25 October 2010

"My Life in Pink & Green" by Lisa Greenwald

My Life in Pink & GreenMy Life in Pink & Green by Lisa Greenwald

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Genre: middle-school fiction
On my TBR list? Yes, since Aug 2010

Summary, from Goodreads:

Twelve-year-old Lucy Desberg is a natural problem solver. After the local homecoming queen shows up at her family’s struggling drugstore with a beauty disaster that Lucy helps to fix, Lucy has a long line of makeover customers for every school dance and bat mitzvah. But all the makeup tips in the world won’t help save the pharmacy. If only she could find a way to make the pharmacy the center of town again—a place where people want to spend time, like in the old days. Lucy dreams up a solution that could resuscitate the family business and help the environment, too. But will Lucy’s family stop fighting long enough to listen to a seventh-grader?

This story, with its young heroine who knows more than the adults, could have been annoying. Many of us have grown up watching TV shows and movies with parents portrayed as morons and kids who have too much power and freedom. However, Lisa Greenwald gave it context that made it more believable. It was easy for me to see how a 12-year-old and her college-student sister could do the research needed to help save the family business, especially when the grown-ups are so close to the problem that they are frustrated and blinded to the possibilities. I remember reading a few stories like this when I was a teen and I found them inspiring. Even when the circumstances are bit unrealistic, the idea that you can at least try to do something to make things better -- no matter what age you are -- is uplifting.

C1, my 13-year-old daughter, had a few things to say about this book, as well:

My Life in Pink and Green was written for girls my age, but even so, I found it kind of hard to relate. I had a feeling of what she was going through with the money problems, but other than that, I found the book a little boring. In the description above, the book sounds like it is all about makeovers, but it took a long while to get to the makeover parts. When we finally got there, she didn't stay on the subject for too long. It seemed like doing makeup was a side thing, while the real issue was whether or not the mayor is going to give them the grant. There was a touch of romance in the book, but since she was only twelve it didn't go very far. I read books with main characters a lot older than me, so I'm used to people at least getting to the first date, before the book is over. All in all, I think this book is good for girls my age or younger, but I personally didn't like it that much.

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