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The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  129 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
An adorable, completely original YA voice.

Lotus Lowenstein's life is merde. She dreams of moving to Paris and becoming an existentialist. Yet here she is trapped in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with a New-Agey mom, an out-of-work dad, and a chess champion brother who dreams of being a rock star. Merci à Dieu for Lotus’s best friend, Joni, who loves French culture enough to cofoun
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Dec 06, 2009 Alea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-review
The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein was a fabulous, delicious and hilarious book! It's really hard to pick a favorite part of it. The entire book is written as Lotus's diary and her observations about her friends and family. Lotus lives in Brooklyn, is obsessed with all things French, and has a fantastic sense of humor. She's someone I would want to hang out with.

I love how she wanted to immerse herself in French culture and existentialism. She's really into fashion and just getting out there an
Feb 20, 2010 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Lotus is the most obnoxious character I was forced to spend time with since Chloe (Chloe Leiberman, Sometimes Wong). It's interesting that both authors have a similar flaw in their work: Chloe was writing an application for design school, and the book was her application, but it continued, in precisely the same style and fashion, after she mailed off the application, as if the author forgot her premise. Similarly, Lotus starts off writing a diary for her sophomore English class (they are reading ...more
Feb 23, 2011 kb rated it liked it
Sad to say, the book didn't live up to all my eggzitement. Sure, Lotus reads like a younger Bridget Jones or a little older Georgia Nicolson (who is a favorite YA character of mine), which is vair attaching for me but it was the plot that fell short. The author might have thought that it would be too ambitious to take her character Lotus, who is French-obsessed in food, fashion, culture, and mind, further than having the almost-generic weird but lovable family (think Alice MacLeod's), a best fri ...more
Sarah BT
Dec 30, 2009 Sarah BT rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this book, because I have a pet peeve with books that contain a lot of forgein language that I can't translate. But I had lots of fun reading this one. And author Libby Schmais does a great job mixing in French and I never felt like it was distracting and I still understood it!

Lotus is a fun character and there were several times I was laughing over her thoughts and sayings. She's very quirky, funny, and has an awesome fashion sense, which I 'd love to steal. I re
Cassie (Happy Book Lovers)
This book was written in the form of diary entries, like a "pillow book" or the thing that she was reading in the book. It's not my favorite form for books to be written in, but it worked for this book, and it would have been weird if it weren't written in diary form.

In general, the book was pretty decent. The plot itself was interesting enough, and it moved quickly and didn't bore me. But the downside? I HATED Lotus. I mean, with a fiery passion hatred. She was dead set on moving to Paris (with
Mar 13, 2010 Lydia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This pillow book is fantastic in its character portrayals and flamboyant in its mediocrity.
Lotus spends the majority of her journal contemplating the meaninglessness of life. She gets into trouble with her only friend and her family couldn't care less. She tries to lose weight by eating only French croissants and cheeses. She finds America petty for not allowing minors to drink alcohol as they are in France. Get the picture? Libby Schmais's first young adult novel is hilarious in its brutally h
Jun 11, 2014 Hilary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was quite good. I can honestly say that I really, really enjoyed Lotus as a narrator. I thought she was extremely relatable for the typical American teen, and especially to me, as I went through high school with an extreme love of anything French and with an extreme love of food. A funny thing about this book - it often discusses "French Women Don't Get Fat," a book that I read just last month! I was able to laugh as Lotus failed with the yogurt recipe that I was so skeptical of. I def ...more
Jake Rideout
Jul 13, 2009 Jake Rideout rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lotus Lowenstein's dream life involves Paris, an adoring existentialist Frenchman, a slightly less full-figured silhouette, and more Paris. Her real life involves Brooklyn, crazy parents, liking the same boy as her best friend, and failing French. To meet her goals, Lotus must get creative. This is the diary of a year in Lotus's life, and a funnier year was never had by anyone. Lotus is such a vibrant character: headstrong, opinionated, sometimes a little bit misguided, you'll find yourself wish ...more
♥Jessica, ♥Lady of the Library♥
The reason this wasn't put on my romance shelf was because Sean was an asshole, and I don't really think this was a romantic book at all. (Thank God the ending was what it was. Jesus.)

3 STARS: Pretty cute, had some good messages, but wasn't my absolute favorite. A bit hard to get into.

Lotus was a little annoying at first. Minus one star.
The story was going nowhere at first, just constant rambling on Lotus's love for France. Minus one star.

But, I'll compile all the things I liked about this b
Although I found Francophile Lotus annoyingly pretentious at the start of this diary-style novel, she grew on me over time. The plot (two girls fall for the same boy) is fairly standard, and the incessant references to brand names and celebrities (e.g., Starbucks, Aeropostale, Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson) will shorten the book's shelf life. But Schmais adds some zest with the unique settngs (Park Slope, Montreal) and Lotus' humorous responses to her English homework assignments. The family dynam ...more
{3.5 stars}

Review will be up on my blog within the next week.
Jan 11, 2010 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
What a great read- perfectly charming and breezy! The main character is over-the-top yet very relatable- she'd be fun to hang out with.
Nov 20, 2009 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tres bon new book!
Sep 15, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Francophiles, teenage girls looking for something different to read
It was pretty much set in stone that I would enjoy this book, seeing as how I'm a lover of (almost) all things French. I'm happy to say it did not dissapoint. Any Francophile will love this book for all the little French factoids alone. I love that it was written in diary format and that all the days of the week were written in French. I also love that the word "merde" was used several times. LOL, or as the French would say MDR. ;) I enjoyed the story, but thought it fell a little flat. For me, ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Liviania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE PILLOW BOOK OF LOTUS LOWENSTEIN is exactly what it says: the diary of young francophile. Though the book is short there's a lot going on. Lotus starts a club, falls in love, fights with her best friend, gets a job, raises the money to go to Montreal, and sides with her brother against her parents. (I love the scene where she keeps calling paradiddles something ridiculous. And for those who are curious, a paradiddle is a four stroke pattern, alternating then doubling, ie RLRR LRLL RLRR LRLL. ...more
Steph Su
Chatty, cute, and touching, Libby Schmais’ YA debut, THE PILLOW BOOK OF LOTUS LOWENSTEIN, will satisfy fans of Helen Fielding’s BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY and Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicholson series.

Lotus is a relatable protagonist whose obsession with French culture brings a flair of uniqueness to novels-in-diary-format. Lotus may be occasionally shallow, dumb, and obsessed, which will turn her off to readers who don’t enjoy those kinds of characters, but she is loyal to her friends and family thr
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Angela S. for

Lotus Lowenstein is enamored with all things French. She has been begging her parents to let her go to Paris during the summer, but her parents tell her they can't afford it. So, what's a girl to do? Start a French club, of course!

Lotus decides to start a club at school to discuss all things French. At first, its only members are Lotus and her BFF, Joni. But then the cute new boy in school, Sean, decides to join, because he loves all things French, too.

May 31, 2011 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was so hard to make myself finish this; I'm not sure why I persisted. Good premise, weird execution. Lotus is really immature and read more twelve than sixteen (writing emails to her favorite author and expecting immediate responses?); I wouldn't have a problem with that, because I've known some very young high schoolers and they need books too, but it made the parts where things get sexual kind of uncomfortable. So many improbabilities with the plot. Vague inappropriateness with her teacher ...more
Liz Pollinger
Lotus is a young girl obsessed with everything French. This story is told mostly in diary form and starts off a bit slow, but picks up about halfway through. The reader follows Lotus through a year of her life as she grows emotionally and begins to understand what life is really about. There is love, love lost, and we can understand what Lotus must go through in order to become more mature.
Expira Satoshi
Oct 11, 2015 Expira Satoshi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of the most annoying books.
Imagine a Weeaboo... now make her obsessed with France as opposed to Japan.
That's this book.
0/10 would recommend.
I actually burned this book in my backyard.
I liked this book even more than I thought I would! The improbably-named Lotus Lowenstein is a teenager who is obsessed with all things French. It is told in the form of her diary, as she deals with her chess-playing brother, play-writing father, stress-inducing mother, fashion-challenged best friend and commitment-phobic boy. I love how the prose is peppered with French words and phrases, though I don't understand how Lotus is not doing well in French class, when she loves French so much! Maybe ...more
Mar 03, 2016 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Très cute! I fell in love the quirky character Lotus. I wasn't sure about the book, since I'm not particularly a fan of French culture, but it sucked me in. And the French throughout the book wasn't intimidating at all, rather I had already picked up on a few phrases by the time I was done. I found the plot to be predictable; it was really the characters that made the story. The ending left me satisfied, albeit hungrier than when I began. An enchanting, fluffy read.
(I received this book through
Dawn Rogers Kroll
Mar 31, 2015 Dawn Rogers Kroll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Feb 07, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-ya
Funny throughout, with an original voice. Lotus is determined to live a stylish French life, despite being trapped in her Park Slope neighborhood. French club, a boy, a friend who likes the same boy, a dad working in theater, obsessions with Simone and Sartre, New York, a trip to Montreal. What's not to like? A good fit for fans of Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson series.
Jul 17, 2012 Skye rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
at first I was annoyed by this bratty kid. Then as things got down she became more real.

favourite quotes:
"But I didn't feel happy. I just felt nothing".

In the end... I have mixed feelings about this book. Maybe the buoyant shining start was just to contrast the more depressing, bland part. Not too sure. Well. Was nice reading french phrases though I can see it would be very annoying for people who don't know basic french.
Liza Gilbert
I know the main character was interested in France, but there are only so many cliche French phrases a person can read, over and over and over again, without wanting to carve out her brain with a stale baguette. I also felt that the characters were shallow and lacking any definition. I stopped after 50+ pages.
Danie P.
Dec 28, 2009 Danie P. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: y-a
Eh, this was okay about a girl obsessed with french culture, crushing on the same guy as her friend, trying to make over her teacher and then convincing said teacher to take her and her so called french club (herself and the boy and her friend). The girls become friends again in the end. Big surprise.
Kara Ripley
May 25, 2011 Kara Ripley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Lotus' voice. She was amusing and her ideas and dreams of grandeur reminded me of myself. I always wanted to be different and interesting. She is a hipster without some of the irritation that comes along with the hipsters.

It was a fantastic light read. Funny and satisfying.
I found the first few pages tedious so I did not keep going. However, I am in a very picky reading mood right now so it might have been the right book for me at this moment so I do not feel comfortable rating it.
Oct 13, 2011 Karina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute fluff about a naive francophile who comes to term with the fact that she doesn't need some dude to be happy, she just needs her best friend and her favorite book, French Women Don't Get Fat.
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