My Life in Black and White

Natasha Friend. Viking, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-670-01303-6

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)