Pixelated by L.S. Murphy

Pixelated by L.S. Murphy

Being the new kid in town is never easy: when you move from the city to ultra-rural surroundings, the culture shock is dramatic.  Such is Piper’s dilemma in the new release from author L.S. Murphy: Pixelated, a perfect story for teens and tweens!


Piper has Plans and Dreams, neither of which included moving to the middle of Nowhere, Iowa from St. Louis just in time for her senior year. But, plans often have to change as her parents’ divorce and her mother’s remarriage and relocation stepped in to take over.  Initially resentful at all of the changes, this is her story of that school year.

Told in Piper’s POV, the story follows her resentful thoughts about the move, the interactions with her new schoolmates and her focus on her photography.  When she is rescued from a flat tire miles from home or town by local boy Les, Piper thinks that not everything in Iowa is uninteresting.

But, Les has a girlfriend, or everyone thinks he does, so Piper’s friendship with him brings out judgments and snark from her schoolmates.  There is a secret there, but it takes ages (and shame on Les) to reveal, and Piper is more isolated than ever in the meantime.  But, her mother and stepfather have bought two local newspapers, and a falling out with the photographer allows Piper a chance to do what she loves: photograph.  Problem is – Les is on the team, and Piper can’t seem to step away.

Descriptions of potential photographs through Piper’s eye and voice are instantly evocative of imagery and bring a real depth to her character and language. Conversations and even Piper’s voice are solidly ‘teen’, and as Piper seems to grasp one lesson or element in her life, the others blur away and lose focus, hence the wonderful tie-in to the title.  Without the photographic element of the story to add unique and fresh elements, the story arc would be wholly predictable until the twist at the end: even though that predictability is captivating and wholly forgettable with the strong voice and presence of Piper.  A solid teen-romance.

Possibly the only real downfall for me in this story was the lack of effort Piper put into her friendships: she saw what did and didn’t work, and was aware of her own misconceptions about ‘being a friend’, yet she seemed to not value any of the new connections enough to actually DO the work and improve her own shortcomings in that area.  But, the story captivated my interest early on, and had me reading straight through to the end.

Pixelated by L.S. Murphy

Title: Pixelated
Author: L.S. Murphy
Genre: Teen Reads
Published by: Bloomsbury Spark
ISBN: 9781619637818
Published on: 30 June, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 226
Rated: four-stars
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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.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About L.S. Murphy

L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a menagerie of pets.

She is a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the St. Louis Writer’s Guild.