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.

Review: Queenie- Candice Party-Williams

Title: Queenie

Author: Candice Carty- Williams

Publisher: Gallery/ Scout Books

Pages: 330

Rating: 5/5

CW/TW: Racism, “N” word, Harassment, rough sexual intercourse

I’ve never read Bridget Jone’s Diary but, I’ve seen so many people compare the two. I can get an idea why they would though. Queen is a hilarious, witty, and emotional novel that follows the life of Queenie, her bf’s (The Corgi’s), and her old school grandparents.
Queenie is dealing with a breakup with her white boyfriend Tom, as a result she’s been doing awful at work, she’s living in a crappy flat with weird roommates, and she’s sleeping around without using protection. Just overall destructive behavior. After being taken back into time in the book before Queenie’s and Tom’s breakup you see all the things that lead up to that moment. Many of the moments including his family being casually racist all the time. Tom never stood up for Queenie. He would just tell her how problematic she was. It seems all her relationships with white men were just a fantasy for them. They treat her like garbage and just used her.
Cart-Williams did an amazing job with speaking on mental health issues especially with Queenie’s grandparents naivety towards getting help when you aren’t yourself. I really got annoyed with a lot of the times. It’s like just let the girl breathe will ya? especially after all the panic attacks that she was having. Sometimes the elderly forget that times are a changing. Queenie may have been a hot mess, but in a way she was a feminist and a advocate as well. There may be a lot of times you want to judge Queenie, but you have to really read the book in depth to see where she’s coming from, the events that happened to her to get her to this level in her life.
Queenie will make you laugh, will make you think, and surely will get you very mad, but you will enjoy it.