Saturday, July 23, 2011

Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge

Paige hasn't had the easiest time since her family moved to New York. She misses her friends back in Virginia and is struggling with her relationship with her parents. She wants to be more than she is...but doesn't quite trust herself to start. Buying a sketchbook is the first step; putting herself out there is the second step. Following her artist grandmother's rules has results that she could not have anticipated. Is this the start of a new Paige Turner - or just a slightly different one?

This title is a great example of why you can't judge a book by its cover. Don't get me wrong - I loved the cover and it was the reason why I picked it up. But I was expecting some light, Disney-esque coming of age story. Page by Paige does show an artist coming of age (and she does have Little Mermaid-esque hair), but it's much more layered than what I was expecting. The pages that showed Paige's frustrations were unusual and honest. The illustration showing her mom wearing a happy face mask was one of the scariest pictures I've ever seen. Not everything was dark, though; her relationship with a writer-friend was sweet and tender. I also really liked the moment between Paige and a friend where they talked about how their lives had become Paige-centric; it resonated as such a slice of life moment (and how often in books does a secondary character indicate they're not happy with being a secondary character?) I cared about Paige and wanted her to be happy; this was a very satisfying coming of age story, and I want to see a lot more books from Laura Lee Gulledge.

See more from Laura Lee Gulledge at This Illustrated Life
and more about the book here. And don't miss this interview with her.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Level Up by Gene Luen Yang and Thien Pham

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