Lemon Lavender Is Not Fine

Elle Pallmore. Elle Pallmore, $10.99 paper (279p) ISBN 978-1-07-667858-4
Pallmore’s debut celebrates the simultaneous fragility and strength of the teen spirit as it follows 16-year-old wallflower Lemon Lavender’s turbulent junior year. When shy, awkward Lemon falls for new guy Graham Stuart—a gorgeous, sensitive Scotsman who instantly catches the attention of Westmoore High’s female population—she worries that it’s hopeless, but she also can’t help her feelings. Though Lemon desires to remain inconspicuous, classmate Madeline’s popular vlog persona, Lady Westmoore, makes her a public target. As Lemon struggles to navigate her family’s shifting dynamics in the aftermath of her lauded older sister running away, Westmoore High reveals itself as a vicious microcosm in which insidious rumors fester. Though Graham occasionally seems frustratingly dense, Lemon herself is well fleshed out. Readers will sympathize with her plight to accommodate her cruel schoolmates’ and neglectful parents’ conflicting judgments as she struggles toward agency and self-confidence. While the novel has its fair share of predictable rom-com moments, Pallmore’s fresh voice successfully reifies one modern teenager’s high school experience amid cyberbullying and familial change. 13–up. (Self-published)
Reviewed on : 03/25/2020
Genre: Children's
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