It took me a while to get into this book. Everything that at first seemed a like a flaw or a shortcoming actually helped in making this book work.
The font is a faux handwriting print, so that you feel like you are reading someone's journal (or, of course, scrapbook). Intermixed with the writing are copies of receipts, newspaper clippings, drawings, etc. I am so much older than the target audience that, even though I could read the journal entries just fine, I had to put on my magnifying glasses to read the "extras". For about the first third of the book, this just felt gimmicky to me, but later on, everything slid into place and the format made perfect sense.
I didn't especially like the main character at first. She was pretty self-involved and suffered from a case of "Look at me! Don't look at me! Why isn't anyone paying attention to me?" But, again, her character makes perfect sense. She is seventeen, and on the cusp of adulthood. She is attracted to two guys. Sometimes she acts young; other times she acts like an adult. She is facing her own internal revolution. Further, she is gold-skinned and very tall. She stands out, literally. She wears the label of "Malian" instead of "Regular". While in the midst of her internal revolution, she leads an external revolution. By the end of the book, I not only liked the main character, but admired her as well.