‘Colour Me In’ by Lydia Ruffles – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE meets TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN from the acclaimed author of THE TASTE OF BLUE LIGHT.

FIX ME. DRAW ME WHOLE. COLOUR ME IN.

Nineteen-year-old actor Arlo likes nothing more than howling across the skyline with best friend Luke from the roof of their apartment.

But when something irreparable happens and familiar black weeds start to crawl inside him, Arlo flees to the other side of the world, taking only a sketchbook full of maps.

With its steaming soup and neon lights, this new place is both comforting and isolating.

There, Arlo meets fellow traveller Mizuki. Something about her feels more like home than he’s felt in a while. But what is Mizuki searching for?

HOW FAR CAN YOU OUTRUN YOURSELF . . .
BEFORE YOU LOSE YOUR WAY BACK?

My Review

This was ambling towards a positive three star read (which was actually disappointing me a little because I have read and adored Lydia Ruffles’ debut novel The Taste of Blue Light)

But then BAM!

That last third just sucker punched me right in the feels and I suddenly could see this beautiful novel come to life. It was almost like looking at an oil painting from too close; you can see all these component parts, the colours, the light, the dark… But then when you stand at the perfect distance it all comes together in the most magnificent of ways. And that’s what the final third of this book was, absolute clarity.

Was Mizuki somewhat of a manic dream pixie character…it’s arguable I guess. But then this novel really is all about Arlo, the secondary characters are almost superfluous because the novel is a reflection on his life and how his existence is akin to a manic sort of dream as he becomes more and more engulfed by his grief.

What’s certainly true from reading both of Ruffles’ novels is that she is a brilliant writer. Her prose is exquisite. And what is more she is a writer who really understands emotional torment. She gives an authentic voice to those mired in loss, in anxiety, in depression.

She is 100% an auto buy author for me.

Four Stars

Read in January 2019

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9 thoughts on “‘Colour Me In’ by Lydia Ruffles – Book Review

  1. Ooh, is this magical realism? That part of the blurb: ‘familiar black weeds start to crawl inside him’ or is that all just metaphor? 😅 This sounds really good… I’m gonna have to check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s just really good metaphor. But I think that’s where Ruffles excels because she has such a visual style of writing. As in it’s really easy to truly feel all that the chargers are feeling etc. I love both of her ya books so much that she’s now an auto buy author for me 🙂

      Like

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