Oh. Um. Hi. Remember me? I used to talk about books? And boy bands? And all the embarrassing moments in my life?
I’m back! And I’m armed with an excellent book to talk about! And I’m low-key obsessed with Harry Styles’s new album! And… I have a story. The other day, I was at the airport in Iceland. I was traveling with my brother, so when I saw him standing at the check-in counter, I walked up to him and, as siblings do, immediately started absolutely berating him about why he was just printing only one ticket, and why his suitcase was laying sideways, etc. etc. etc. AND THEN. I finally looked up at him mid-rant, and guess who it was? NOT MY BROTHER. Not even someone who looked remotely like my brother. I mean, he was wearing glasses, but otherwise I was just yelling at a random Icelandic guy like some kind of crazy person.
Back to books. Sierra Abrams and I have been following each other for awhile on Twitter, ever since I found out about this book she wrote called The Color Project and started obsessively tweeting at her about how excited I was. I think I was drawn to the book by the story of Bee’s name: she hates telling people her real name, Bernice, because it feels like an acknowledgement of the permanence of that person in her life.
So when Sierra offered to send me an e-ARC of her book a few weeks ago, I
immediately peed my pants responded with an extremely poised and eloquent DM saying, basically, YES PLEASE. And then I promptly devoured the book in two days. Like, it was one of those things where I would be like “I’m going to do homework now,” and open my homework and then somehow TCP would end up open again and my homework would be closed and I have no idea how any of it happened, really. I just could not. stop. reading.
Before I start my fangirling, a quick summary of The Color Project: It’s the summer after high school, and Bee has just started a new job at a flower shop, when she meets Levi,
the most lovable boy ever a friend of a friend who runs a charity called The Color Project. As she and Levi get closer, she also starts volunteering with the charity, helping to plan weddings and fundraisers.
I love contemporary YA romances, and TCP reminded me in all the best ways of a Morgan Matson book: summery and romantic, filled with beautiful and meaningful relationships, and packed with unique characters (hello, Albert and his pocketfuls of sunshine- I mean, glitter). But TCP definitely has its very own spirit. Bee’s voice is so authentic, and I really loved that this was on the older end of YA – I don’t see much of this in the YA world, but YA that borders on the cusp of adulthood is my favorite type of YA.
Okay, I obviously have a lot of feelings about this book, and I feel like the best way to express them is probably in a list, so that I don’t get all ramble-y and gush-y and oh wait, it’s too late for that already.
- Bee’s family. Bee’s family. Bee’s family. Wait, have I mentioned Bee’s family yet? The sibling relationships are perfect: goofy and loving and realistic. And her parents (and Levi’s mom, for that matter), are just the cutest. Gahhh. Will they adopt me, please? (@Sierra, please make this happen)
- LEVI. I could literally write an entire post about how he has forever unfairly raised my standards for boys in real life. He is so sweet and genuine and if I didn’t ship him and Bee together so much, I’d climb into the pages of the book and steal him for myself.
- I confess that I’m not a music person (no, really, I just don’t understand music, or how people listen to music, or how people find music, and yes, I know that that’s really weird), but I really liked how this book was tied together with music. from the songs Levi writes on Bee’s hand to the song titles marking the beginnings of each chapter, music is an integral theme of this book.
‘You look at him the same way you look at Henry Cavill on the TV.’
(I choose only the most important TCP quotes to block quote in my blog posts, thank you very much.)
- The pop culture references are ON. POINT. Henry Cavill and Sam Claflin references? Um. YES. John Green and Maggie Stiefvater references? MORE PLEASE. All these little details made the book, and Bee’s voice, that much more real. Also, if I was into music (see above), I would probably really appreciate the music references, but alas, I barely know that Bon Iver exists (here’s a bonus embarrassing moment: I once pronounced Bon Iver as Bon Eye-ver on my college radio show before my co-host corrected me – this is 100% why she chose the music and I did the talking about books)
- I’ve already talked about this, but TCP has the most adorably relatable voice. Oh, Bee. Everything she says sounds exactly like something 18-year-old me would say, except she’s way funnier than I was or ever will be. I felt so connected to her as a character because of her narration, and there were definitely points where I literally laughed out loud or sat there reading with one of those silly and embarrassing smiles on my face.
I love this, the way I can practically feel the earth spinning under my feet. Our planet is flying at a million miles per hour and so are we.
- Warning: this book contains one of the cutest romance ever. Bee + Levi forever, please and thank you. Their first date? I DIED. LITERALLY. DEAD. My corpse is writing this right now. Plus, there’s this really beautiful moment in Chapter 48 that absolutely shattered me (I mean, there are hundreds of these moments in the book, but we’ll just talk about this one now). Obviously, I would love nothing more to insert into this post, but that would mean major spoilers, so instead I’ll just leave you with the page number (405) so you can look it up in your own books and cry with me. I highlighted three whole paragraphs on that page, you guys. Three. whole. paragraphs. I think I’ll go reread it again now, actually.
- MY GIRL GRETCHEN. How could I almost forget her? There’s a lot of things to love about Bee’s best friend. She’s super blunt, but she obviously adores Bee and wants the best for her. Also, this might be weird, but I really appreciated that she wasn’t an in person best friend – most of Bee’s relationship with her is through texts and phone calls, and like, as a college student with a lot of friends scattered throughout the world, I kind of liked that.
Okay, I’m going to wrap this up now before I end up writing an entire novel about all the ways I love this book. I’ll conclude with this: The Color Project will be published July 18th, 2017, so you might as well block that entire week off in your calendar for reading/crying/eating chocolate/rereading.
The Color Project, by Sierra Abrams
Note: Sierra graciously provided me with a free e-ARC, but all thoughts – and embarrassing stories – are my own. Also, all quotes were taken from the ARC and are subject to change.