My Life in Black and White

My Life in Black and White

4.2 40
by Natasha Friend
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lexi has always been known for her good looks. After finding her boyfriend, Ryan, cheating on her with her best friend at a party, Lexi gets into a car accident and requires reconstructive facial surgery. Devastated by the skin graft and scars, she hides out at home, refusing contact with her former friends and resenting her overbearing, image-conscious mother. When Lexi’s 10th-grade year begins, she takes the advice of her down-to-earth sister, Ruthie, and tries out a new persona, getting a funky haircut, wearing Ruthie’s unflattering clothes, and adopting new rules for life that include not worrying about appearances and food, forgetting guys, boycotting school functions, becoming more “globally aware,” and thinking for herself. Lexi’s journey is rewarding and powerful as she comes to see herself, her family, and her friends in ways she never did before. Friend’s (For Keeps) character-driven novel is an affecting and insightful portrait of recovery and the experiences that shape an individual. Lexi’s intimate narrative voice puts readers in her shoes as she reshapes her life and her relationships. Ages 12–up. (June)
Seventeen.com
"My Life in Black and White is a realistic fiction that really has you wondering 'What if this happened to me?'"
Booklist
"This novel is about family, friends, love, and above all, the hard journey to self-acceptance."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A solid and adolescent-appealing premise, and [an] accessibly written story."
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—"My life is over." Or at least that's what 15-year-old Lexi thinks when she wakes up in a hospital with her face bandaged. When she finally looks in a mirror, instead of her once-stunning reflection, she sees zigzagged stitches, a skin graft, bruising, and swelling. Before her accident, Lexi had ruled the school with her friend Taylor and her hot boyfriend, Ryan, but everything changes when Taylor hooks up with Ryan at a party, setting off a chain of events that leaves Lexi in a car crash. She is about to find out that she's more than just a pretty face as she slowly develops the confidence to make new friends and try new things while also learning to forgive. The teen's journey toward recognizing that things aren't always black and white—that more often than not life is a lot of gray—is riveting. Readers will be engrossed in her story as she struggles to adapt to her new identity, learns to accept that a senior photojournalist, Theo, is romantically interested in her, and comes to understand that her mom has actually been listening to her more than she thought. The relationship that Lexi develops with her dorky older sister, who offers practical guidance and much-needed perspective, is the highlight of this story. It's frustrating that the unwanted sexual advances that led to Lexi's car crash go unaddressed, but readers who enjoy satisfying character transformations, such as in Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall (HarperCollins, 2010), will be rapidly flipping the pages of Friend's well-written and thoughtful novel.—Rachael Myers-Ricker, Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY
Kirkus Reviews
After a car accident leaves Lexi's face terribly scarred, she is forced to figure out what is truly important in life. Lexi is the beautiful one. Her best friend, Taylor, is the wild and funny one. Together they are an unstoppable force. Everything seems perfect until one summer night when it all falls apart. After finding her boyfriend, Ryan, and Taylor making out at a party, Lexi wants nothing more than to escape. She begs a ride from Taylor's brother, Jarrod, who takes the opportunity to hit on her. An argument quickly escalates, leading to an accident that changes Lexi's life forever. Angry and bitter, Lexi pushes everyone away from her. It isn't until her sister, Ruthie, and Theo, a guy with no patience for Lexi's self-pity, are honest with her that Lexi starts peeling away the plastic life she once had and discovers the real one underneath. Authentic dialogue, complex characters and an interesting narration lift this story above others with a similar theme. Even when she's behaving erratically, Lexi's sarcastic wit and genuine emotion make her a girl readers will root for. These characters drink, are sexually active and swear, making them instantly recognizable to older teens. Artful and satisfying. (Fiction. 14 & up)
From the Publisher
"Authentic dialogue, complex characters and an interesting narration lift this story above others with a similar theme. . . . Lexi's sarcastic wit and genuine emotion make her a girl readers will root for. Artful and satisfying." — Kirkus Reviews

"Lexi's journey is rewarding and powerful. . . . Friend's (For Keeps) character-driven novel is an affecting and insightful portrait of recovery and the experiences that shape an individual." — Publisher's Weekly

"Readers who enjoy satisfying character transformations, such as in Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall, will be rapidly flipping the pages of Friend's well-written and thoughtful novel." — School Library Journal

"This novel is about family, friends, love, and above all, the hard journey to self-acceptance." — Booklist

"My Life in Black and White is a realistic fiction that really has you wondering 'What if this happened to me?'" — Seventeen.com

Amazon.com Best Books of the Month for Kids & Teens: June 2012 — Amazon

Apple's June 2012 Books of the Month List for Children and Teens — Apple

"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." — Bookpage

"A solid and adolescent-appealing premise, and [an] accessibly written story." — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

VOYA - Betsy Fraser
Lexi's life has been organized around the certainty that she is beautiful. She believes looks are what first enticed her best friend, Taylor; ensured their popularity through school; and allowed her to be discovered by a photographer, giving her the chance to start work as a model. When Lexi's face is disfigured in a car accident while getting a ride home after a party at which she witnessed her best friend with her boyfriend, the scars on the surface are just the tip of the iceberg. Only slowly is Lexi willing to face, and able to articulate to her friends and family, what happened at the party that prompted her to get into the car, and what actually happened to cause the accident. The dramatic aftermath of the accident, in which accusations are flung around, helps to illustrate what can happen because of rumors and innuendo. Several of the characters are left undeveloped. They serve as foils for Lexi, who makes strides in finding a place for herself that does not depend on looks alone while also making new friends, standing up for another girl, and taking an introductory boxing lesson. This will appeal to readers who enjoy realistic versions of the Gossip Girl novels. Reviewer: Betsy Fraser

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670013036
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/14/2012
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Natasha Friend was born to an English professor father and a poet/actress mother. She was raised in a house without a television. At the time, she thought this was the worst form of child abuse. Now, she understands the method to her parents’ madness: they wanted her to be a reader. Spending most of her childhood at the Hamilton Public Library, Natasha found her mecca, the young-adult section, and her hero, Judy Blume. She, too, wanted to write stories about girls who felt alone. Girls whose parents were screw-ups. Girls with spunk and spirit and resolve.

Natasha began dictating stories to her father, who typed them up on his 1930’s Remington typewriter. Most involved rainbows, unicorns, and poor orphan girls discovering treasure. She knew she was supposed to be a writer in seventh grade, when a sweet boy gave her a love poem and she felt compelled to correct it for syntax and rhyme scheme. Today, Natasha is the award-winning author of Perfect, Lush, Bounce, For Keeps, and My Life in Black and White. When she isn’t writing, she is building forts and making chocolate-chip pancakes. Natasha lives on the Connecticut shoreline with her husband, three children, and dog, Beckett.

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My Life in Black and White 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg this is an amazing book. It is full of drama and very facinating . And just omg i highly recommend this novel. I'm 11 almost 12 and i think any age from 10-14 is appropiate (not for boys at all.) I think once u read the book u'll fall in love with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books i have ever read. I couldnt wait to have time in class or at home to read it [which for me is unusual]. I think the reaction to the sincerio is what any of us would do. I praise natasha friend on this novel/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think the book was ok. I think that it could have not used so much detail and the language could have been cut out. I think that this book is apropriout for the High school ages.
pagese More than 1 year ago
This description of this book reminded me of Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk, which a read a number of years ago. I knew it couldn't possibly be as graphic, but I was intrigued by the idea. My first thoughts were that everyone surrounding Lexi is completely shallow. Her whole life in been built around the fact that she's beautiful. It's such a defining characteristic for her. I felt like all a long she really wanted to step out of that aspect of herself. She wanted to be something more than just the beautiful one. She just no idea how to do it. The accident (and the situation leading up to it) that causes the transformation was...interesting. Lexi's so called best friend Taylor and her boyfriend getting caught in that situation would lead anybody to fly off the handle a little bit. But, the circumstances behind that accident were almost laughable. In fact, they would be if it hadn't had such dire consequences. I was more amazed at the excuses Taylor (and boyfriend) came up with. Really? I just didn't believe it. And after all of that Lexi was so miserable without Taylor that she forgave her and went back to being best friends. I think if she would have gone back to the boyfriend as well I might have screamed. But what really made this story work for me is Ruth, Lexi's sister. Lexi hasn't really given her sister half a chance until now. She couldn't see how her sister could possibly be happy without being popular. I also liked how everyone tiptoed around Lexi, except for Ruth. She told Lexi exactly what she needed to her. She pointed out that she needed to stop feeling sorry for herself. And, that the world was not going to end because of what happened. It was interesting to watch the transformation in both Lexi and her relationship with her sister. Overall, I ended up liking the book quite a bit. It had it's teen moments that made me role my eyes and thank god I'm not in high school anymore. But, it also had a really good message underneath it all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this bpok it is a favorite. Lexi is such a drama queen which makes the story even better i literally told all my friends about this book and they all read it and loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WHAT ARE THOSE!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ye
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was perfect and so relatedable!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Despite the tragedy in this book,the writing is delicious.I couldn't put it down.Every page had me curious what would happen next.All in all,a very satisfying read that will leave you with a new outlook on tragedy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay......... where is the nursery
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well tapped so ea this freakin book right now also as soon as u finish read 13 reasons why
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished it and im sad it ended ;-; it opened my eyes and the protagonist is very relateable and it was a very fantastuc book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SweetPeaBubbles More than 1 year ago
This novel has a pretty dramatic synopsis. Before I read it, I geared myself up for a novel that is filled with pointless drama, and a melodramatic protagonist. I didn't think that I would like it very much, from what I could gather from the synopsis. When I started reading it though, it was much different than what I thought it would be. Reasons to Read: 1.Good portrayal of true friendship The novel's main focus is the friendship between protagonist and her best friend. Flashbacks are written so that we get to see how their friendship was before the accident. These two are as close as sisters. They don't have a perfect relationship, but the way that it has lasted so long shows us just how much they care about each other. Even after the accident, it is clear that the two still do care about each other; although neither of them will admit it. I liked how the question of whether or not you can still reconcile with a friend even after a betrayal was brought up. 2.Lexi's character change At the beginning of the novel, lexi is the typical spoiled, popular snob. The accident takes its toll on her by basically taking away everything that made her popular. This forces lexi to change; for both good and bad. Her development as a character flows beautifully with the pacing of the novel. When the end of the novel comes, you can really tell that she has changed a lot as a person through the circumstances that she is put in. Although I did really like this novel, I had two problems with it. Firstly, I found the back-and-forth switch between past and present to be really confusing. I was glad when that stopped later on. Secondly, lexi could be so whiny and annoying at times. She whined about the smallest things. She just expected the world to fall at her feet, though I think she was purposely written that way to show her change in character and emphasize what she had lost. Despite these problems, I did like this book and recommend it to contemporary fans. ARC received from Penguin Canada for my honest review; no other compensation was received.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wow this book was just amazing! its my favorite book ive read this year! you have to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From exciting twists to romance ti drama drama oh an dmore drama, this book has it all. It steals your heart gets your angry and keeps you wanting more! I love Natasha Friend and i love all her bools but this one is probably my favorite of hers! I highly reccomend the book you wont be sorry you bought it trust me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
there is only one word to describe this book..AMAZING!!! i read it and i just couldn't put it down!! I would recommend this book to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book. Worth the money. Really enjoyable highly recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thisbook is really really good!
Oxymoron_23 More than 1 year ago
This book was superficial until about the time Theo came into the picture.....Theo I LOVE YOU!