Pixelated by L.S. Murphy
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Publication Date: June 30th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Football
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Senior Year. Middle of nowhere. What's the new girl to do?
For Piper Marks, the answer is simple. She's determined to have her photography rock the cover of National Geographic someday, and moving to Clarkton, Iowa for her last year of high school is not going to stop her. Even if her usual subjects have changed from bright lights and skyscrapers to fields, cows...and more fields.
But when photographer at the local paper quits in a huff, she steps into his spot. Her new job keeps Piper busy capturing tackles, and zooming in on first downs and end zone dances, not to mention putting her directly in the path of varsity football star Les Williams IV. Her new friends warn her off, but she can't resist the pull she feels toward this mysterious country boy. But this small town is keeping a secret, and it's one that could destroy any chance they have to be together.
It's up to Piper to decide what to do with the distorted truth. Can she risk exposing her heart? It might be worth it, 'cause Les is about to change her world from black and white to fully saturated color.
Praise for Pixelated:
"In Pixelated, L.S. Murphy weaves a complex web of secrets and lies with a 'will they or won't they' romance that kept me turning pages and holding my breath!" ~ Julie Reece, author of The Artisans and Crux
"Beautifully written, with a full spectrum of emotion and complex characters, Pixelated will tug at all your heartstrings. I easily lost myself in the world L.S. Murphy created and couldn't stop reading because I needed to see how the story ended." ~ Kelly Oram, author of Cinder & Ella
"L.S. Murphy brings something for every reader with Pixelated: romance, secrets, mystery, and a main character torn between two choices. Murphy's writing is sharp and steeped in emotions, deftly hooking her readers from the first sentence to the last." ~ Sarah Bromley, author of A Murder Of Magpies
Pixelated is about a young girl named Piper who moved from St. Louis to small town Clarkton, Iowa for her senior year. Her Mom and Step Dad bought two newspapers in Clarkton and they’re making a go of it in the country. Piper couldn’t stay back with her father since he took a college Professor job in Kansas so off to Clarkton she went with her Mom. She’s bummed about this new change in her life because she thought she would be graduating with her friends that she’s had since elementary but now it looks like she’ll be graduating with kids who have been friends or knew each other since they were in elementary school. Trying to get through it, Piper leans heavily on her photography. When she meets Les Williams, a cute cowboy boots wearing boy from her school, she develops a crush on him and tries to get over it because he’s already got a girlfriend. She makes friends and at first, things are going great until Les starts showing interest in her and she becomes the talk of the high school gossips.
Both Les and Piper were interesting characters. Piper couldn’t help liking Les and I immediately knew that there was more to Les’ than met the eye so I didn’t trust him at first. I knew that there was a story where his girlfriend was concerned and that story low key got on my nerves. The longer he went without fessing up to everyone, the more annoyed I was with him. Because he was playing with Piper’s emotions and I got that he was in a bad place but not hurting the girlfriend hurt Piper and I wasn’t okay with that. I think it took him too long to make things right but when he finally does, I was glad. I thought Piper wasn’t the most perfect of heroines (who is?) but I understood what motivated her and even though she got on my nerves every time she snapped at those around her when she was mad (hello, you don’t talk to your Step Dad like that, little girl), I still ended up liking her.
There were parts of this book that I felt dragged a bit too long but for the most part, it’s an enjoyable contemporary YA romance with characters that I liked. I was interested in getting to know Les and Piper more and I really liked how serious she was about her photography.
This book felt real, in the sense that the kids from school reacted the way that high schoolers react to gossip, to being betrayed and everything else in their lives. They drove me crazy and they made me laugh but overall, I didn’t exactly love them. This book is a solid read but the slow bits were enough to take me out of the story from time to time and I wasn’t a fan of that. I would definitely read more by this author because her writing style is good and I’d like to see what else she’s got up her sleeve.
I’d recommend this book to fans of contemporary YA romances, the kind of romances that are light and fluffy that aren’t bogged down in teenage angst.
Grade: 3 out of 5