Shalini Smith | A great example of a strong female protagonist

Shalini Smith | A great example of a strong female protagonist


In our society, people spend countless amounts of time and money on their looks. Beauty is considered a source of pride.

For Andrea, the main character in Ingrid Palmer's young adult novel "All Out of Pretty," being pretty isn't all it's cracked up to be.

While she is naturally a very pretty young woman, those looks remind her of her mother, the person she doesn't want to imitate.

Andrea's mother (Ayla) has always been pretty, but her beauty is only skin deep. Ayla has problems with addiction and doesn't always care for her daughter.

Andrea finds herself with Ayla after her grandmother (and guardian) passes away. Ayla's drinking and drug use cause money to quickly become scarce.

Ayla then connects with Judd, a drug dealer and former boyfriend, who agrees to let them stay with him in exchange for Andrea's help with his work. Smart, beautiful Andrea searches for a way out of this tough situation.

Throughout the book, she is faced with several burning questions. Should I leave even if it means leaving my mother behind? Can I trust other people? What am I supposed to do? Is there a way out?

Andrea fights for survival against all odds, holding her life together while everything is falling apart around her.

"All Out of Pretty" is well-written and is the kind of book that has just the right pace to keep the reader interested. The story is believable and strikes the emotions of its audience.

I found myself worrying for Andrea throughout the novel, as well as cheering her on when things get tough.

I highly recommend this novel to young adults who enjoy fiction that strongly echoes reality. I would also recommend it to people interested in a strong female protagonist fighting to overcome adversity.

Shalini Smith is an archives assistant and a shelver at the Urbana Free Library. She hopes to obtain a degree in library science in the near future. Her favorite pastimes are reading and learning new information.

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