LaToya Williams lives in Montgomery, Alabama, and attends a mostly white high school. It seems as if her only friend is her older brother, Alex. Toya doesn’t know where she fits in, but after a run-in with another student, she wonders if life would be different if she were . . . different. And then a higher power answers her prayer: to be “anything but black.”
Toya is suddenly white, blond, and popular. Now what?
Randi Pink’s audacious fiction debut dares to explore a subject that will spark conversations about race, class, and gender.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
There’s no doubt that Randi Pink’s first novel will spark conversation and maybe even ruffle some feathers. It’s the story of LaToya Williams, an anxious Alabama teenager who's granted her wish to turn into a white girl. Pink does a good job of both understanding her self-loathing heroine and poking fun at her limited perspective. Into White is a sly, quick, and compelling YA book that boldly explores the impact of racism and white supremacy on young minds.
Stuck in a mostly white high school in Montgomery, Ala., bullied by black students who should be her allies, Toya Williams prays to Jesus one night to be white. Lo and behold, she wakes up "white as a Bing Crosby Christmas," though the change is invisible to her family. Blond, blue-eyed Toya (posing as an exchange student) is befriended by the white alpha girls and lusted after by the quarterback. It's great until she realizes that being white means starving herself (size six is fat in her new world), hearing casual racial slurs, being expected to be available to popular guys, and betraying her beloved older brother. Debut author Pink cuts some corners: the white alphas are caricatures, Toya's squabbling parents are painted with a broad brush, and the hero who helps Toya see the value in herself and her community seems too good to be true. But Pink isn't afraid of being provocative (Jesus makes regular appearances), and the book dives into thorny issues of identity, self-image, and the internal effects of racism in a strikingly frank way. Ages 14 up.