MY LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE
By: Natasha Friend
Published By: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: June 21, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Reading Level: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon
Goodreads Summary: What if you lost the thing that made you who you are?
Lexi has always been stunning. Her butter-colored hair and perfect features have helped her attract friends, a boyfriend, and the attention of a modeling scout. But everything changes the night Lexi's face goes through a windshield. Now she's not sure what's worse: the scars she'll have to live with forever, or what she saw going on between her best friend and her boyfriend right before the accident. With the help of her trombone-playing, defiantly uncool older sister and a guy at school recovering from his own recent trauma, Lexi learns she's much more than just a pretty face.
The beginning of the summary poses a very interesting question - if you lost one thing that defined you, how would you define yourself? That premise coupled with the cover made this book one that I knew I'd have to read.
Lexi knows that she is beautiful - she has been told so all her life, even by strangers. Even her best friend Taylor approached her years ago because she was pretty. Her life seems to be fairly perfect. But in one night, that all disappears. Lexi sees the unthinkable happening between her best friend and her boyfriend. Desperate to escape the sight, she gets into a car with someone who's more interested in her than in watching the road...and before she knows it, her face has gone through a windshield. After being hospitalized and enduring several surgeries, she's faced with the task of putting her life back together. But how can she do that with no best friend, no boyfriend, and a less-than perfect face? Now that she can't rely solely on her beauty, who will Lexi be?
In Lexi's struggle to reinvent her life, this book explores a lot of relationships - those with family, those with friends, and romantic relationships. Throughout the book she spends more time than she expected with her mother and her sister, coming to know her sister especially in a way that she hadn't before. As for her friends, Lexi has to decide which is more important - her anger or her friendships. Finally, Lexi saw that sometimes love can be found in unlikely places. With all of these things, I have to say that I really liked the person Lexi grew to be. She definitely went through a process similar to the five stages of grief, but she made it through them. This book really shows how you can take control of your life and recover from setbacks if you're willing to work at it.
The one thing that I really would have liked to have seen more of is the relationship between Lexi and Theo; it felt a bit rushed and glossed over. However, I really enjoyed the time that we did see between them. I also liked the activity that Lexi picked up as she worked to rebuild her life - it's something not often seen, and that made her character stand out. Even after finishing this book, I've wondered if Lexi's life continued on the new path she set it on.
My Life in Black and White is a quick read but one with a lot packed into its pages. I look forward to reading more from Natasha Friend!