My Life in Black and White
By Natasha Friend
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.
This Blonde’s Review:
She’s the pretty girl everyone wants to know. Her mother dotes on her, her friends admire her, guys want her. Life is going pretty fabulously for Lexi and her sophomore year is going to be the best yet. Until the night she’s betrayed by her best friend Taylor and her boyfriend Ryan. She barely has time to think her life is over before she finds out it can get worse. Lexi has to learn what it’s like to live without the admiration of the people around her and see that the sister she always dismissed has a lot to teach her about accepting herself. She learns that sometimes people have bigger problems than she does, even if their problems are as visible to the outside world. She’ll also learn what friendship is really about.
The girl who has been taught to define herself by her looks finds herself drawing attention for a new look. Rather than being the pretty girl, she is the girl with the scars. Angry and bitter over what happened to her and the way people have reacted, Lexi acts out. The sweet popular girl who cared about her appearance becomes the one who dresses unfashionably to prove how little she cares, fights with her mother, and eats whatever she wants. When a few chance encounters introduce Lexi to Theo, she isn’t sure what to think. He looks at her instead of her scars and he seems to see her as a person.
I wasn’t sure what I thought about Lexi. She didn’t reach too deep and went through her days miserable and isolating herself. At the same time, that was the life she knew so how could we expect anymore more right away? I really enjoyed seeing Lexi get to know her sister better since it was clear that there was a lot Lexi could learn from her. Despite how shallow Lexi is and how hurt she is, we can still see what a great person she is by the way she treats the people who betrayed her. When she finds Taylor in a bad situation she has to make a choice between allowing it to happen and standing up for the girl she claims to hate.
I think Natasha Friend did a great job with this one. So many things in this book are subtle and aren’t thrown in our face. We don’t get a description of Lexi’s face every time she comes face to face with anyone. Instead we get to see how Lexi feels about herself, since that’s more important than what’s really there. I really loved that just like in real life, sometimes the bad guys aren’t as bad as we think they are. We have to learn when to forgive and when to move on. They made mistakes, but it doesn’t make them bad people. We rarely have a writer show us something admirable about the betrayers after they’ve been put on the negative side. I love that the author gave us something to make us like our characters even while not making Lexi take the expected path afterwards.
If you enjoy reading about a girl who loses everything that matters to her and learns that there could be more to life than she ever recognized, then you’ll enjoy Lexi’s story.