From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up–In this sequel to The Indigo Notebook (Delacorte, 2009), Zeeta and her single mother, who have spent each of Z's 16 years in a different country, are teaching English and making friends in Aix-en-Provence. Z always buys a new notebook in each country and fills it with observations, thoughts, dreams, and the answers to questions she asks people. As a way of making friends and getting to know her new country, she interviews people everywhere she goes. France is proving to be most intriguing: Z befriends an elderly couple who offer her a mystery to solve; the love of her life, Wendell, is flying in to spend time with her; she becomes smitten with a young street performer; and she is suddenly being given meaningful gifts by an anonymous admirer. With a hint of mystery, a bit of romance, a touch of travel, and some coming-of-age, this book covers a lot of ground without ever feeling scattered or haphazard. Resau's robust descriptions give readers a good picture of France and its people. Although one can guess where the plot is headed, teens will still want to go along for the ride, so enjoyable is the writing. The pace can be slow at times, even when Z and Wendell are sneaking about in tunnels below the town, trying to solve the mystery. But anyone who enjoys detailed settings and thoughtful narratives will be rewarded with this story.Geri Diorio, The Ridgefield Library, CT
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Sixteen-year-old Zeeta, first met in The Indigo Notebook (2009), has lived in 16 countries; she and her peripatetic artist mother, Layla, move every year. In this volume, they land in beautiful Aix en Provence, France, where Zeeta looks forward to spending the summer with her American boyfriend, Wendell, who has signed up for a study program. Then Zeeta meets gorgeous, enigmatic Jean-Claude, and when Wendell arrives, she splits things off in her confusion. Once again, Resau adds shimmering dimensions of magic realism; here, underground springs fabled to bestow immortality are an undercurrent to both the city and the story. Resau relies on contrivances to knit her numerous plot strands, particularly one involving Zeeta’s search for her never-met father. But readers will enjoy the endearing, unconventional characters, including free-spirited Layla (“If she quotes Rumi again, I’ll scream,” Zeeta says), and they will be easily caught by the lyrical prose, the “soft, honeyed air” of the seductive setting, and Zeeta’s passionate questions about life and romance: “What sets your soul on fire?” “Can love last a lifetime?” Grades 7-11. --Gillian Engberg