Publication year: 2012
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Rating: 3/ 5 stars
Tiana’s school year has just started and looks bleak already. Her boyfriend is concerned they ‘don’t connect anymore’, her best friends are being super nasty, her lunch group has been taken over by newcomers, and the final nail in the coffin: a blast from the past, whom she believed she had left behind forever, has moved to Hill View High.REVIEW:
Will anything go right for Tiana as she juggles friends old and new, tries to stay in her teachers’ good books, and, most importantly, attempts to keep all the boys at bay while she figures out her own feelings?
Find out in this funny yet moving sequel to the bestselling Pink or Black, as Tishaa brings alive all the high drama at high school with wit and understanding.
Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.
I usually don't read books out of sequence but technically, I'd already met Tiana, the protagonist of Pink or Black 2. I had flipped through the pages of Pink or Black, the first book, at my favourite bookstore while waiting for my dad to pick me up. The author blurb was what got me really interested in the book... given that the author was only sixteen years old when she wrote the book.
There was something really endearing about Tiana and her quest to find herself... and though I didn't do more than read a couple of pages of the first and second to last chapter... and didn't end up buying the book, I was curious enough to read Pink or Black 2.
Pink or Black 2 picks up at the beginning of Tiana's eleventh grade year, a mere two weeks after the end of the board examinations. There are two "hot new guys" and one "hot new" girl...making things interesting for the old timers at Hill View High. Not for Tiana, though... especially since Ronit, one of the "hot new" boys stomped on her heart only a summer ago and the new girl is none other than her cousin Tea who loathes her.
With rumours, gossip and enough boy drama to make you dizzy, it's definitely not going to be a smooth year for Tiana and her friends... but when has high school ever been a smooth ride? It doesn't help that Tiana's ex Karam is annoyed with her because Tiana took their break up well. Or that her friends are constantly making Tiana feel alienated and dismissing her as a stuck up goody two shoes because she always ends up taking responsibility and prefers to avoid trouble.
Friend politics and changed seating arrangements at the cafeteria are only few of the many catastrophes Tiana has to wade through in eleventh grade as she struggles to stay afloat without giving up her ideals. The author, Tishaa, has a clean and simple writing style that makes the book a quick and breezy read.
And while reading about love triangles and endless circles of bitchiness and scheming may not be my favourite kind of story, now that I'm twenty and "all grown up" (okay, I wish), I can see my fourteen year old self really relating to many of the themes prevalent in the book. Especially the jealousy, complete misery and chaos that can prevail in one's friend group. And how, in spite of the huge fights, backstabbing and insecurities that are prevalent in a big group, at the end of the day... you love them so much.
I wasn't all that impressed with the boy drama... I found some of it a bit filmy and unrealistic... how many boys will fall for the same girl? And what's with shifting schools out of the blue just to be with said girl? Still, the almost monotonous or rather, routine chain of hook ups and link ups with nothing more than slight sentimentality attached to the whole ordeal was very high school.
Pink or Black 2 is a quick and fun read that will bring back the ridiculous complications, over the top expectations from teachers and equally conflicting expectations from friends that funnily enough makes everybody nostalgic for their high school years. Indian Young Adult fiction is hard to come by and this is just the kind of teen read that is sure to resonate with the 13+ crowd!