school food is the only food that t...more
Zach Edelman
This book is alright. It is basically about two girls that absolutely hate each other. Then they fight so much, that they are forced to be on kitchen duty! At first, all the students think that the food they cook stinks! But in the end they actually think its really good. This book is definitely hilarious, and a pretty easy read. It combines the idea of the troubles of being a high-school teen. With the troubles of hating someone. The book then makes the problems they have to face very funny. Th...more
Adam Hoffman
I thought that this book was a very accurate depiction of how two high-school girls go from enemies to the best of friends. It starts off with a school project where Molly and Casse are chosen as partners, but they don't exactly work as a team. The little arguments soon escalate into a full out food fight in the cafeteria. As punishment for this, the girls are sentenced to work as kitchen staff until they get a majority vote that their food was better than it was before they started working on a...more
There must be some kind of trend nowadays for novels to include recipes...

Anyway! I thought this book was interesting, unique, and revolutionary (in that it incites action about a relevant issue). How sad that most teens are reading total brain fluff with no actual intellectual rewards or socially redeeming value.

Some of the book was a tad predictable (perhaps because I'm 25 and have read too many young adult books?) but I came out feeling fulfilled.

As far as being motivating, I liken it to Jane...more
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Sara ♥
Although pretty far-fetched (it's called a food-handler's permit, people), this was a cute story about two girls who argue over a collaborative assignment for English class and end up getting into a food fight in the cafeteria, which causes most of the lunch ladies to quit.... And so for their punishment, Molly and Cassie are assigned lunchroom duty... as cooks. They don't know anything about cooking, and nearly starve the student population, but eventually they learn to cook and, more important...more
Molly doesn't like school or anybody in it. When she's assigned to do a project with too-blonde, too-tall Cassie, she refuses. It all leads to a food fight and the resignation of the Lunch Lady. Molly and Cassie must now make lunch for the entire school, every day. How long, and how many disasterous and disgusting lunches, will it take for Molly and Cassie to learn to get along?

This is kind of a goofy book, a little bit unbelievable in places, but so what? Molly is a believable character and th...more
A great story with some great characters populating a Minierva, MN private highschool. Cassie and Molly, after a disasterous team assignment, continue to needle one another until a food fight ensues. The principal's idea of punishment is for them to work off their time in the lunchroom. The girls continue to needle one another, resulting in the walkout of three of the kitchen staff. Molly and Cassie then become real lunch ladies, trying to choose menus the student body will eat. It's a fun story...more
Katie K
Feb 08, 2010 Katie K rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Overall, I liked this book. I liked the premise and Molly was a complicated girl whose character arch was interesting and believable. However, I did have some issues with the book. Sometimes, the whole "school lunch is bad" message felt very preachy and the recipes included seemed a little random and out of the blue. (Maybe there should have been more recipes?) There were also a lot of characters in this book and some (okay, many) seemed stereotypical and only around to move the plot forward. I...more
Ages 11+ (one 'shit')

If you like Meg Cabot et al. At Sunshine Day High School, things aren't always done the normal way. Take the lunchroom - after two couldn't-be-more-opposite girls provoke a food fight, the hippie principal sentences them to lunch duty until a majority of the student body judges their food to be better than their quit-in-a-fit predecessor's, Mrs. Zetz. Of course, the girls learn to get along in the end, but not without some sabotage, horrific meals (and fantastic desserts) o...more
Guitar Chick
This book was on clearance at Books-A-Million, with a blue haired girl with headphones on it. What was I supposed to do? What ensued was one of the most enjoyable books I've read.
Molly is a sarcastic, slightly mean sometimes, heroine who is forced to prepare hot lunch with a group of miscreants such as the school prep, a slacker twenty year old, and a budding pastry chef. The characters were great.
The story was clever and enjoyable. A good teen book, and the recipes were great (especially the...more
Ok this book equals amazing!!!!! LOVE it!!!!!! It is about these two girls who have to do a project together but dont get along. Then they have a fight in the lunch room. As there punishment they must work together in the luch room. They need to make lunch for the kids. They must get a certain amount of people to like there lunch (at first there terrible at cooking then they get better). They made the lunch lady quit to cause they where pulling pranks to get each other in trouble & it drove...more
Jack A
Molly is a loner who is mean to the people who love her. She alienates her friends and family by causing them to think she thinks she is better than them. This book annoyed me because it was extremely un-realistic to what would happen in these teen situations and it puts misconception on how teens behave into adults minds. That bothered me and so I rate this book one star because it was not well written and had several failed attempts at being humorous. I would not recommend this book.
Molly is a loner and she likes it that way. She goes out of her way to alienate her classmates, but it ends up getting her in trouble with the new girl, Cassie. Their food fights and arguements lead to the lunch lady quitting, and they must now provide lunch for the school. Their "punishment" will last until their lunches are better than the former lunchlady's. A funny, light-hearted read. They learn to compromise and get along and that sometimes simpler is better.
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