Review: Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink

Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Genre: Teen
ISBN: 9780547564593 
Expected publication: May 8th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Rating: 3

A story of crushes, corsets, and conspiracy…
Libby Kelting had always felt herself born out of time. No wonder the historical romance-reading, Jane Austen-adaptation-watching, all-around history nerd jumped at the chance to intern at Camden Harbor, Maine’s Oldest Living History Museum. But at Camden Harbor Libby’s just plain out of place, no matter how cute she looks in a corset. Her cat-loving coworker wants her dead, the too-smart-for-his-own-good local reporter keeps pushing her buttons, her gorgeous sailor may be more shipwreck than dreamboat — plus Camden Harbor’s haunted. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, Libby learns that boys, like ghosts, aren’t always what they seem.

I liked Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink. For the most part, it was a good read. There was only one thing that I didn't particularly like, but it was a pretty large part.

The good:

-The plot was fun. I enjoyed the storyline, the twists and turns, and the ending. Some of it I saw coming, some of it I didn't—but even when I expected it, I enjoyed seeing it work out.

-The characters: Dev (Libby's extremely gay friend) was fabulous in every sense of the word. If he were real, he'd be my buddy, even though he'd be constantly criticizing my shoes. Garrett, the reporter, is so nerd-tastic that I literally geeked out when he was introduced. Cam's romantic side was the hero every girl dreams about.

-The relationship progression: I knew from the get-go that Cam was going to be the greasy sleazy character that charms the girls but is really a jerk, and that Garrett was going to be the awesome-sauce hero. But when Libby first meets the characters, the reader perceives them just like she does: that Cam was a Shakespeare-quoting flower-throwing romantic, and Garrett was a nerd (again, I liked him more from the beginning anyway). The transition happened so slowly and flawlessly that I didn't see it happen, it just did.

-I've lead camps before. They're so much fun. Strohm nailed it! I loved the little girls! Ah for those scenes I totally wanted to be Libby.

-The writing was totally great. It felt like a teen's interior monologue, it was witty, fun, clear, and easy to read. It was perfect for the genre.

-The ending was pretty darn perfect. I liked what Libby learned, and how she changed. If the character hasn't changed from the beginning of the book to the end, nothing happened! The change was good. All in all the whole book was pretty cute.

The only not-so-good thing:

-I couldn't figure Libby out. Why doesn't she watch Battlestar Galactica or play Assassin's Creed? (That would totally be her thing. I bet after this story ends she turns into a total geek.) Libby was somewhat contradictory. She seemed to have a pretty clear view of right and wrong, and she was smart, but she didn't pick up on things that were blatantly obvious (trying to keep it spoiler-free here).

When there is only one not-so-good thing in the whole book, usually I'll rate it pretty high. But when the only not-so-good thing in the whole book is the main character? The whole way through reading this I kept thinking "Libby, what the heck are you thinking?" and she kind of annoyed me. I liked her, but again, her character seemed conflicting.

All in all, I enjoyed Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink, and would still recommend it for a fun quick light read.

Content/Recommendation: Little language, few references to sex. Ages 14+

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