June 19, 2012

More than just a pretty face

By Natasha Friend
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Lexi and Taylor have been best friends since kindergarten, and even if Taylor is rich and has the best clothes and haircut, Lexi knows she has something even more desirable: a beautiful face.

During their fifteenth summer, Lexi’s life is changed forever when she goes through the windshield of a car driven by Taylor’s brother. Lexi’s shattered world and ruined features are bad enough, but even worse is her memory of what happened just before the accident, when Taylor betrayed their friendship and Lexi’s trust.

Lexi wishes she could break every mirror in the world. Without her best friend for support, she is lost. When high school starts in the fall, Lexi refuses to leave her room and can’t talk to her parents—especially her mother, who is disappointed that Lexi will never be a beauty queen.

Lexi gets no sympathy from her older sister, Ruthie, who has never been popular or pretty. Instead, Ruthie challenges her little sister: “If you hate your life so much, stop wallowing and change it. Change yourself. No one’s going to do it for you.”

Slowly, with help from Ruthie and a boy named Theo, who has also had to cope with a terrible loss, Lexi does just that. Instead of beauty pageants, she takes up a hobby she could never have imagined. At a time when popularity and self-worth are closely tied to appearances, Lexi is forced to see the world—and herself—with new eyes.

My Life in Black and White is a satisfying journey of discovery. And, thanks to Natasha Friend’s wonderful prose, it’s a journey that readers will be glad to take with her.

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