The Color of Lies

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The Color of Lies by CJ Lyons is an intriguing exploration of the world of a family of synesthetes, and one young woman in particular. Ella Cleary, like most of her family on her mother’s side, has a form of synesthesia. This is a unique condition where two or more of the senses become cross-wired. It manifests differently for each of them. Ella picks up emotion as color. When Alec Ravanell approaches Ella for help with a project, she encounters a person not affected by her particular gift. Without seeing his colors, she feels like she’s trying to parse a foreign language.
Alec does need Ella’s help, but not in the way she thinks. He doesn’t need a graphic designer, but an interview with Ella herself regarding her parents’ deaths. Ella was told it was an accident, but Alec claims it was murder. It throws her world into turmoil. Which story is correct? And why can’t she sense Alec? Adding to her inner conflict is worry over being unable to sense him, and wanting to be around him because it’s what she imagines being normal is like.
I really enjoyed this read. The mystery part was exciting, but what fascinated me most was the exploration of synesthesia and how the characters would function differently given their unique manifestation of it. I feel the author researched this in-depth or she knows several synesthetes.
The writing drew me in. Chapters sometimes switched perspectives, but each chapter is prefaced with the name of the person it follows, so there is no confusion. I loved the two main characters. I empathized with Ella being torn between family expectations for college and following her dream. I loved how awkward Ella and Alec are around one another at first. Not only did I enjoy reading about Ella’s interactions with her world, but I wanted to know all about the mystery as well.

Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Blink
Publish Date 2018-Nov-06
ISBN 9780310765356 Buy this Book
Issue March 2019
Category Young Adult


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