I received this book at no cost from the publisherColor Me In by Natasha Diaz
Published by Delacorte Press on August 20, 2019
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Young Adult
COLOR ME IN
Debut YA author Natasha Diaz 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 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?
This is the book I have been waiting for all year.
After her parents separated, Neveah is closer to her mother’s Baptist roots rather than her father’s Jewish ones. And now she doesn’t know where she fits in since her father wants her to have a Bat Mitzvah. Especially now that she is twice the age of the children she has to study with to get up to speed to mark this event. She doesn’t fit in with any of the groups she should since she takes after her father’s side, rather than her mother’s in Harlem.
This story is one that will appeal to everyone who ever had issues fitting in and it is told with a sense of lyric humor that makes Neveah’s disjointed life come together. I mean, she starts dating a boy named Jesus (of course with the Spanish pronunciation), and well, you can tell the author knows her cultural references and the absurdities that real life can put you in. This one charmed me.
( I could have gone on about this book for three pages but I know no one has that much time to read online – just get this one, trust me, you will love it. It is so different from a lot of YA coming of age stories. There is no drama just one girl finding herself and everyone should relate to that.)
Natasha Díaz is a born and raised New Yorker, currently residing in Brooklyn, NY with her tall husband. She spends most of her days writing with no pants on and alternating between E.R. and Grey’s Anatomy binges. Formerly a reality TV producer, Natasha is both an author and screenwriter. Her scripts have placed as a quarterfinalist in the Austin Film Festival and a finalist for both the NALIP Diverse Women in Media Fellowship and the Sundance Episodic Story Lab. Her essays can be found in The Establishment and Huffington Post. Raised by a first generation half-Liberian/half-Brazilian mother and a Jewish-American father, Natasha writes stories about people who don’t fit into the boxes society imposes, and instead, create their own as they search for their places in the world. Her first novel, Color Me In, will be published by Delacorte Press/Random House August, 20 2019.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of COLOR ME IN, US Only.
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