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Bibliophilic Monologues

My Life in Black and White

My Life in Black and White - Natasha Friend I have never had that problem, you know? Being beautiful, I mean, so at the beginning of the novel, I wasn’t too sure how I’d relate to the main character. But I worried needlessly because, as has become characteristic of all the contemporary novels I have read and loved, Lexi is one of those girls that anyone can relate to despite not having a single thing in common. She has a frank, disarming voice that makes you warm to her immediately – even when she’s not behaving in an exactly admirable manner. I haven’t read anything by Friend before so I was a bit hesitant going in but her writing flows smoothly and while there are no poetic gems as in John Green’s books, there are several genius scenes that simply express a whole ton of complicated things. The subtlety is well done. I especially loved how Friend managed to tell a tale that has a moral in it without being preachy or even seeming to be preachy. Friend narrates a story that is plausible, real and is comic as well as heart breaking.I accompanied Lexie as she learns some hard truths about herself, about her friends and about her family. As she comes to terms with the life that she lived and the girl she was and tries to compromise them to the girl she becomes and the life she has now. Also, the manner in which Friend engages in themes of beauty, superficial versus inner was impressive as it does not alienate the beautiful nor does it push away the girls who are more insecure about their physical looks. I also appreciated how romance is secondary to the main aspect of the story which is friendship and acceptance not just of your own self but of other people. Acceptance of differences in philosophy. There are no extremities here, no “black and white” (I appreciated the subtlety of the title) and Friend celebrates the grey areas in lives and in people.On the whole, My Life in Black and White is a very satisfying read. It made me feel good. About the world, about my friends and family and perhaps, most importantly, about myself. If you want something witty, charming, funny and a bit heart breaking, this is for you. Have fun reading.