Hi friends! I’m not usually posting today, but, aerm… well I’ve been a teeny tiny bit late on my reviews lately, so here I am today…. hoping you’re happy to see another day of my book recommendations!
There are no spoilers in these reviews.
Read the full synopsis ▼
Who is Nevaeh Levitz?
Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom’s family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time.
Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but one of her cousins can’t stand that Nevaeh, who inadvertently passes as white, is too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices they face on a daily basis as African Americans. In the midst of attempting to blend their families, Nevaeh’s dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. Even with the push and pull of her two cultures, Nevaeh does what she’s always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent.
It’s only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom’s past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces that she begins to realize she has a voice. And she has choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she find power in herself and decide once and for all who and where she is meant to be?
Color Me In was a book I’d been anticipating for so long, as it sounded exactly like the kind of contemporary I’d love, a beautiful coming-of-age story and, it really was.
If it took me a little while to get into the story and to stay into it (but this is more likely because of the circumstances, as I read this on and off while traveling), once I got a moment to really get into it, I really loved it. Nevaeh was such a great main character and the growth she goes through within the story was stunning, as she found her voice, claimed her identity, grew stronger and fiercer and her character arc was amazing.
One thing I loved about Color Me In is the strong presence of family. With her parents on the brink of a divorce and Nevaeh learning about her mother’s past, Color Me In perfectly includes family stories and history and complexities of the parents-children and parents themselves relationships in the story, something that I really loved. I also deeply appreciated seeing Nevaeh growing closer to her mom’s side of the family.
With a side of romance, sweet and flawed, (that could have been a little more developed, though), a side of friendship with its ups and downs and most of it all, Nevaeh’s growth, Color Me In is definitely a book I’d recommend to every contemporary, coming-of-age, character-driven kind of reader. It’s a beautiful diverse read.
Final rating: 4 drops!
A million thanks to Penguin Random House International for sending me a digital ARC of this book via NetGalley. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Trigger warnings: police brutality, racism, sexual assault (depicted on page), underage drinking, depression.
Diversity: biracial main character (Black, Liberian & Jewish main character), biracial side character (Chinese/White, living in an Irish American household), POC characters. This is an #ownvoices book.
If you want to learn more about Color Me In, you can read my interview with the author, Natasha Dìaz, right here!
Read the full synopsis ▼
Sisters April and Jenn haven’t been close in years. Jenn’s too busy with school, the family antique shop, and her boyfriend, and April would rather play soccer and hang out with the boy next door.
But when April notices her older sister is sad about staying home for college, she decides to do something about it. The girls set off to revive a pact they made as kids: spend an epic day exploring the greatest hits of their childhood and all that Los Angeles has to offer.
Then April learns that Jenn has been keeping a secret that could rip their family—and their feuding parents—apart. With only one day to set things right, the sisters must decide if their relationship is worth saving, or if the truth will tear them apart for good.
She’s The Worst had SO much potential… I’m going to say it straight away, I was a little disappointed by it. Following two sisters as they try to reconnect with each other one day in Los Angeles sounded like the perfect premise, but it lacked something, for me. Let’s talk about the positives, though, first.
She’s The Worst is a quick, entertaining read I flew through in only a couple of days and its premise was so lovely. I adore when sisters are at the heart of stories so this made me so, so very happy to see. One thing I also loved, was the relationship between April and her neighbor / best friend Nate, which warmed my little marshmallow heart and felt predictable, but adorable.
My main issue with the story was that it felt very repetitive, miscommunication based and… somehow, it lacked some depth within the sisters’ relationship. The roots of the sisters’ relationship was interesting, how they grew apart from each other, but I would have loved to learn more about how, about their relationship, before and now, I would have loved to learn more about them together as a whole and somehow, I felt like I just needed more. Maybe I’m just too sister-focused though. Another frustrating thing about She’s The Worst were the parents. If I appreciated their presence and how they were an integrant part of the storyline, they. were. so. frustrating.
Still, if you’re looking for a quick and fun contemporary to read, I can still recommend She’s The Worst. If it lacked some depth and exploration for me within the relationships, it can still be a hit for you, a fun contemporary read you might love!
Final rating: 3 drops!
A million thanks to the author for sending me an ARC of this book through NetGalley. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Trigger warnings: let me know if you found some, so I can add them.
Diversity: Indian side-character (Shruthi)
Did you read Color Me In or/and She’s The Worst? Do you want to?
What are some of the latest contemporary books you’ve read that you would recommend? I’d love to hear from you in comments!