A Song for Bijou

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A Song for Bijou
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
February 12, 2013
ISBN
978-0802733948
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Life for Alex Schrader has never involved girls. He goes to an all-boys prep school and spends most of his time goofing around with his friends. But all that changes the first time he meets Bijou Doucet, a Haitian girl recently relocated to Brooklyn after the earthquake-and he is determined to win her heart. For Bijou, change is the only constant, and she's surprised every day by how different life is in America, especially when a boy asks her out. Alex quickly learns that there are rules when it comes to girls-both in Haitian culture and with his own friends. And Bijou soon learns that she doesn't have to let go of her roots to find joy in her new life.

Told in alternating viewpoints against the vibrant backdrop of Haitian-American culture, Alex and Bijou take their first tender steps toward love in this heartwarming story.

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4.0  (1)
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Overall rating 
 
4.0
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4.0
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Multicultural and Romantic

Alex goes to an all boys' school in New York City, so he is intrigued by girls and yet utterly clueless about them. When he sees a new girl who is attending the neighborhood sister school, he is inexplicably smitten with Bijou Doucet and uses his network of friends to find out about her. Bijou has moved to NY from Haiti to live with an aunt, uncle, and older brother. She finds the girls and the school confusing enough-- she doesn't really want anything at all to do with Alex, especially since her uncle is very strict about such interactions. Alex, however, is fairly intense in his pursuit of her-- he talks to her friends, hangs out in her neighborhood, even befriends her brother and starts playing Haitian drums in an effort to connect with the object of his affection. He's not gross and insulting like some of the boys in his school-- he's truly smitten and just wants to be with Bijou. For her part, Bijou finds Alex truly likeable, even if the situation is difficult for her. Also adding to her problems adjusting to American culture is Bijou's past experiences in Haiti, which are not fully explained until the end. Any romance is difficult, and Alex and Bijou are trying to figure out romance while they are still trying to figure out themselves.

Good Points
This is a romance book FOR BOYS!! While chapters are told from both Bijou and Alex's viewpoints, the story really does center on Alex. Hooray! How many books like this are there out there? The description of Haitian culture in New York was really interesting, and I liked how Bijou's background does have an impact on her relationship with Alex but is not the entire focus of the book. I also appreciated that she was from a fairly well-to-do family in Haiti, and how a few characters from the Dominican Republic are also included.Very well balanced.
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