Color Me In

Color Me In

Debut YA author Natasha Díaz pulls from her personal experience to inform this powerful coming-of-age novel about the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds.Who is Nevaeh Levitz?Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York C...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Color Me In
Author:Natasha Diaz
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Color Me In Reviews

  • Satya Nelms

    I all but stood up and cheered when I got to the end of this book about a teenage girl coming of age in circumstances that were infinitely relatable to me, having grown up in a blended, multicultural family.

    Nevaeh processes trauma, navigates her identity, comes to terms with her own privilege, and discovers a sense of self all in the midst of a narrative that will have you laughing and crying (sometimes at the same time).

    This is courageous story-telling and I can’t wait to read more from Natas

    I all but stood up and cheered when I got to the end of this book about a teenage girl coming of age in circumstances that were infinitely relatable to me, having grown up in a blended, multicultural family.

    Nevaeh processes trauma, navigates her identity, comes to terms with her own privilege, and discovers a sense of self all in the midst of a narrative that will have you laughing and crying (sometimes at the same time).

    This is courageous story-telling and I can’t wait to read more from Natasha Diaz in the future.

  • Kelly Coon

    COLOR ME IN is rhythm. Music. Poetry. It's a thrumming in your chest, a pulse in your veins. Diaz's words reveal the power of Nevaeh, a young woman torn between two worlds, not knowing who she is or where she fits in, as she fights against the privilege that comes with her skin. It's filled with strong female characters who challenge Navaeh's sense of normalcy, and young males who prove that societal expectations are wrong when it comes to men of color. As Nevaeh learns about her Jewish faith fr

    COLOR ME IN is rhythm. Music. Poetry. It's a thrumming in your chest, a pulse in your veins. Diaz's words reveal the power of Nevaeh, a young woman torn between two worlds, not knowing who she is or where she fits in, as she fights against the privilege that comes with her skin. It's filled with strong female characters who challenge Navaeh's sense of normalcy, and young males who prove that societal expectations are wrong when it comes to men of color. As Nevaeh learns about her Jewish faith from her father's side, and her Baptist faith from her mother's side, she also catches a glimpse into the reasons behind her parents' crumbling marriage as she reads through her mother's old journal.

    COLOR ME IN is a poignant, important story filled with faith and family that will challenge your experiences in every way as you read. Highly, highly recommend.

  • Cortney

    4.5 stars

    “People are always going to want to split you into pieces so they can feel more comfortable with who you are, and I am sorry no one ever sat you down to prepare you for that.”

    Nevaeh is caught between two worlds. Her parents have separated and so not only does she have to deal with that trauma but they are apart of two different cultures and so Nevaeh feels like she is not enough of one or the other to lay claim to those identities and speak for them. She’s also g

    4.5 stars

    “People are always going to want to split you into pieces so they can feel more comfortable with who you are, and I am sorry no one ever sat you down to prepare you for that.”

    Nevaeh is caught between two worlds. Her parents have separated and so not only does she have to deal with that trauma but they are apart of two different cultures and so Nevaeh feels like she is not enough of one or the other to lay claim to those identities and speak for them. She’s also grappling with the privileges afforded to her because of her proximity to whiteness.

    I think this book will resonate with teens going through a similar situation. It was interesting the way her parents separation was presented. No information was given to Nevaeh. She just had to deal with the aftermath. That’s how some kids of divorced/separated parents feel. They are just expected to deal with it with no explanation or time to process their feelings.

    I was so thankful Nevaeh had her Auntie Anita because my adult brain kept screaming “Why is no one talking to Nevaeh about what it going on?” We all have that one Auntie in our family that at first may seem a bit mean but in the end she had our back all along. When she gave Nevaeh the auntie speech, I felt that in my soul.

    One of the hidden gems in this novel is the poetry. I loved it every single time it popped up. It was like a little surprise on the page. Reminded me of my teen self when I used to spend hours in the field adjacent to our neighborhood writing poetry to deal with my feelings about the things going on in my life. It just may be my favorite part of the book.

    Bold. Poignant. Inspiring. A love letter to those who may be need to hear that it’s okay to be their authentic self. That it’s okay to be a part of more than one world. You can choose both.

    P.S. And since I’m a potterhead I appreciated all the Harry Potter references.

  • Jesse bowtiesandbooks

    “We all make assumptions about each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re family or a

    stranger on the subway; we do it everywhere, even here, in our safe spaces, where we’re

    supposed to love each other up and down.”

    With straight brown hair and pale skin, no one realizes 16 year old Nevaeh is half black.

    She’s not popular at her white NY prep school and with her black fam, she sticks out like a sore

    thumb. So where does she fit in? When her dad (white, Jewish, and fil

    “We all make assumptions about each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re family or a

    stranger on the subway; we do it everywhere, even here, in our safe spaces, where we’re

    supposed to love each other up and down.”

    With straight brown hair and pale skin, no one realizes 16 year old Nevaeh is half black.

    She’s not popular at her white NY prep school and with her black fam, she sticks out like a sore

    thumb. So where does she fit in? When her dad (white, Jewish, and filthy rich) is caught

    cheating on her mom, Nevaeh moves in with her family in the city with her grandpa, aunt, and

    two very opinionated teen twin cousins - causing Nevaeh to confront her biracial heritage - and

    her privilege - for the first time.

    Color Me In is a truly phenomenal debut, following a richly complex character who

    struggles to figure out who she is. An ode to the multitudes girls of color contain within themselves, I was deeply impressed by how many themes operated inside Color Me In - impressed at Diaz's ability to balance those themes and to fully explore each. Some of my favorite elements were:

    1. Loving a parent with deteriorating mental health

    2. Balancing multiple ethnic and religious identities

    3. Coming of age

    4. First love

    5. Bullying

    The writing was lyrical, but easily digestible with hilarious dialogue which alleviated tension brought in by heavier discussion topics. I enjoyed moments where Nevaeh has to confront her privilege and

    how to use it so much. She is a regular kid - she makes mistakes, but it was elating to watch her learn from them.

    Diaz gives us a refreshingly real story about growing up, especially in a New York

    setting. I found myself relating so much to Nevaeh as someone who is both biracial and a New

    Yorker. It pulled at my heart to watch her learn how to love, how to be a good friend, how to

    be who she is, and to learn about how the world sees her. For "Color Me In" I only have two points of criticism:

    1. Didn’t like the way fat characters were described

    2. All of the female antagonistic characters embodied either the "airhead" or the “she devil” stereotype . The attitude that female villains should be either hyper sexual or unintelligent is outdated and should be retired from our literature.

    Other than those things, I dig this story and will be 1. Buying it and 2. Reading it again and

    again.

    4.5/5 stars

  • Sahitya

    This is probably closer to a 4.5..

    Some books just surprise you in the best of ways. When I added this book to my TBR, I only expected to read a nice YA coming of age contemporary, but wow did I get so much more. I’m emotional and delighted and thoroughly impressed, so let me share my thoughts.

    Nevaeh’s life is completely turned upside down due to her parent’s separation and she is struggling to find her place in this new reality. She wants to fit in with her mother’s very religious Baptist fami

    This is probably closer to a 4.5..

    Some books just surprise you in the best of ways. When I added this book to my TBR, I only expected to read a nice YA coming of age contemporary, but wow did I get so much more. I’m emotional and delighted and thoroughly impressed, so let me share my thoughts.

    Nevaeh’s life is completely turned upside down due to her parent’s separation and she is struggling to find her place in this new reality. She wants to fit in with her mother’s very religious Baptist family living in Harlem, but she has never the chance or maybe even desire to explore her Black identity before, so she doesn’t know how to do it. She tries to channel her confusion, her rage and her feelings into her writing but she is still afraid to show it to anyone. But slowly with the help of her extended family, the friends she makes in the vibrant community and getting to know her mother better through her old journal, she starts expressing herself through spoken word poetry. She is also initially hesitant to understand her Jewish identity but that slowly changes because of the influence of the very interesting Rabbi Sarah. I liked how the author shows us all facets of Nevaeh - she isn’t perfect, just a realistic teenager with faults, who doesn’t know everything, makes mistakes and can’t even understand why she is wrong - but ultimately she owns up her mistakes and tries to correct them, strives to be better.

    Every other character in the book also has their own arc. They all influence Nevaeh in her growth, but they have lives and their own issues independent of her. That’s why this book is more reading about the daily lives of a family and their friends, rather than just about the main character. Her mother’s despair because of the divorce and her deep rooted anxieties are cleverly integrated into the story through the journal, which was also probably one of the hardest parts of the book to read. Jordan is her vivacious cousin who has dreams and ideas for her future, but has to constantly fight for her opportunities because the world doesn’t think a young Black woman deserves them. Stevie is Nevaeh’s best friend and I just adored his wit and his confidence to go for what he wants. Her aunt Anita comes across as abrasive but they are so many layers to her character and it was beautiful to get to know her. And Rabbi Sarah is one of my favorites - faithful but also open minded, she is charming and delightful but there’s also a deep sadness in her. She plays such an important part in the book and I would have loved to get to know her better, but the way her arc is written is kinda perfect for this story. I wasn’t sure what to think of Jesus initially but I liked the developing romance. He is also probably one of the most sorted characters in that he knows what he wants from his future and has worked hard for it, despite the world trying to snatch it away from him. Abby is the typical mean girl classmate and Ashleigh is the usual evil stepmother - while I understood the parts they played in Nevaeh’s character growth, they both didn’t feel as real as all the other characters in the book and that’s probably my only issue with this book.

    There are so many themes explored in this book, I’m just in awe of the author for being able to talk about all of them in a sensitive manner. The main theme is obviously the issues faced by biracial people, their confusion with finding their place and trying to fit in with both sides of their identity. Both Nevaeh and Stevie have similar kind of issues personally, but they also affect them differently in the outside world because Nevaeh is white passing and he is not. She makes mistakes and is forced to check her privilege many times, sometimes brutally - until she realizes that her privilege allows her to voice her thoughts in a safer manner and sometimes, she has to use this privilege to just listen and give the opportunity to other marginalized voices to speak. There are just so many instances of racism in the book, both micro aggressions and some outright ones - we see how it chips away at the soul of the person who has to encounter them everyday but still wake up and go through it all over again, knowing that their life maybe cut short with even a little misstep. This harsh reality is depicted with raw honesty in the book and it just pained me so much. On another note, the despair of having to go through a divorce after having depended on a person for years is also depicted in a very real manner. The one part which I felt really hard though was, how deep it cuts to lose a childhood best friend and having to go through life without being able to share everything with them. As a single child like Nevaeh, I understood her pain all too well even though my circumstances were different, but I think more books should highlight the deep impact that friendships have on us and how losing them affect us even profoundly than a romantic breakup.

    Finally, I just want to say that pick up this book and I promise, you will be affected. It is brilliant, insightful and heartfelt and you just can’t help but feel the raw emotions that the characters are feeling. It clearly shows that this is the author’s lived experience, a fictionalized version of her own life which makes every word feel very honest. The author’s note at the end is even more moving. However, this is a very character driven, slice of life kinda story and there is not much of a plot, but it didn't impact my reading experience at all. It's an amazing debut and I can’t wait to see what more the author has for us in the future.

  • Lola

    I knew I would love this book the moment I read its description and saw that it was inspired by the author’s own past lived experiences. True events always make something more meaningful for me because if they’re developed well into a story, it makes the whole book so much more realistic and memorable. This is why I adore reading memoirs as much as fictional stories. Plus, the author’s note at the end is incredible.

    Her writing overall is lyrical. She also included poems seeing that t

    I knew I would love this book the moment I read its description and saw that it was inspired by the author’s own past lived experiences. True events always make something more meaningful for me because if they’re developed well into a story, it makes the whole book so much more realistic and memorable. This is why I adore reading memoirs as much as fictional stories. Plus, the author’s note at the end is incredible.

    Her writing overall is lyrical. She also included poems seeing that the heroine is a writer too, although she struggles to express herself. This is part of her character development: she needs to learn to voice her thoughts and feelings and not keep everything in. She has a long way to go, many realizations to make, but she is a strong character who cares about the people in her life and makes mistakes that she cares to fix.

    There is no plot per se. It’s a story with a large set of characters, with the heroine in the center, but these characters all have their own stuff going on. In other words, they don’t depend on the heroine’s own existence to exist themselves. They struggle with their own personal issues and some, like Nevaeh’s mother, cousins, father and best friend undergo their own personal development or make their own realizations.

    It is a debut absolutely worth reading. Although there’s no storyline per se, there are multiple situations that make this book and it tackles racism, poverty, discrimination, sexual assault and dependency. I found unsatisfying the ways in which Abby’s and Nevaeh’s father’s girlfriend’s characters were dealt with in the end—very poorly—and the pacing is slow, but other than that I can’t complain further because this story is of great quality.

    |

    |

    |

    |

    |

  • Obsidian

    "Color Me In" has a young adult character that I think some readers will definitely enjoy. We follow 15 year old Nevaeh Levitz who is dealing with the fall out of her parents separation. She and her mother are living with her mother's relatives in Harlem while her mother tries to move forward. Nevaeh feels trapped between the world she came from (rich and affluent) and where she starts to feel more com

    "Color Me In" has a young adult character that I think some readers will definitely enjoy. We follow 15 year old Nevaeh Levitz who is dealing with the fall out of her parents separation. She and her mother are living with her mother's relatives in Harlem while her mother tries to move forward. Nevaeh feels trapped between the world she came from (rich and affluent) and where she starts to feel more comfortable with her black relatives in Harlem and starts putting together the pieces of her mother's history. Diaz gets into colorism, being biracial, racism, Judaism, and first love. I think she does a great job juggling all of this, though at times parts of Nevaeh's journey feels a little forced.

    Nevaeh feels like a person split in two. Though she's biracial (Jewish and African America) she is still seen as a white girl living with her relatives in Harlem. Her mother and father have separated with Nevaeh feeling lost due to her father being gone for two months while her mother sinks further into depression. Nevaeh is finally getting to know her aunt, uncle, and three cousins. We slowly find out that Nevaeh's father kept her mother from seeing her relatives and there definitely seems to be subtle and not subtle signs of racism coming from him. And we get to see how Nevaeh finds out more about where she came from (on her mother's side) and how she's not just one thing.

    The secondary characters were developed well though I thought that Nevaeh's father was just a hot mess. I wish that Diaz had delved more into the father's actions because it was heavily implied he looked down upon his wife's blackness, but no one came right out and called his behavior racist. You can see why Nevaeh's mother is depressed and realizing how she gave up her sense of self (a black woman who was a child of immigrants) to marry a rich man who wanted her to deny that part of herself in order to fit in.

    We also have Diaz including a Rabbi (Rabbi Sarah) who starts to teach Nevaeh more about Judaism and prepares her for her Bat Mitzvah. I did find Rabbi Sarah to be a little unorthodox though with how she talks to Nevaeh. I just once again don't know how realistic that would be with an adult and a 15 year old.

    I thought that Diaz's relationship with her aunt was quite realistic and I felt pangs for Nevaeh trying to fit in with her cousins and the constant rejection from one of them.

    I thought the writing was sharp in places, but honestly the way that Nevaeh and her cousins speak though sounded way too old. Not that all teens run around speaking broken grammar, it just sounded like they were making too many speeches. For example, when Nevaeh goes back to her school and addresses the principal and other adults. I just felt like it was too try hard in that moment. Also incorporating some of Nevaeh's writing/poetry wrecked the flow for me at times. I also thought including Nevaeh's mother's diary tripped things up a bit too.

    The setting of Harlem came alive based on how Nevaeh sees it, places, and people. Nevaeh's father's home seems separate from her and every time she goes back there it gets a little worse.

    The ending leaves things slightly unfinished for Nevaeh and her father, but definitely in a more solid place with her mother, aunt, grandfather, and cousins.

  • Danielle ❤️ Pretty Mess Reading ❤️

    Review to come. . .

  • Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)

    The story's a good coming of age tale, asking readers to respect boundaries and understand that labels cause more harm than good. The main character requires a good deal of space to figure what she wants and how her voice will handle society on her own terms. While slow sometimes, I would recommend this story to those seeking validation in a world offering little.

  • Ashley

    Color Me In is a coming of age story about a biracial teen trying to navigate her Black and Jewish heritage as well as the divorce of her parents. At its core, I think the book delivers on this premise, providing us a unique perspective on finding one’s identity in a situation that is not so black and white. I think Díaz did a wonderful job of capturing this and she broaches the topic of racism and colorism in our society in an appropriate way.

    Nevaeh is not always a likable character as she str

    Color Me In is a coming of age story about a biracial teen trying to navigate her Black and Jewish heritage as well as the divorce of her parents. At its core, I think the book delivers on this premise, providing us a unique perspective on finding one’s identity in a situation that is not so black and white. I think Díaz did a wonderful job of capturing this and she broaches the topic of racism and colorism in our society in an appropriate way.

    Nevaeh is not always a likable character as she struggles with the idea of making herself heard, but not at the expense of silencing the voices of those who are less privileged than herself. I love how Díaz interlaces beautiful prose with Neveah's poetry, and I really enjoyed her writing style.

    One of my favorite aspects of the book was her mother’s journal entries. I loved reading that personal perspective and it added more dimension and understanding to her mother’s character.

    I hate talking poorly about a book that covers marginalized communities in a positive way and that is loosely inspired by the author's experiences. But I also think it's not good enough that these stories are just told, I think we should also demand that they are told well. I do have some criticisms about the book, especially surrounding the characters and plot.

    Many of the characters feel very stereotypical (often in ways that are harmful to the people they represent). For example, Miss Clarisse who’s described as a scantily-clad older woman who sleeps with a lot of men and is the subject of all the church gossip. I’m not denying that people like this exist but as a book that’s trying to say there is more to people than just what we see on the outside, Daiz could have done more to add a little nuance to her character (like emphasizing that fact that she owns a business or showing readers the Miss Clarisse’s affection for Nevaeh’s grandfather was genuine). Not to mention her character is not at all essential to the plot other than to add some drama to the family dynamic.

    There are more examples of this like Jerry, Neveah’s younger cousin, who is only described as being “chubby” and who is always eating or talking about being hungry; Abby and her cartoonishly villainous Southern father who’s ideals are extremely racist and bigoted; and the meek high school teacher who is afraid of his students (and has a really strange out of character moment when he fights against police brutality...?). Again, I’m not saying that these people don’t exist but to not give them as much nuance and development as the main character is doing a disservice to the main theme of the book which says we shouldn’t judge/discriminate someone based on assumptions or their outward appearance.

    At times the story veers into unbelievable territory when characters are acting out of character and making decisions that don't fit within their established personalities. Oftentimes the characters make drastic changes without any progression shown. Like Neveah's mother who spends 2/3 of the book depressed and unaware and then changes into a strong, empowered woman after a couple of therapy sessions. Additionally, there are minor plotlines that feel like they were added solely for dramatic effect because none of them ever get resolved. For instance, Jordan spends the majority of the story fighting to attend an HBCU next year after graduating high school. But her mother is against the idea because it’s too expensive. Their arguments are depicted to add more intensity to certain moments in the story and then it’s completely dropped and forgotten. And it’s like this for many of the minor characters.

    Overall, the message of this book is strong and well done and it’s why I would recommend everyone read it. I genuinely think that this book will speak to young readers, especially those who have or are experiencing similar issues. The story is from a perspective that isn’t covered enough in literature and I love that it’s opening the doors for these topics to be discussed. I just think a little more focus on some of the minor characters and plotlines would make this story even stronger.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.