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Book Review: Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Libby decides to spend her summer working at Camden Harbor, Maine’s Oldest Living History Museum.  Despite her best friend Dev’s protestations about the ridiculousness of such an endeavor, Libby’s got her heart set on it, because she loves history.  A hardcore Jane Austen fan on the lookout for her own Mr. Darcy, Libby’s summer looks bright.  Of course, things don’t go according to plan, and between a roommate who hates her, a newspaper reporter on the hunt for a ghost, and a cute pirate who might be more of a jerk than she realized, Libby’s got her plate full.

Sometimes really great books don’t connect with a person because they came to them at the wrong time. At other times, the moment is just right.  There’s no question that Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink is the fluffiest of fluff novels, but it’s also a really good time.  My guess is that it came to me at exactly the right moment, because I enjoyed the hell out of this funny, observant little romantic comedy.

The historical camp that Libby works at is full of characters that are quirky without being overwhelming.  Even Libby’s own quirks don’t overwhelm the story, which allows the story to be predictable but also kind of refreshing.  There aren’t any real twists to be found in Strohm’s story, but it never feels tired, either.  It’s kind of like a comfort read (I mean this in the best way possible): the characters and story are interesting and compelling, but they have a familiar feel to them.  There are no huge revelations in Libby’s story, but there is plenty of fun: a ball, a gay best friend, living on a ship, and a possible ghost all make appearances.  All of it is enjoyable, and all of it is incredibly fun.

There’s some nice development of the main characters.  Both Libby and Garrett, ace reporter, demonstrate the most growth.  The two have a quiet chemistry that builds into a nice little love story.  There’s nothing earth-shattering about their feelings for one another, but it’s satisfying all the same.  Some of the secondary characters feel a little too stereotypical at times, but readers who go in expecting light fun won’t be too bothered by this.  Libby’s character development helps offset any lingering feelings of stereotypes, anyway.

Recommended to fans of contemporary YA featuring plucky heroines.  Readers who enjoyed Leila Sales’s Past Perfect might find a nice companion novel here–especially if they found Sales’s heroine to be too much at times.

Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink is out today.

Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm. Graphia: 2012. Electronic galley accepted for review via NetGalley.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm

  1. Excellent review! You’re always so much more adept at pointing out what really works in a book then I am. I too thought this was a nice comfort read. Not reinventing the wheel but giving it its own unique flavor still.

    1. Thanks so much! I don’t know if it’s strictly true about me–I happen to love YOUR reviews–but I appreciate it all the same. I read this one a long time ago, but I remember being totally engrossed and entertained by it.

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