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The Indigo Notebook (Notebook #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  946 Ratings  ·  170 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
ebook, 336 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 24, 2014 Cara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, 2010 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Sep 05, 2011 Caren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
"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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Kylee Peterson
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
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Jun 03, 2014 Tevia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had some great potential. The premise seemed very interesting and I had high hopes. However, I was not as thrilled with this book as I was hoping to be.

The main characters, Zeeta (a 15 year old girl) and her mother Layla, travel around the world because Layla is a free spirited person that has adult ADD, (my opinion), and teaches English wherever the end up. The book starts with them moving from Thailand to Ecuador.

The descriptions in the book are great, but the rest of the book, the
Sep 22, 2016 Laur rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Libby Ames
Zeeta has spent her whole life traveling the world with her free-spirited mother Layla. Spending no more than one year in each new place, Zeeta lives her cultural education. But Zeeta’s greatest wish is a normal and stable life.

Wendell wishes to find his birth parents and he has come to the Andes of Ecuador to find them. Hopelessly lost and with no real leads, Wendell meets Zeeta and enlists her in his quest. They learn about the area and make new friends in their search, but they stumble into u
Feb 06, 2014 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I spent 6 months in Ecuador in the past (as an English teacher!) and the book felt familiar to me in many ways. I was touched by the topic of adoption woven into the story especially knowing the author's own experiences with it. And while this is a novel, fiction, I feel like the Resau really bared her heart in the story.
The only thing I didn't love was one line. When Zeeta said she was happy that Wendel chose her. While I may have thought something similar at 15, I hope my ow
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 upstanding, “normal” men to set up with Layla.

There, Zeeta meets Wendell. She learns that he was born nearby, but adopted by an American family. His one wish is to find his birth parents, an
Anne Broyles
Dec 09, 2009 Anne Broyles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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!
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
Dec 27, 2009 Deanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

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
Oct 03, 2013 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 01, 2011 Rachal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone age 13+
Recommended to Rachal by: school
This was a really good book. The title was deciving, but the synopsis drew me in. It was a nice size book, but I finished it in a respectible amount of time. Where as, I usually take forever to read a book this size. I guess it just shows how much I liked it. The book was very well written and the main character was charming. She was very true and the author didn't glamorize anything, nor did she go into detail where she could have. There were a few sensitive topics in the book, so I wouldn't le ...more
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
Jan 22, 2010 Shenek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a 15 year-old girl who lives with her mom. Every year they move to another country and every country she writes in a different color journal (to help her adapt to her new surroundings). This year she is in Ecuador, which is why I picked up the book.

I was so impressed by how well Ecuador is represented. Descriptions of food (including guinea pig and cilantro), the buses (they would have looked nice 30 years ago), the garbage (overflowing in the street), the drunks, the beauty
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
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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” 9 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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