Things You Should Know about Me #1- I flipping adored this book with all of my heart and soul. It was amazing. I’ve been talking to Sierra for a little while on Twitter (Things You Should Know About Her #1- she is so sweet and caring and amazing), and when she offered me an ARC of her debut novel, The Color Project, I of course said yes because her novel sounded wonderful and everything I could ever want in a contemporary – and it was. Before I get even more into my fangirling and reviewing, this is the blurb of the book.
Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.
Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.
When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.
For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.
Okay, have you read it? Good. Let’s start.
Firstly, I’m just going to give you an amazing piece of information. All of the chapter titles in this novel are real life songs so it’s basically one GIANT PLAYLIST!!! I have yet to get through all the songs yet, but from the ones I have listened to so far, Sierra has very good taste in music and all of the songs are relevant to the chapters they were a part of. This is something I definitely want to see more in books as it just added a really fun element to The Color Project.
From the moment this novel started I knew that a) I was going to adore it, and b) Bee and I would be absolute best friends. Basically when she said she takes a book with her everywhere “just in case”, I was sold. I mean, that’s pretty much the most relatable thing ever for bookworms. In fact, as the novel continued I found Bee to be just more and more similar to me and I loved her for it. There were so many little things she did and thought that had me going “Oh my god me too! I wish this amazing girl actually existed!” from her love and hate struggle with her long hair, to eating cold leftovers, and her awkwardness at parties and struggle with cute boys. She was constantly giving us little ‘Things You Should Know About Me’ tips and it really made it feel like she was right there next to me telling me about her life.
This book had everything that I want in a perfect contemporary; relatable characters, friendship, families and cute romance. And it covered them all amazingly. Plus, this is a very long novel by contemporary standards, which made it even better to get super invested in and not want to put down. The balance between all the elements in this novel was really well done, and I never felt like one was overshadowing the other.
Bee’s long distant friendship with her best friend Gretchen had me smiling and nodding along all the time. I loved their constant back and forth texting, and the way they ‘text yelled’ at each other over everything and nothing. It reminded me a lot of my best friend, and I, and although we actually live in the same city, we do most of our talking by text because of my health issues. Even the way they sign off with “I think you’re crap” because they hate saying goodbye, reminds me of what my bestie and I say. Gretchen’s full support of Levi, and willingness to scold Bee when she was being irrational had me loving her even more. She may not have really physically been in the novel much, but she was a big part of it and I adored her.
Bee’s family and their dynamic was absolutely precious, and was seriously what more novels need. It wasn’t perfect, because no family is, but they made it work, and it was just so real because of this. Their house was crazy, with people singing randomly, and nosy siblings, and group hugs, and so many other real life moments that warmed my heart. Their life became increasingly difficult as the book went on, but they still tried to smile and find things to be grateful about. They dealt with it all differently, but at the same time, they worked together.
Levi’s family wasn’t perfect either, but I loved his relationship with his mum, and the way their two families sort of joined and became one that understood each other and did things together.
Levi was absolutely amazing and adorable, and a thousand and one other wonderful things. His love for The Color Project, and his dedication to it, warmed my heart from the moment he came into the novel. I loved his colorful sweaters, and the way he took Bee out for donuts at midnight (perfect guy goals right there). His love for Bee and the adorable ways in which he would try to guess her real name were so sweet.. He wasn’t perfect and she wasn’t perfect, but because of this they kind of were perfect because they understood that. He supported Bee through everything, even when she was feeling lost, and gave her space when she needed space. I actually think that Levi may have earned himself the top spot in my favourite contemporary book boyfriends (sorry Etienne).
There were so many tiny precious moments in this novel and I want to share ALL of them with you because of how much they warmed my heart, but I also don’t want to ruin them for you if you decide to read this book (YOU SHOULD). I loved the star gazing, and laughing, and Harry Potter moments, and song listening, and the way Bee’s mum refers to special people as ‘Precious Hearts’ (I have also decided that Sierra is a precious heart for having the courage to write such an amazing and relatable novel, that I know at times must have been hard). These are just a sneak peak of all the tiny moments I adored in The Color Project.
Also, can I just add that you are going to want to have some fresh flowers and donuts on hand while reading this because you will be craving both. I’m warning you now. Bee works for a florist during the novel, and because of this I am now really considering doing a floristry course because of how much it spoke to me in the novel. The charity aspect of the novel also warmed my heart, because it reminded me that there are good people in the world who do really lovely things for others.
The Color Project came to me at the perfect time, when I needed it most, in fact I have probably needed to read several times over in the past year when things have gotten tough for multiple different reasons. And I will probably read it many more times when things are hard again. It was such a raw and relevant novel, and I truly think that anyone can find something in it that speaks to them, whether it be because of the family, friendship, or relationship aspect. It was hard to read at times because of how the events echoed those in my own life, but it was comforting seeing the hope that the characters had and the way they got through it, and it left me with a lot of hope of my own that things will get better as well.
The Color Project had me sobbing at times, laughing at times, and the rest of the time I was grinning like an idiot and my face was hurting. I highly recommend this sweet adorable contemporary for anyone looking to feel understood and in need of some hope.
This amazing novel releases on 17th August (unfortunately the date had to be pushed back due to some technical difficulties) and I would highly recommend ordering yourself a copy of this cute novel full of feels. You can order it from Amazon here and The Book Depository here. You can also find Sierra’s website here.