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Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence - Review

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Where did I get it? My shelves. I saw Patrice speak at YA Shot a few years ago, and ordered this book shortly after. When I saw Patrice speak at YALC At Home last month, I remembered that I really wanted to read something by her, so I pulled this book off the shelves. 

What's it about? Indigo is seventeen and lives with her foster mum, Keely. Her mum was killed by her dad when Indigo was tiny, and Indigo was in the room next door. Indigo has lived in foster care since then, but has had to move around somewhat. She often gets very angry and lashes out. She says it is the "thing" inside her, a thing that she inherited from her dad, who is also now dead. She has just started a new school and is being teased by girls there, who have found out what happened to her family. She is in touch with one of her siblings, Primrose, and is hoping to see her soon.

Meanwhile Bailey is also at school with Indigo. He has a huge crush on her which his friend Austin mocks him for. He tries to stand up for her, and then the two start to get close. His parents - a social worker and a teacher - are wary because of Indigo's "history", which makes them mistrust her. Bailey is then approached by someone to give something to Indigo, which ends up spinning a web of lies throughout the book. 

Indigo is also really wary of letting anyone close to her because she's afraid she'll lash out if they get close, but she really likes Bailey. The two bond over music, which I really liked. 

I did like the book somewhat. There's lot of positives about it - Indigo is a really spunky girl and I wanted her to be okay. I loved her style and her taste in music. Bailey is a very sweet boy and was exactly what she needed. I liked Keely, Indigo's foster mum - she was an excellent example of a caring parent. I liked Bailey's family set up, although I thought it was odd in places. 

However, I thought the story as a whole was quite slow. It's a really long book and it didn't grip me very much. I felt like there was some filler which could have been removed and the book would have still worked. I appreciate that I am not the target audience for this book, and that's fine. I am sure that there are readers for whom this book would mean a great deal. 

What age range is it for? 14+ 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No I don't think so. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Yep. Bailey is mixed race - his dad is black and his mum is white. I think the same for Indigo - her dad is white and her mum is at least mixed race, but if I'm wrong then I'm sorry. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Indigo is living with at least some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, yes. 

Is there any sex stuff? Yes, it's not graphic and there's condom use (yay!) 

Are drugs mentioned or used? They're mentioned because they were a factor in Indigo's mother's death. There's also alcohol use and someone who abuses alcohol. 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, it is somewhat traumatic. 

Are there swear words? Yes, I really loved them actually, they felt very true to life and natural

What criticisms do I have? I think I said them above, it just didn't move fast enough for me. 

Would I recommend the book? If you want or need to read about as kid like Indigo then yes, absolutely. Otherwise, it wasn't for me, but I would read something else by Patrice for sure (I think I have Orangeboy somewhere). 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? Patrice is a really engaging speaker on a panel, even at home like I watched her in July, and I really wanted to read something by her.

What do I think of the cover? I love it, it's really bright and eye-catching.  

What other books is it like? It reminded me of Jackpot by Nic Stone. 

How many stars? Three out of five for me personally. 

Where is the book going now? I have a friend who works with vulnerable kids and I think I'll lend it to her!

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