Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Book Review: The Color of Lies by C.J. Lyons


Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: The Color Of Lies
Author: CJ Lyons
Publisher: Blink
Pages: Hardcover; 336
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Source: FFBC Tours / Publisher
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Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy YA mysteries with diverse characters.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author CJ Lyons comes The Color of Lies, a world drenched in color and mystery.

High school senior Ella Cleary has always been good at reading people. Her family has a rare medical condition called synesthesia that scrambles the senses—her Gram Helen sees every sound, and her uncle Joe can literally taste words. Ella’s own synesthesia manifests itself as the ability to see colors that reveal people’s true emotions…until she meets a guy she just can’t read.

Alec is a mystery to Ella, a handsome, enigmatic young journalist who makes her feel normal for the first time in her life. That is, until he reveals the real reason why he sought her out—he wants to learn the truth behind her parents’ deaths, the parents that Ella had always been told died in a fire. Alec turns Ella’s world upside down when he tells her their deaths were definitely not an accident.

After learning her entire life has been a lie, Ella doesn’t know who she can trust or even who she really is. With her adoptive family keeping secrets and the evidence mixing fact and fiction, the only way for Ella to learn the truth about her past is to find a killer.

Perfect for fans of Caroline B. Cooney, Ally Carter, and Jennifer Brown, The Color of Lies blurs the lines between black-and-white facts and the kaleidoscope of reality.
YA mysteries and thrillers are still relatively new territory for me, mainly because I still always seem to gravitate towards my safe fantasy territory. Which is why, when the opportunity to review a book like The Color of Lies presents itself, I'll happily oblige. This story in particular caught my attention because our protagonist had synesthesia. How CJ Lyons planned to incorporate that into Ella's story intrigued me, because it seemed to me that the ability to read auras would really come in handy in the event of a thriller. Ah, how right I was.

It should be noted that I don't have a lot of background knowledge of synesthesia, and I always assumed that it revolved around colors. So it was so fascinating to me to meet Ella's family members, each with their own unique way of experiencing the world. In particular, Ella's uncle Joe had the ability to taste words. How cool is that? I just kept imagining what that would be like, to be able to taste the things that you say. Absolutely fascinating, if I do say so myself.

I also really enjoyed Ella as a main character. She was enough of an adult to keep the teen angst to a minimum, but enough of sheltered child to make this whole mystery really flow. Her love for her family and friends made me fall for her pretty quickly, but her love of art really sealed the deal. Had this book only been from Ella's point of view, I think I would have been completely smitten.

Unfortunately, this is a dual POV book. I normally am not a fan of dual POV anyway, but I really felt Alec's portion took away from some of the growth that we could have seen from Ella. I'll admit, Ella does get a fair bit more time in the limelight than Alec does. However since Alec starts out the story holding all the cards, and Ella has to play catch up, it makes her seem a little weak. I knew she wasn't. CJ Lyons has written a strong character who, despite her whole life being turned upside down multiple times, pushes through. I just wanted more of that, and more of her.

As for the plot line, I'm of the opinion that it was actually pretty easy to unravel. My inkling about how the book was going to end started around the 1/3 mark, and the further the read the more I knew that I was absolutely right. I know that Lyons was trying to lay a trail of breadcrumbs. In fact, I think that some of that actually was done well. However there is a lot in the first half of the book that all but lights a neon sign pointing to what will happen at the end. As I said, I don't read a ton of mystery and I was able to unravel it. I'm not sure how die hard readers of this genre will feel.

All in all, this was a pretty solid read. The Color of Lies drew me in with its premise, and kept me reading because I fell in love with the characters. Although the plot wasn't quite as twisty as I hoped for, that didn't stop this from being a book I all but flew through. I know this will be a satisfying read for a lot of you out there, and so I'll happily recommend you adding it to your reading list.

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FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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