Ellie Pillai is Brown

Publisher: Faber

15 year old Ellie is trying to work out who she is and feels that she is more than a little bit weird. She lives her life with a soundtrack and filmtrack buzzing around her head, and is actually completely obsessed by music, song lyrics (which she also writes) and old movies. She feels strangely invisible, a misfit, and also desperate to fall in love. She’s pretty much the only brown girl in her school and she’s hiding a big secret from her first generation immigrant parents (they think she took computer science GCSE when really she’s doing drama, a subject she’s actually not doing even doing well in). She can’t even put on eyeliner correctly, although her mum can do perfectly.

Friendships are getting complicated especially now she’s fallen in love with Ash, a new boy at school who she has a real connection with and who then immediately starts going out with her best friend. She’s probably got it all wrong again. Life feels unspeakably complicated!

Ellie Pillai is Brown is a warm hearted read that really perfectly captures what it feels like to be a teenager: it’s a real whirlwind of emotions and complexity. This is a really funny book and Ellie is a very relatable character to get to know. It’s fun to read with Spotify or YouTube open so you can type in all the many songs that are mentioned and check out the film references - and you can read all the lyrics of the new songs Ellie writes in the back of the book. This is a great teen read. Contains one episode of under age drinking and kissing throughout.

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