The Indigo Notebook, Laura Resau, Delacorte Press, 2009, 315 pp
THE SUNDAY FAMILY READ
I came across this author on someone's blog and must apologize to said blogger for not remembering who you are. But thanks so much because The Indigo Notebook turned out to be a unique and wonderful YA read.
The story opens as 15-year-old Zeeta is flying from Laos to Ecuador with her flighty, blissed out, aging hippie mom. Layla, the mom, likes to move to a different country every year, making her living as an ESL teacher and hooking up with equally dreamy and usually feckless boyfriends.
Zeeta is left to be the practical one and longs for a suburban life in Maryland and a Handsome Magazine Dad. Luckily, her lifestyle has bestowed the gifts of making friends easily and learning languages quickly.
Once they are settled, Zeeta meets Wendall, an adopted teen from Colorado, who has come to spend the summer in Ecuador and search for his birth parents. They fall in love and help each other through their troubles. Actually, Zeeta does most of the helping. She is just that type.
This is not a Traveling Pants romance nor is it Eleanor & Park dysfunctional parents angst. Yes, there is the exotic location but with realistic local characters, traditions, foods, and hardships. Also Zeeta rebels against her mom but then worries when Layla starts dating a Handsome Magazine Dad and loses all her wacky, New Age sparkle.
For me, it was just about a perfect YA novel. The plot kept twisting in many unexpected ways and the happy ending gives almost everyone what they want. There are two sequels, The Ruby Notebook and The Jade Notebook. I will be reading them.
(The Indigo Notebook is available in various formats by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)