–Sondi Warner, Writer/Blogger for Wrought Iron Reads
Welcome back to Sunday Review! This week, W.I.R. Review enjoyed All the Colours by Lo-Arna Green, who establishes herself as a serious author. This book was a pleasure to read, and I’m going to tell you all about it, but no spoilers. 🙂
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All the Colours by Lo-Arna Green
Jazz lives her life according to colour.
She vibes off people’s colour.
Her world is happy, bright, fluro. Until her sister goes missing, followed closely by her mother.
She moves across the country and starts a new life. Some of it good, some of it a little bad. All of it colourful. It is there she meets a man who makes her question herself, her previous life and where she is going in this one. Jazz wants to move forward but she also can’t forget the mystery surrounding her mother and sister.
Let’s talk Writer People Problems Ratings. I gave this book 4 stars, which breaks down accordingly:
Cover: The cover art for All the Colours does not convey the storyline or the genre. However, this beautiful illustration gives a glimpse into the uniquely artistic writing style of Lo-Arna Green. The cover art breaks conventional rules, as does the book. I give it 4 stars because, in terms of mass appeal, it may fall short of luring
Plot & Development: This ambitious book spans several years as the main character, Jazz, evolves from insecure teen to flourishing adult after an unbelievable life crisis leaves her without her mother and sister. That said, the structure of the story is character-driven, and at times may seem to ramble aimlessly if the reader is expecting a traditional romance. For this reason, I gave it 3.5 stars. See the rest of my review below.
Faithfulness to Genre: Billed as a Contemporary Romance, this book left something to be desired. The main character is an eighteen-year-old dealing with first love, heartache, living without her parents and wresting control of her life. Due to the age and circumstances encountered, I feel this book would more readily appeal to the New Adult genre, so I give this section 3 stars.
Format & Mechanics of Writing: This is one section where Lo-Arna sincerely shines. While I did catch a typo or two, (i.e. “the all the” when what was meant was “all the”), it was nothing that would interfere greatly with the reading experience. Formatted for e-readers, the layout had a professional finish. I give this 5 stars.
All the Colours is the “indie film” of romance novels. There’s no better way to describe it. The book blurb gave little away about the story (and could definitely use strengthening), so I picked it up expecting pop fiction but stepped, instead, into an artistic coming of age New Adult romance that easily leans more to the literary end of the spectrum than the popular end. That said, there will be major fans of this book and others who won’t take to it at all because of reader expectations.
If you are looking for a simple plot where the heroine meets the hero and pursues a courtship, this book delivers so much more than that (and probably much more than what you want [EDIT] if you’re looking for an oversimplified plot.) If you are ready to be engrossed in a complex book that explores friendships, love and family in an authentic way, you will be very satisfied with this story.
Lo-Arna Green does a superb job of capturing the voice of her characters. The people of her story are believable and vibrant, leaping off the page with so much life force that they seem like people you know personally.
At times, the writing is so honest that it breaks away from the “romance novel” mold completely and evolves into a character study. I couldn’t tell if this was an amateur writing move or an intentional creative turn, but it works for the story.
This book has some surprises, but it isn’t a page-turner in the usual sense. It’s a slow read that invites you to reflect and wax nostalgic as you journey with Jazz to maturity. This is a cozy read that deserves snuggling up and giving it your undivided attention. I give this book 4 stars and encourage you to definitely pick this one up. It’s a keeper.
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