Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Indigo Notebook (YA)

Resau, Laura. 2009. The Indigo Notebook. Random House. 336 pages.

Yeah, you've got that something,
I think you'll understand.
When I say that something
I want to hold your hand...
-- The Beatles

It's always the same, no matter where in the world we happen to be. Just when I get used to noodle soup for breakfast in Laos, or endless glasses of supersweet mint tea in Morocco, or crazy little tuk tuk taxis in Thailand, Layla gets that look in her eyes, that faraway, wistful look, as though she's squinting at a movie in the distance, and on the screen is a place more exotic, more dazzling, more spiritual than wherever we are.

I love Zeeta, the heroine of The Indigo Notebook, and her "wild" free-spirited mother, Layla. Zeeta is a teen girl who dreams of having a normal life. A life that doesn't involve moving to a different country every single year. When the novel opens, these two are on the move again. This time the destination is Ecuador. (Otavalo to be exact.)

Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. That's something that Zeeta learns in The Indigo Notebook. Wendell, her love interest, has to learn that lesson as well. The hard way. These two meet in the market place. In an adorably clueless way. He doesn't speak Spanish. And she does. He's on a mission, a mission that's doomed unless he finds a friend to help him out. His mission is to find his birth parents. He's adopted, you see, and he knows that his parents are from the area. He has no idea how difficult this could prove to be. How dangerous this could prove to be.

Life in Ecuador certainly is interesting, Zeeta finds. Full of adventure, mystery, magic, danger, love, and laughter. It's a coming of age story as well. A story of discovering who you are, what you want, and what you really need. It's a complex story exploring family dynamics and relationships.

I think one of my favorite things about it is that it's multicultural without being "multicultural." It doesn't scream and shout, "Hey, look I'm multicultural. I'm all about the other." It feels authentic and natural.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Laura Schaefer said...

This sounds like a great story. Thanks for the review!