Undercover

Undercover Like a modern day Cyrano de Bergerac Elisa ghostwrites love notes for the boys in her school But when Elisa falls for Theo Moses things change fast Theo asks for verses to court the lovely Lila a gi

  • Title: Undercover
  • Author: Beth Kephart
  • ISBN: 9780061238932
  • Page: 151
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Like a modern day Cyrano de Bergerac, Elisa ghostwrites love notes for the boys in her school But when Elisa falls for Theo Moses, things change fast Theo asks for verses to court the lovely Lila a girl known for her beauty, her popularity, and a cutting ability to remind Elisa that she has none of these At home, Elisa s father, the one person she feels understands her,Like a modern day Cyrano de Bergerac, Elisa ghostwrites love notes for the boys in her school But when Elisa falls for Theo Moses, things change fast Theo asks for verses to court the lovely Lila a girl known for her beauty, her popularity, and a cutting ability to remind Elisa that she has none of these At home, Elisa s father, the one person she feels understands her, has left on an extended business trip As the days grow shorter, Elisa worries that the increasingly urgent letters she sends her father won t bring him home Like the undercover agent she feels she has become, Elisa retreats to a pond in the woods, where her talent for ice skating gives her the confidence to come out from under cover and take center stage But when Lila becomes jealous of Theo s friendship with Elisa, her revenge nearly destroys Elisa s ice skating dreams and her plan to reunite her family.National Book Award nominee Beth Kephart s first young adult novel is a stunning debut.

    One thought on “Undercover”

    1. There were some truly beautifully lyrical passages in this bookbut they were too few to actually make this book worth reading. Beautiful words and a beautiful writing style do not make a good book; it is necessary to also have a plot worth reading and characters that are well-developed.I got the sense that Kephart was trying to do too much with her bookying to tell an angsty tale of a shy teenage with an affinity for words, trying to tell the tale of a family on the verge of breaking apart, tryi [...]

    2. I was certain that this book wasn't going to work for me- it began with more than one cliché and I mentally rolled my eyes. I don't know when I started noticing Kephart's extraordinary facility with language, maybe by the second chapter. The words in this book are muscular, flexible and entirely beguiling. The main character is a nascent poet who is gradually coaxed into herself with the assistance of a phenomenal teacher and a pond.Read it for the glorious use of language, if nothing else.

    3. Ondanks dat ik het poezie gedeelte in het boek minder vond. Vond ik dit een leuk verhaal voor even tussendoor.

    4. UNDERCOVER is simply stunning. There are some books you read for the sake of the story, and there are some you read just to see the words fall perfectly together, to hear the way they sound in your mind. Beth Kephart’s words do not conjure up vivid scenes involving the characters and their predicaments; instead, they push the boundaries of language and remind us of the multidimensionality of words—that language is not simply a means to a message, but rather a form of art itself.Elisa’s way [...]

    5. The buzz about this book is lost on me. It’s one of those highly anticipated books—because it’s a National Book Award Nominee for the author—that turns out to be deeply dissatisfying and disappointing. I hate it when that happens. I’m not going to deal with a summary like I normally do, because I’ll admit, I did not finish the book. I stopped on page 139. I read the book flap’s summary, which makes the book sound more interesting than it is. That should be a sin. As far as I’m co [...]

    6. Oh, Beth Kephart, how I adore your writing. As usual, this book isn't fast paced or exciting. It's slow and reflective and beautiful. The words sparkle on the page. Even when they're not saying much, they're fun to read and come off as deep and insightful. I have to say, there's a little bit of envy.That being said, as far as the storyline went, there seemed to be a few holes. Like, why does Elisa ghost write love letters? Is she getting paid? Do people request them? And how big of a market woul [...]

    7. his book is absolutely lovely. The words contained within these pages are poetic and I guess they're meant to be right? Because Elisa has a way with words, in fact, she hides behind the words that she writes. Kephart hit a home run with her first foray into YA fiction. There is so much going on underneath the facade of Elisa. She lets her guard down when she's writing for others and when she writes for herself. The poetry in this book is wonderful. At times in my life I've been intimidated by po [...]

    8. Elisa is a girl who has spent most of her life in the shadows, quietly observing from the sidelines, content to think her own thoughts and write poetic thoughts in her head. As a hobby she writes love poems for some of the boys at school to give to the girl they like. Elisa's father seems to be constantly away on business trips, the one person that she feels she can talk to and to cope, she starts ice skating. Things get really slippery when Elisa starts to suspect that she has feelings for one [...]

    9. A sort of small, intimate story - not the kind of thing to pick up if you want plot and action, because it's more about the emotions pushing the characters than what they're actually doing as a result. Elisa, the narrator, is a poet, and the language of the story is very lovely in a way that will appeal to readers who live very much of an interior life. All of the things she does to push out her boundaries, like teaching herself to skate, letting herself feel the risk of affection - feel more ab [...]

    10. Con(s): In regards to the actual story line, reading this book was an experience somewhat similar to the one I had when I read Leap Day. I kind of felt like the story had no point really.Maybe its just me, but I feel like a story is not good unless it has a solid ending. The ending to this book wasn't a cliffhanger, but it was just as bad as one. Bu, I guess this was the author's idea of being realistic (because let's be honest: we all have our own definitions of realistic. The more cynical of t [...]

    11. Elisa has a way with words. Her metaphors and similes come in handy for the boys at her school who come to her for poems to pass on to the girls they pine for. She is a female Cyrano d' Bergerac of her school. She considers herself an "undercover operative", not quite on the radar of the boys or the girls, sometimes not even with her teachers but always there watching and seeing things they don't. UNDERCOVER tells the story of Elisa as she discovers that she is not as "undercover" as she thinks [...]

    12. Elisa writes poetry. She captures the metaphor, the moment, like a tiny butterfly in a box and hands them to her clients at school, so that they can let their feelings fly. Her clients are boys like Mr. Sue, a boy who once asked for a love note for a girl he was courting and is now known as Mr. Sue. She speaks for people who can’t find the words, bridges them through her words, and lets them rephrase what they feel in their own way. But what happens when she finds a boy she wants to give her o [...]

    13. What was the main conflict in this book? The description is better than the story itself.Was it about a girl falling for a guy?A guy falling for a girl?Ice-skating?Poetry?Honors English Class?Love letters written by a girl to give to a guy so he can give it to another girl?I really didn't enjoy the sloppiness of this book. Perhaps a younger audience would like some of the wording, but I could barely finish this, much less recommend it.

    14. I picked this up after reading another of Beth Kephart's books, and I enjoyed it to a certain extent. There was definitely something missing, though. You never really get to know the characters or see them fully flushed out in the writing. It was mostly the end that brought this from a 3 star to a 2 star: I was literally shocked it ended there, because it didn't seem like a finish at all - so ambiguous.

    15. I never completely got in to this for some reason. I found parts of the beginning to be somewhat pretentious, and not a whole lot happened. There was nothing to make up for the lack of things happening, at least for me. I know that other people have liked this better. My parents got it for me at a book fair, and the author signed it really nicely to me, so I wish I had liked it better!

    16. I loved that this was a book about words, and about noticing beauty where most people don't. But I didn't like the main character's love interest, and I'm not entirely happy with the ending; I just feel that there should have been a little something more. Beautifully written, but justcomplete somehow.

    17. I was kind of expecting a little bit more from this book. I thought that it was written pretty well, and it had the basics of a good story, but I felt it was rushed, and didn't go that much into the story as it could have. The ending was cut way too short, and it felt like the story wasn't finished. I liked it, but I feel it could have been better.

    18. 3.5 starsOnce again beautiful writing from Beth Kephart, but I felt the story was a little slow and lacking a climax. I also felt the story ended without any real conclusions. I will however read more from Ms. Kephart because I love her writing style so much.

    19. A girl who writes love poems for the boy she loves to pass off to the girl he loves and . . . you guessed it . . . her English class just 'happens' to be studying Cyrano de Bergerac. A bit too much of a coincidence for me to buy.

    20. I wanted to like this book. It had such promiseBut despite some lovely imagery and some poetic language, I just thought Ms. Kephart tried too hard to be important and beautiful. The language felt forced to me, as did some plot elements. OK, a lot of plot elements. Not my favorite

    21. The plot in this book built but it didn’t deliver in the end. The end felt rushed and I felt cheated when I finished it. It could have been so much better.

    22. I was touched by this book even though I didn't really identify with any of the characters. I liked its emphasis on words and writing, and it was a good book to read at this time of year, too.

    23. I enjoyed this book - but was very disappointed that it really didn't seem to have an end. It just stopped and nothing was ever finished, or explained. Everything was still up in the air!

    24. After I read that the author was a poet her writing style made more sense. This style was just flowerly for me and I almost DNF'd it. It was a quick read, so I stuck with it and finished it. This book will appeal to some, unfortunately I'm not one of them.

    25. "What I knew wasn't mine. That's the thing about being undercover: You know what you know, and you cannot act on it."Elisa Cantor is used to blending into the background. At home she is always in the shadow of her glamorous mother and sister, watching and wandering like her father. At school she is self-conscious and keen to stay invisible.After all, it's so much easier to observe things when no one is looking at you. In the woods Elisa is able to observe nature, like her father, as an undercove [...]

    26. If UNDERCOVER were a movie, I would say it's a slice of life story. You both start and end in the middle of things, but it's still satisfying. Intelligent Elisa may not be conventionally pretty, but she walks in a world of beauty. She appreciates the outdoors and uses the nature around her to inspire poetry. In turn she gives this poetry to male classmates to aid them in attracting the girls they like. The person who taught her to pay such attention to nature, her father, is away in San Francisc [...]

    27. Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadTooHaving recently read NOTHING BUT GHOSTS, I was anxious to crack open another Beth Kephart novel. UNDERCOVER was her first novel, and I'm surprised I missed it. According to the cover, Kephart was a"National Book Award Nominee" and a well-deserved one, I'd say.Elisa has always viewed herself as more of her father's daughter. Her sister, Jilly, and her mother share a passion for make-up and fashion. They are always dressed in perfectly ma [...]

    28. "Dad likes to say, about both of us, that we're undercover operatives who see the world better than the world sees us" (p. 8)Elisa is like her father. Not beautiful and popular and girly like her mother and sister, but an observer, plain, with the mind and eyes of a poet. She uses her gift to write poems for boys who ask her to help them woo the girls they admire - "A Cyrano conspiracy" (p. 71), as Elisa puts it at one point, after they've been introduced to Cyrano De Bergerac. She observes the [...]

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