The three books I'll be reviewing this week -- click on covers to get to Goodreads.
Today, I'm reviewing:
by Natasha Friend
To be published by Viking Juvenile
on June 28, 2012
Source: bought from independent bookstore
My summary: Lexi has always been certain of one thing: she's beautiful. Then one night at a party, Lexi is betrayed by two people she thought she could trust. Desperate to escape, she impulsively jumps in a car with the brother of a friend. The next thing she knows, she wakes up in the hospital, where people are looking at her with pity, not admiration. Her face went through the windshield of the car and will never look the same. After losing the one thing that made her special, can Lexi pick up the pieces and find a new version of herself?
My take: This book made an interesting counterpoint to One Moment, the book I featured yesterday. There's no mystery about what Lexi remembers: she knows exactly what she saw and what it means. After her accident, Lexi has to process two great shocks: the betrayal she endured and the drastic change in her appearance.
While One Moment focuses almost completely on the mystery behind the main character's accident, My Life in Black and White is all about Lexi's recovery. In the book, she progresses through all the stages of grief: shock, pain, anger, bargaining and, finally acceptance. At first, she's angry and bitter that she's forever lost her old self. She doesn't recognize the person she sees in the mirror, but if she's going to be ugly, then she's determined to be as ugly as she can be. At first, she pushes her friends away and becomes an angry loner. But eventually, she begins to discover the strong person who was always there beneath the blond hair and perfect face.
I absolutely loved the characters in My Life in Black and White. Lexi, or course, and Theo, the amateur photographer who encourages Lexi to look at herself in a whole different way. But the secondary characters were also fantastic. Unlike some characters in YA, Lexi has a supportive family. Her blunt, fearless sister Ruth, who always had to be compared to her beautiful sister, was a standout.
I thoroughly enjoyed being part of Lexi's journey-- it was heartbreaking, funny, and inspiring. If you love contemporary YA, definitely put this book on your list.
Yesterday's review of One Moment by Kristina McBride was part one of this Before and After series. If you missed that, you can click this highlighted text to read it.