Title – The Color of Us
Authors – Laura Ward & Christina Manzari
Publication Date – June 18, 2016
Series – College Bound, #2
Eighteen year old Alexis Sinclair is lost in the darkness of grief. Since the death of her sister in a car accident, she can’t find the will to get out and enjoy life again. When she’s forced to face her biggest fear and take a summer Driver’s Ed course, she’s surprised to find hope in the most unlikely person.
Liam O’Connell is trouble. He isn’t proud of his dark past, and he knows Alexis is the one girl he has no business pursuing. Doing the right thing has never been easy for him, but this time, it just might be impossible.
The perfect girl and troubled boy are all wrong for each other, but as Liam helps Alexis cope with her grief, they realize nothing has ever felt more right.
That is, until Alexis uncovers a secret about Liam that breaks her heart.
Liam knows he can’t allow the one good thing in his life to walk away without a fight, and he’s determined to convince Alexis they can find their way out of the darkness together.
Can he prove he’s worthy of her, or is some love too tainted to be saved?
So I realized that I tend to go into anything Laura Ward writes with a total blind eye. I have from the debut novel I read by her, and it’s an instinct that has never steered me wrong. Further, when coupled with her writing partner, Christine Manzari, I know without a doubt that I’m in good hands. The Color of Us was heartbreaking at times, but if there’s anything this novel has taught me, it’s that sometimes you have to get through the rain to see the beauty of the rainbow.
“I wanted to show her how to demolish her box, to smash the rules of black and white. I wanted her to break free, even if just for a little while.”
There was something about Alexis’ story and the devastating loss that she went through that I was able to relate to. I recognized her emotions, and the resulting actions, which led me to a deep investment early on. Whether directly or indirectly, her entire adult life had been shaped by this one earth-shattering moment in time. It lead me to think that every reader will really connect with Alexis on that level as we’ve all had something that changed us in some significant way. Furthermore, I appreciated how much Alexis loved her family. Despite what her heart may have been telling her at times, she was so loyal and dedicated to them. Due to the lack of family I had growing up, I have a soft spot so these scenarios so it was just another way I found myself connecting to our heroine. Liam was the quintessential bad boy that every teenage girl fantasizes about changing. I loved his boldness and his strength. He was daring and confident, yet knew his full potential, at least when push came to shove. The way that this character is written induces lip-biting, swooning, and some definite heart palpitating!
“We might never catch a rainbow, but this summer with Liam was everything. I’d found the color in my life again, thanks to him.”
One of the things I love most about this duo’s writing style is that the main focus isn’t just about the couple. They don’t run a predictable linear course of meeting, falling in love, and living happily ever after. Manzari and Ward put their characters through trials and hardships that result in tremendous independent growth. Given the age frame they are in, it always feels genuine and quite appropriate to reality. The Color of Us was no exception, and it’s what made me really believe in and adore the story being told. Both Alexis and Liam had to figure out who they were apart before we could really see them together.
“We wanted to see where the rainbow began. We always figured the beginning was the best part because that’s where the rain turned into beauty.”
Although this is the second book in the series, you definitely don’t have to read the first before embarking on this one. I loved all the symbolism and cute happenings in The Color of Us (and of course all my Terp references)! Once again, this fabulous writing team has hit the nail on the head and delivered a heartbreaking, beautiful tale of life and loss; a journey about finding the little things in life, like chasing rainbows, to make us fall in love with it all.
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Don’t miss the rest of the College Bound series:
The Pledge (College Bound #1)
Over The Rainbow by Chase Holfelder
Beam Me Up by P!nk
I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons
I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
Nothing Without Love by Nate Reuess
Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paloma Faith
Kiss The Girl from Little Mermaid by Chase Holfelder
True Colors (cover) by Anna Winblad
Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift
Start Again by Conrad Sewell
Angel by Massive Attack
Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.
The first thing Christine does when she’s getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She’s addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.