About the book
The Pink Hotel was first published on 18th April 2011 by Alma Books. It is 300 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy.
After her estranged mother Lily dies, her seventeen year old daughter flies to Los Angeles from London for the funeral. After she manages to steal a suitcase full of letters, random items of clothing and photographs from her mother’s bedroom in a pink hotel, it sets her on a mission to find out more about who she really is. Spending the summer roaming around LA, Lily’s life is slowly revealed and her daughter begins to realise she is more like her than she once thought.
What I thought
This isn’t the usual sort of book that would be called young adult, but it is. I was looking forward to reading something a bit different.
Something quite strange about this book is that the protagonist never gets named. Maybe because it is told in the first person from the teenager’s perspective, who knows. Even though her name is never mentioned, she was a wonderful character to read about. Being left by her mother at the age of three had a massive impact on her life as she was left to be brought up by her father. She’s also not a girly girl at all and loves things such as football and getting into fights. The lack of a motherly figure in her life was so clear to see. Even though she never really knew her mother, I really liked that she still wanted to go to the funeral and to see what her mother was like.
For a girl her age, going all the way to LA on her own with no one there to greet her must have been quite a scary thing. Not only that, but it doesn’t seem as though any of her mother’s friends knew anything about her or that she even existed. Quickly, the book becomes a mystery novel as the daughter searches for information about her mother and to find out what her life was really liked. The mystery elements were written so well that it didn’t really come across as something to be solved. The daughter plods along throughout the book, going from one person to the next trying to find out certain things and carrying around a suitcase full of her dead mother’s belongings.
Anna Stothard brings in some amazing characters in The Pink Hotel. Lily led quite a strange and crazy life during her time and this meant knowing such a range of people. Although Lily is much younger than most of the people that Lily knew, she somehow manages to get in close with a few of them. I really liked the moments of the daughter getting to know the people in Lily’s life, even if they didn’t know anything about her. Characters include drunks, addicts and criminals who are all people so far from who the daughter is used to having to deal with. This brings out extreme changes in her character as she realises that she may be more like her mother.
The Pink Hotel is unlike any other book I have read. While the plot isn’t exciting in the traditional sense, I couldn’t stop reading. Stothard brings in a side of LA that is never really shown, she writes characters who you shouldn’t like but do and she also writes a very gripping story. If you’re looking for something a little different then this one would be worth a try.
I’m also giving away a copy of this book as the publisher was nice enough to send me 2 copies! The giveaway is open to UK residents only and will run for 1 week. The winner has 48 hours to reply to the notifying email before another winner will be picked.