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Cybils review: Beige

Cecil Castellucci

Katy has been shipped by her mother from Montreal to LA to spend two weeks with the father she doesn’t really know. His nickname is The Rat, and he’s the drummer for a has-been punk band named Suck, which is pretty much what Katy expects of her summer. A weird girl named Lake has been hired to pretend to be her friend. And Katy just doesn’t get the obsession with bone-jarring music that everyone in LA seems to have. Thus Lake, an aspiring rocker, gives Katy the nickname Beige.

In spite of herself, Katy manages to make a few real friends in LA. Bit by bit, she learns to appreciate her dad’s music, and his efforts to show her he really does love her. There’s an endearing and believable cast of characters, and by the end of the summer, Katy even stands in as Lake’s backup singer, and earns back her real name.

It was a bit of a stretch for me to imagine Katy onstage, and I wished for more of the French-Canadian influence in her life at home in Montreal, but those are small things. Kids who are into music will especially enjoy this book, and they'll like the bands and song titles that head each chapter.

Beige is one of those rare YA novels that’s not about earth-shattering events. No one dies or is attacked or in a terrible accident or has to live through a war. Both of Katy’s parents are around, and although far from perfect, they both love her. But author Castellucci knows that moving across North America, even for just the summer, can be plenty earth-shattering for a 14-year-old. She hits just the right notes in Beige.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 25th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC)
i loved BEIGE--the RAT was such a great character--as was his girlfriend
Nov. 19th, 2007 10:19 pm (UTC)
"he’s the drummer for a has-been punk band named Suck, which is pretty much what Katy expects of her summer."

hehe. That was good.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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Stacy DeKeyser ~~ Author of books for teens
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