Review: Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink
by Stephanie Kate Strohm

ISBN-13: 9-780547-564593
Publication: May 2012 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Rating: 4 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it!

It may not be your idea of the best summer before senior year ever, but to Libby Kelting – historical-romance-reading, Jane Austen-adaptation-watching, all-around history nerd – working at Camden Harbor, the Museum of Main and the Sea (“In here, it’s always 1791!”) is, like, a dream come true. Supercute coastal location, a fabulous wardrobe of eighteenth-century fashion, hearth cooking, needlepoint…what’s not to love? Throw in a summer fling with Cam, the hottest sailor in the harbor, and you’ve got yourself an old-fashioned good time.

But it’s not all sonnets and primroses. Libby has a majorly annoying roommate situation to deal with, and bunking with rookie newspaper reporter Garrett McCaffrey aboard the Lettie Mae Howell is only a tiny step up. What could be more awkward than sharing a fo’c’sle with a Star Trek-loving geek?

Oh, right. Sharing a fo’c’sle with a Star Trek-loving geek and the ghost of a drowned seas captain. It’s not quite the summer she bargained for, but Libby’s going to make it work.

Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm is so cute and reading it made me wonder why I don’t indulge in more contemporary novels! Libby is off to a summer internship at a historical living museum, where she’ll be immersed in all things eighteenth century. Throw in some cute boys, a mysterious ghost and a hostile roommate, and Libby is in for quite a ride.

Libby is a great mix of history buff, fashionista and girl-next-door. She loves shoes and clothes, needs her cell phone, yet knows more history than most high school students would care to even acknowledge exists and has a very down-to-earth personality that allows her to get along with most everybody – except for Ashling, her crazy roommate and Garrett, the geek that just won’t seem to disappear. Dev, Libby’s gay best friend is absolutely hilarious and fashion obsessed. On the lam from a disastrous internship at a magazine, Dev shows up just in time to turn Libby into an eighteenth century beauty before the annual ball at the museum.

There was a nice mix of historic facts woven in throughout the story, and they never felt out of place with the plot or dialogue. Libby’s summer romance with Cam made me want to shake her a little bit, since it is very obvious he has an agenda and hidden motives (and not just to the reader – events that happen throughout the book should make it very obvious to Libby, too). I spent half the book wishing she’d just get a clue so the subsequent punch to Cam’s nose after he makes a very inappropriate move is wonderful. Libby can definitely take care of herself, and shows it. The ghost story mystery, while not a huge aspect of the book, is the catalyst for a number of decisions that get made and move the plot along. It’s a cute mystery and feels very Scooby-Doo (in fact, I do believe reference is made to Scooby-Doo throughout the book :D).

Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm is a light, fun and funny read. A nice mix between summer romance, modern-historical and mystery, there is something for most anyone to enjoy. Plot moved along at a nice pace, characters were interesting and engaging and the descriptions of the clothes, museum and events are vivid and detailed. If you want to try out some historical or contemporary without diving all the way in, this is a great book for testing the waters.

Paperback copy received from Thomas Allen & Son in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

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