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Beige Review

BeigeI heard of Cecil Castellucci. I liked Boy Proof, though I never got around to writing about it. But it’s Beige that puts me in the Cult of Castellucci, as named at Bookshelves of Doom.

Beige grabbed me right from the beginning and didn’t let go. The booktalk introduction came to me immediately as I read it: “Do your parents ever embarrass you?” Think about putting that line out there in a room full of summer-ready eighth graders. Oh, this is going to be easy.

Katy, or Beige as she becomes known, has to stay with her former punk-rocker father while her mother is on a expedition in Peru. Staying with her father, The Rat, is not Katy’s idea of a good time. She hates his cluttered, dirty apartment. She doesn’t like his music. And she’s had almost nothing to do with him since she was seven. It doesn’t help matters that he is spending his energy getting the old band back together and ready to make it big, which puts Katy on the sidelines with teens she’d rather not meet.

She finds an odd friendship — of a sort — with the daughter of the other band member, Sam Suck. A Suck teen fan also makes his way into Katy’s life with his complete openness and friendliness. It may even be possible that Katy isn’t as beige a girl as she thought she was.

Great characters and great writing make this a fantastic read. I wish I had marked passages as I went, but this particular line made me smile:
I guess I stole Leo’s shirt. It’s cool. It’s from Threadless.
How cool for me that this T-shirt company, Threadless, is donating the haiku T-shirt and a Shakespeare hoodie as a prizes.

I’ve got an interview to do soon with Cecil Castellucci, and now I have to say, I’m particularly looking forward to it. What a cool writer.


Sarah Miller said...

Woo -- two out of my three faves get rave reviews!

MotherReader said...

Yeah, good picks. Drowned Maiden's Hair will be read, it just didn't fit in this weekend.

Lady S. said...

Your review succeeded in putting Beige back on the TBR list! (I said this over on LJ but you won't get notification of replies there.)

xemilyx said...

Oh, I feel like such a hater. I have Beige a so-so review for SLJ, because I thought Castelluci used the punk scene like a backdrop at a department store photo shoot. Naming your chapter titles after punk songs DNE capturing the ethos of the scene.

Of course, this was during my quest for the perfect punk book, when I was all worried about punks being misrepresented--you know, the same way hip-hop kids are--so I may have been reading the book sort of one-track-mindedly.

But it just didn't compare to Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist or Fat Kid Rules the World, you know?