Thursday, May 6, 2021

Review: The Color of Lies by CJ Lyons

Author: CJ Lyons
Publisher: Blink
Publication Date: November 2018 

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.

The Color of Lies was a random pick from my library.  It involves Ella who has a condition called synesthesia which causes her senses to be scrambled.  She essentially sees the world in a different way.  She has been raised by her grandmother and uncles after the death of her parents.  On her 18th birthday, she learns that her parents death might not have happened the way she had been told her whole life.

I thought this was an fairly enjoyable YA mystery.  The reveal was a bit predictable if you pay attention early on. I really enjoyed the characters.  I'm not sure how synesthesia really works and whether or not it allows you to see "auras" that give away people's emotions.  I was able to suspend some disbelief for the sake of the book.  Ella was an interesting character.  I liked her loyalty to her family and her willingness to find out the truth.  I also liked Alec.  I wasn't sold on the slight romance.  The story takes place over 3 days.  If it had been left out, I would have been fine with it.  I also loved Ella's friends and their fierce loyalty to her.

I listened to the audiobook and I wouldn't recommend it.  The story is told through both Ella's and Alec's perspective.  The narrator did not distinguish between the two very well.  When Alec was speaking out loud,  he had a southern accent. However, when he was telling narrating his perspective, he sounded like Ella.  I found it easy to forget whose point of view I was listening to.  This would have been better with dual narrators. So read a physical copy instead.

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