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Into White

Review

Into White

"I began writing this book because it needed to be written. I finished writing this book because I knew no one else would." This quote is from the author of the book INTO WHITE, Randi Pink. INTO WHITE is her first novel of hopefully many. She gave a Ted Talk in March of 2016 about her writing and experiences through life up until college. In it she states that she writes about things that her make angry, curious, happy, or some feeling that she does not even understand yet. She grew up in southern Alabama and is still a denizen of Alabama today. She lives with her husband and two rescue dogs (aaaawww)! She also works for the NPR branch in Birmingham.

"I read this book in fewer than 24 hours....There is a perfect balance between funny moments, serious moments, and sweet moments. It covers many problems while having the perfect use of metaphor."

In INTO WHITE we meet LaToya --- or Toya --- Williams, a black girl living in Edgewood, Alabama with a few problems. For starters, the white people in her town just cannot get themselves to get over the color of her skin and the black people at her school do not really like that much either with the exception of her older brother, Alex. Sweet Alex who wears weird T-shirts, collects quarters and is extremely smart. But that seems to be the only good relationship in their household as their parents always manage to argue over something whether it be coffee grounds to cars and the only thing they can agree about is the importance of  “Unsolved Mysteries” and Jesus Christ.

Nothing is going well for Toya as black girl, so she prays to become “anything but black.” To her surprise, Jesus has heard her desperate prayers and when she looks into the mirror that morning, she sees a blue-eyed, blonde-haired white girl in place of her usual self. Even her ashy elbows are gone! However, Toya soon learns that sometimes things are not always as good as it looks on the surface.

I read this book in fewer than 24 hours and would have read INTO WHITE in one sitting if it were not for the fact that I had a test the following day. I was extremely curious about this book, as it was an intriguing topic. One of my favorite parts was in the beginning where she goes out to Gus Von March, a store that many white people shop at and does something that really only white people could do (unfortunately) to prove to her brother that people see her as white. It was wonderful. There is a perfect balance between funny moments, serious moments, and sweet moments. It covers the problems of being black, being a girl and, in particular, being a black girl. It’s pretty hard to find a book that can manage to cover those issues even in the world we live in today all the while having the perfect use of metaphor.

I loved this book. It is perfect for any girls who are coming of age and feel out of place and wish for a better place, family or treatment whether you live in the South or not. It is really easy to relate to Toya as she wishes for the same thing. I would also like to think it would be a good read for anyone who does live in the South because it does describe the racism down here perfectly. So, anyone who loves a good read and needs a girl to relate to, this book is for you!

Reviewed by Rebecca D., Teen Board Member on September 19, 2016

Into White
by Randi Pink