Title: Fingerprints of You
Author: Kristen Paige-Madonia
Published: August 7th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Copy received by the publisher/author for an honest review
"Lemon grew up with Stella, a single mom who wasn’t exactly maternal. Stella always had a drink in her hand and a new boyfriend every few months, and when things got out of hand, she would whisk Lemon off to a new town for a fresh beginning. Now, just as they are moving yet again, Lemon discovers that she is pregnant from a reckless encounter—with a guy Stella had been flirting with.
On the verge of revisiting her mother’s mistakes, Lemon struggles to cope with the idea of herself as a young unmarried mother, as well as the fact that she’s never met her own father. Determined to have at least one big adventure before she has the baby, Lemon sets off on a cross-country road trip, intending not only to meet her father, but to figure out who she wants to be."
First line: "My mother got her third tattoo on my seventeenth birthday, a small navy hummingbird she had inked above her left shoulder blade, and though she said she picked it to mark my flight from childhood, it mostly had to do with her wanting to sleep with Johnny Drinko, the tattoo artist who worked in the show outside town."
Thoughts: You guys know what a huge fan of contemporary YA I am, especially when it's a coming-of-age story. With that said, when I first heard about FINGERPRINTS OF YOU, I knew I had to read it. I mean, look at the cover. Look at the summary! It just has to be good, right? Well, it wasn't good...
It was fabulous!
The story focuses on Lemon and the dynamic relationship she has with her mother, Stella. Much to Lemon's dismay, she's traveling down the same path as Stella, and it's not necessarily the best road to follow. From that very first moment in the tattoo parlor with Johnny Drinko, you knew what was going to happen.
Now, 17 and pregnant, Lemon begins to wonder about the father she never knew. With that said and a "gift" from her mother, she decides to travel in search of her long lost father in the hopes of finding answers and possibly more.
Though I knew I'd like this story, I wasn't expecting to fall in love with it. I'm telling you guys, it's the writing. Kristen Paige-Madonia just has this undeniable natural talent for story telling. I literally went from hating a character one minute and loving her the next. Oh, Lemon. I'm having the hardest time trying to fathom into words how incredible her story is. Honestly, it's something you'll have to experience for yourself.
One of the things I loved about this book is that it reminds readers that there are consequences to having unprotected sex, one of which being pregnancy. It's not this glorified adventure that MTV portrays. Teenage pregnancy is becoming more and more common in today's world, and it doesn't help when certain novels exalt having unprotected sex. With that said, I bow down to you, Kristen, for writing such a brilliant and realistic novel and teaching everyone a very valuable lesson.
Though the book mainly centers around Lemon, somewhere along the way I became particularly invested in Emmy's story. When Lemon and her mother move for the millionth time, Emmy is the first (and only) person to befriend Lemon. They're both practically opposites and yet they mesh well together. The story with Emmy and her father in Afghanistan completely moved me in so many different ways. These two girls definitely don't live an easy life and for this, it makes me love them even more.
A mixture between The Wonder Years and Juno, FINGERPRINTS OF YOU is a novel you won't want to miss. I highly recommend to everyone that you grab a copy as soon as possible. Is it an easy read? No, but it's a undoubtedly a worthwhile one. I'll be shocked if this book doesn't win any awards. SHOCKED.