ARC Review: Color Me In- Natasha Diaz

Title: Color Me In

Author: Natasha Diaz

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Pages: 373

Rating: 5/5

Naveah Levitz is trapped in two different worlds. Her parents recently split up and she has to travel and stay in between two places. Her grandfather’s home in Harlem and her childhood home in White Plains with her dad. For a while Naveah has felt she didn’t belong anywhere. As a bi-racial kid it’s hard to feel any level of acceptance anywhere…including within her own family. Naveah has only been exposed to her white side (she’s half black and half white). Her cousins and her aunt are trying to connect her with her black heritage, while her bone head father tries to to show her her Jewish roots. Evening going as far as preparing her for Hebrew school and throw a bat Mitzvah (3 years too late). His purpose for it….so she doesn’t lose her head and act too “black”. It’s even worse because her cousin Jordan is consistently reminding her she isn’t welcomed into the black community. Especially since Naveah is too blinded about what’s going on within the black community. Things start to get even more tense between her and Jordan when Jesus, Jordan’s long time crush starts to fall for Naveah. With all this plus all the problems at her white preppy school, Naveah finds comfort in her poetry and her mother’s diary that she happens to find in her grandfather’s attic.

I want to thank the author for sharing her experiences a multi-racial individual through this book. She even explains it at the end of the book. It was really though provoking and insightful. There were numerous characters mentioned in the book. But it was easy to keep up with them and I didn’t feel feel overwhelmed by them.

*Stevie- Naveah’s best friend whose also bi-racial (White and Chinese). A talented dancer and performer. He’s an amazing friend overall.
*Abby- I hated this girl with everything in my soul. The things that she would say were disgusting and I often wanted to jump through my phone and wanting to punch her in the throat. I’ve dealt with a Abby at my previous job and let me tell you…I’m really starting to hate the name Abby.
*Jesus- Towards the beginning of the book I wasn’t really feeling Jesus. I thought he was going to be one of those guys and honestly I was anticipating him turning into a dog. I think I started to partially warm up to him towards the end of the book.
*Rabbi Sarah: At first she was annoying to me, but I warmed up to her once I saw that she was down to earth.

There were other characters in the novel. I think the two characters that I hated the most were Navaho’s dad and his new stupid girlfriend Ashleigh. Holy crap what a bunch of turds. I will warn you some of the content in the book will anger you. So be on the lookout for racism, name calling, and sexual assault. It was frustrating enough reading about, I can’t imagine someone going through it. The a book makes you feel all the feelings I did while reading it…you know you have a banger.

Overall the book was fantastic and I really enjoyed it. I devoured it in two days. A story that deals with the true meaning of friendship, love, and dealing with with a difficult family….and of course learning how to accept the true you. 5/5 for me. Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review:Scars Like Wings- Erin Stewart

Title: Scars Like Wings

Author: Erin Stewart

Publisher: Delacorte

Pages: 352

Rating: 5/5

TW: Burn survivor story and flashbacks, Suicide Attempt

Based on her friend who has dealt with what Ava has dealt with, Erin Stewart gives us a glimpse into the life of a burn survivor. Ava has been through a traumatic experience in her life, one that has haunted her since the day it happened. Ava lost both her parents and her cousin Sara in a house fire. Fortunately, Ava made it out alive, however, she had 60% of her body burned which resulted in 19 surgeries. Ava lives with her Aunt Cora and her uncle Glenn. They have provided for Ava and cared for her ever since their daughter Sara died. Ava attends a support group for burn survivors and she meets Piper. They start forming a bond and pretty soon Ava starts school and meets Asad. Ava soon gets wind of drama club and Piper and Asad convinces Ava to join them. After all Ava has an amazing voice and was active at her previous school’s drama club as well. 
Of course, with every new school comes new drama, new romances, and new personalities. Kenzie is your typical drama queen who enjoys being a mean girl to everyone, especially when it comes to Ava and Piper. Ava soon learns that Piper was the one responsible for the car accident that caused Piper to be in a wheelchair because of a drunken mistake. Then there’s Asad whose a delight, and Ava agrees. She realizes she likes Asad and hopes he feels the same way about her. 
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It really is emotional and takes you on a roller coaster of emotions. This book teaches you about empathy, friendships, self-love, and being a survivor.

Finally, thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book in a exchange for an honest review.