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The Indigo Notebook (Notebook #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  960 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
An exciting new series from the acclaimed author of Red Glass.

Zeeta's life with her free-spirited mother, Layla, is anything but normal. Every year Layla picks another country she wants to live in. This summer they’re in Ecuador, and Zeeta is determined to convince her mother to settle down. Zeeta makes friends with vendors at the town market and begs them to think of upst
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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Aug 31, 2016 Cara rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
The reason why I picked up this book was because I absolutely fell in love with Resau's writing in Red Glass. Her writing is still impecable here, but a little different like it should be.

Zeeta the seeker and Wendell the wanderer collide paths when they both meet in the colorful country of Ecuador. For Zeeta it's just another move, but she has this restless unease of not being normal and the feeling of not belonging to one place. Wendell on the other hand does have a home, but is looking for a
Sep 10, 2009 Julia rated it really liked it
What a sweet book. It's a quick read, but it's laced with the same feeling of wanderlust that made me love The Bean Trees. There definitely are kids out there who are raised on the road like this, kids who feel like they are more responsible than their parents. Although I've met people who could have been Zeeta, I've never encountered a book written from this perspective, let alone one written for young adults. I get excited when books I read give voice to an overlooked population, no matter how ...more
Feb 22, 2011 Thomas rated it liked it
While The Indigo Notebook contained interesting cultural points, it also possessed plenty of underdeveloped plot structures.

The best aspect of this book was its foray into the lives of foreign denizens - the main character, Zeeta, has visited an abundance of countries while traveling with her mother. She can speak seven different languages, not all fluently, but enough to survive as a passing tourist. Through her perspective the reader can garner gratuitous cultural knowledge of the Ecuadorean A
Sep 10, 2010 Valerie rated it really liked it
It's been more than a week since I've read this book but I do remember that I thought the writing was great. It flowed beautifully and seemed effortlessly. Resau can definitely write no doubt about it.

The plot is Zeeta helping an American boy, Wendell, find his birth parents in Ecuador. The other subplot is Zeeta's mother turning herself normal, instead of being free spirited and irresponsible as she has always been.

Really I loved the story and Zeeta is very observant. Wendell is nice though I
Laura Resau writes so elegantly that I would probably enjoy reading her grocery lists. (Creamy butter that melts softly under the sultry Arizona sun . . .)

In this book we have the main character, Zeeta, who has just moved to yet another country with her flakey, irresponsible, promiscuous mom. Zeeta meets and gets involved with Wendell who is in Ecuador searching for his birth parents. The adoption angle of the story had me choked up during one part. It's very sweet and probably influenced by the
Sep 05, 2011 Caren rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Having read the author's more recent book, "The Queen of Water", I wanted to read her earlier work of fiction set in Ecuador. (Well, "The Queen of Water" is ostensibly fiction, but is based on real events.) In "The Indigo Notebook", the author introduces us to a very interesting and likeable mother/daughter duo, fifteen-year-old Zeeta and her free-spirited mother, Layla. Zeeta is the product of a one night stand on a beach and so doesn't know who her father might be. Layla has moved every year o ...more
Jan 26, 2010 Melissa rated it it was amazing
"If you had one wish, what would it be?" Zeeta asks.

Zeeta wishes for a normal family. Gaby wishes for happiness. Wendell wishes to find his birth family. And so begins a story woven in Ecuador with threads of Remi, Spanish, love and longing.

"The way I see it, people think they know what they want, and it turns out they don't have a clue," responds Gaby.

Resau shows us this truth through a beautifully written story of searching for wishes and what we think we want. And it turns out, Gaby is right.


I came across this author on someone's blog and must apologize to said blogger for not remembering who you are. But thanks so much because The Indigo Notebook turned out to be a unique and wonderful YA read.

The story opens as 15-year-old Zeeta is flying from Laos to Ecuador with her flighty, blissed out, aging hippie mom. Layla, the mom, likes to move to a different country every year, making her living as an ESL teacher and hooking up with equally dreamy and usually feckle
Jennifer Wardrip
Jan 27, 2011 Jennifer Wardrip rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Monica Sheffo for

At fifteen, Zeeta's life as been anything but ordinary. In those fifteen years, she has lived in fifteen different countries with her flighty single mother, Layla.

To document her many experiences and the interesting people she has met along the way, Zeeta keeps a journal. Each journal is a different color to symbolize the country she was living in at the time.

This year, she's in Ecuador, where she first meets Wendell, an American boy in search of the
Autumn West
Aug 06, 2012 Autumn West rated it really liked it
I liked this story enough to read it a couple times. Laura created a wonderful book which is fun, colorful and easy to read. The characters all seemed very much like they could be real people. I Loved Zeeta and her mother Layla's relationship. Layla is a free-spirited woman who loves to travel to exotic places. Zetta has lived in 15 different countries one for every year of life, and now all she wants is to settle down and start a normal life, and a normal family. Zetta writes her experiences fr ...more
May 30, 2010 Vicki rated it it was amazing
This is really a good one -- a nicely paced, nicely connected story about a girl who's been a world traveler pretty much since she was born. Her mother is an ESL teacher who realized she was pregnant a few months after she'd left whomever the father might have been. So it was just Layla, the young ESL teacher, and Zeeta, her baby girl born in Italy. Now Layla's a teenager, and they've landed in Ecuador, after Thailand. Zeeta is sick of her mother's flighty Rumi-quoting ways, and wishes for norma ...more
May 25, 2010 Annell rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful story of love, family, a magical waterfall and a crystal cave. I can see the bright colors and clothing. I can imagine walking through the market and I can almost taste Mamita Luz's bread. It is a great reminder that families are not just made up of blood relatives and that sometimes what you think you want, is not always what you need.

This is the first book in The Notebook Series, each of which will be set in a different country. The second book is due out in the fall of thi
Anne Broyles
Dec 09, 2009 Anne Broyles rated it really liked it
Resau gives readers well-rounded characters, interesting locales, fascinating glimpses into other cultures in a book about self0discovery. All this, and Rumi poetry, as well!
Sep 09, 2013 Alaina rated it really liked it
Resau's writing is very smooth. This was an impulsive pick at the library due to my children's lack of ability to be calm. I am very glad this was the book I grabbed!
The Scoop:
Zeeta and her free-spirited, wanderlust, ESL-teaching, Rumi-quoting mother Layla have lived in 15 different countries. That's one country for each year that Zeeta has been alive. And for each of those countries, Zeeta has kept a notebook (well, since she could write, at least) that holds her observations, thoughts and the stories of the native people. This year, the year of living in Otavalo, Ecuador, Zeeta has an indigo notebook.
Now, more than ever (she's just three years away from go
Stephanie A.
A heady plunge into a beautiful side of Ecuador, flush with local community flavor off the tourist track, and the magic of traditional customs and ceremonies that leave you somewhere between a fantasy sticker and what science can explain, if definitely closer to the realism side of things. Perfect for some world traveling from your armchair.
Dec 15, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it
Appropriate for: age 13+
You will like this book if you like: Romance, mysteries, foreign cultures

I don't usually read "normal" YA. This had a twist of magic in it to keep it intresting.
Kelly K
Dec 27, 2016 Kelly K rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I wasn't the biggest fan of this. I would have been more interested if the story followed Layla instead of Zeeta.
Oct 17, 2012 Gilly added it
I listened to the audio recording of The Indigo Notebook and I’m not quite sure how to review it. My general impression is that I enjoyed it, but as I sat down to review, I realized I was calling out mostly things that troubled me. I tried again and again, but this is what I keep coming back to. I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.

I’ve always loved travel books and The Indigo Notebook has that exotic location charm in spades. The setting of small Andean town, Otovalo, is described

This is a silly thing to dislike and I didn't dislike it per se but I genuinely did not understand the Rumi quotes. My confusion over what he was saying made me feel like a complete idiot but maybe in time I will understand better. For now I'm content just thinking that he writes vague poetry that celebrates nature, simplicity and individuality (and that might not even be right). I was bothered by the fact that the Layla storyline was really cliche, whimsical mother kept safe/protected by d
Sep 22, 2016 Laur rated it it was amazing
The Indigo Notebook
by Laura Resau
4.5 Stars
Let me start with this, if your thinking about reading this READ IT. Don't even consider, just READ. That being said, I did feel rather frustrated with the characters, so frustrated I yelled at the book...which made me realize it's been a long time since I've been SO invested in characters! my 1/2 star deduction was for three reasons,
1. I appreciate outlandish and trusting parents, but FIVE days of their 16 year old son in another country with NO conta
Oct 19, 2013 Sabine rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I had my doubts about this book whilst reading the first chapter. The cover depicted a suitcase, implying some mediocre traveling story with undeveloped young characters that learn the meaning of life while trying out the cultures of the indigenous country they happen upon. The Indigo Notebook, by Laura Resau, followed this format though with the abrupt addition of inhuman powers. The book follows Zeeta, the daughter of a wide-eyed free spirited traveler Layla. It is the typical story of the wi ...more
Oct 03, 2013 Emma rated it really liked it
For her whole life, Zeeta and her English teaching mother have lived in a new country every year. This nomadic life isn’t Zeeta’s style, and she yearns for a family like the one she sees in old magazine advertisements. When Zeeta and Layla find their new temporary home in Ecuador, a near death experience leads Layla to promise to become the mother Zeeta has always wanted. Meanwhile, Zeeta begins to help Wendell, an American teen who is searching for his birth parents. Both Wendell and Zeeta are ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Melody added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Books and Literature for Teens
Fifteen year old Zeeta and her eccentric mother, Layla, travel the world hitting a new country every year. From Italy to Guatemala to Australia to Thailand, Zeeta has been traveling her whole life and she's ready to stop, to have a normal life. When Layla moves Zeeta to a small village in the Ecuadorian Andes, Zeeta meets an American boy named Wendell who is desperately scouring the market place for his long lost birth parents. Together the unlikely pair team up to search the country side and di ...more
Nathalie S
Sep 30, 2013 Nathalie S rated it really liked it
I lived in 4 countries on 4 continents growing up so I was attracted to this book, although 15 year old Zeeta has me beat by a mile, several miles actually---one country every year! Her mother Layla is a nomadic free-spirit who is on a constant quest for enlightenment of a sort. She lives in the now and has a series of artistic-surfer-beach bum-type boyfriends. As is natural for most teenagers, Zeeta longs for the life she does not have--which would be a safe and stable environment with all the ...more
Kylee Peterson
Feb 19, 2015 Kylee Peterson added it
Shelves: ya-1-12
Zeeta is a teenage girl living with her eccentric—to say the least—mother. Her mom is an English teaching hippie, and the two live a gypsy life traveling from country to country. They spend the summer in Ecuador, where Zeeta’s goal is to convince her mother to settle down and assume the role of a responsible, normal mother. She mingles with the locals, and soon meets a boy named Wendell who is visiting in search of his birth parents. Instantly attracted, Zeeta agrees to help him on his quest and ...more
Nov 25, 2012 Doris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you had just one wish, what would it be, the main character, Zeeta, asks of all her new acquaintances. She listens seriously, and records their answer in her Indigo (dark purple) notebook, which she is using to record her adventures during her stay in Ecuador.

Zeeta has a new color notebook for each country, where she records thoughts, observations, comments and questions about and to the people she meets. She and her mother are wanderers, going from place to place, only stopping for a short
Dec 27, 2009 Deanna rated it liked it
Realistic fiction, travel, family, adventure/mystery.

15 year old Zeeta and her 35 year old English teacher mom travel and live in a new country each year--this year in Ecuador. Zeeta dreams of a normal life with a fantasy father and family. In each country she gets a new writer's notebook which serves to help her in her chaotic life. "Writing in my notebooks always makes me notice more things" (p. 12). Mother and daughter visit landmarks in each country. For example they get up very early in the
I read this book because I'd checked its sequel out of the library, then realized I'd probably better read the first one first. So when I started it, I was a little grouchy about that -- but I soon fell in love with Zeeta, the people she met, and the beautiful surroundings. I loved the writing even though it was the currently ubiquitous first person/present tense, and found myself irresistibly drawn into the descriptions of both the scenery and Zeeta's emotions as the story unfolded. This book f ...more
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whats so bad abut Indigo ? 3 15 Nov 05, 2012 07:26PM  
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I'm the author of the young adult novels The Queen of Water, Red Glass, What the Moon Saw, The Indigo Notebook, The Ruby Notebook , The Jade Notebook, and the middle-grade novels Star in the Forest, and most recently, The Lightning Queen. I grew up in Maryland, then moved around for ten years (as student, ESL teacher, and anthropologist), making my home in New Orleans; Aix-en-Provence, France; Oax ...more
More about Laura Resau...

Other Books in the Series

Notebook (3 books)
  • The Ruby Notebook (Notebook, #2)
  • The Jade Notebook (Notebook, #3)

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“Power is a tricky thing, mija. It can lift you up high on its wings and up into the sky where you feel invincible. But sometimes you forget the bigger thing that makes you fly. Without God, without love, you fall. You stop being grateful and humble, and you fall." pg. 230” 8 likes
“Life is the ultimate artistic masterpiece, and it's up to you, the creator, to make it as wildly dazzling as possible.” 3 likes
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