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House Read: Page by Paige

January 13, 2016

What I’m Reading
Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge 
Published: Amulet, 2011
Illustrated by: Laura Lee Gulledge
Read This: while applying to art school

To give you an idea of how bad my book situation is, I’ve had an ARC of this on the shelf since 2010 and never gotten around to reading it. So, I grabbed it off the shelf today and sat down with it for a bit.
Paige Turner (her parents are authors who think they’re clever) has recently moved from Virginia to New York. She had to leave behind her friends, her school, and her easy access to nature in favor of a brownstone in Brooklyn and a school full of strangers.
In order to help find herself, she buys a sketchbook and tries to commit to her art. She’s a little geeky, very shy, and has “Little Mermaid hair” she can hide behind. As these things go, she finds friends, a little romance, and starts to develop her sense of self.
Paige has the same sort of worries that most kids have experienced at some point. She’s afraid of being too much in her own head, of being a bad friend, fighting with her mom, doubting her talent and her focus.
pagesThe story is the sort of thing I probably would have loved a while ago, but I think I’m coming to it when I’m a little too old and cynical and also too close on the heels of I Am Princess X. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It felt… light. Not trivial, not empty. The story is about a teenage girl figuring herself out. That’s valuable. It just wasn’t compelling for me.
The illustrations are all black and white and alternate between glimpses of the sort of surreal life inside Paige’s brain/sketchbook, and the crisper work indicating external reality. Gulledge’s art is definitely worth picking the book up.

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