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Color Me In

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,272 ratings  ·  543 reviews
Debut YA author Natasha Díaz pulls from her personal experience to inform this powerful coming-of-age novel about the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds.

Who is Nevaeh Levitz?

Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-ye
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published August 20th 2019 by Delacorte
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  2,272 ratings  ·  543 reviews

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4 stars

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“We all make assumptions about each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re family or a stranger on the subway; we do it everywhere, even here, in our safe spaces, where we’re supposed to love each other up and down.”

Color Me In is Natasha Diaz’s debut novel that’s a coming of age story about a half black, half jewish girl trying to find her place in the world.

Nevaeh Levitz is 15 and she’s got a lot going on in her life. Her parents are separated, she’s spending half of her
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Color Me In is a coming of age story about a biracial teen trying to navigate her Black and Jewish heritage as well as the divorce of her parents. At its core, I think the book delivers on this premise, providing us a unique perspective on finding one’s identity in a situation that is not so black and white. I think Díaz did a wonderful job of capturing this and she broaches the topic of racism and colorism in our society in an appropriate way.

Nevaeh is not always a likable character as she str
Jesse bowtiesandbooks
“We all make assumptions about each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re family or a
stranger on the subway; we do it everywhere, even here, in our safe spaces, where we’re
supposed to love each other up and down.”

With straight brown hair and pale skin, no one realizes 16 year old Nevaeh is half black.
She’s not popular at her white NY prep school and with her black fam, she sticks out like a sore
thumb. So where does she fit in? When her dad (white, Jewish, and filthy rich) is caught
cheating on her m
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars

“People are always going to want to split you into pieces so they can feel more comfortable with who you are, and I am sorry no one ever sat you down to prepare you for that.”

Nevaeh is caught between two worlds. Her parents have separated and so not only does she have to deal with that trauma but they are apart of two different cultures and so Nevaeh feels like she is not enough of one or the other to lay claim to those identities and speak for them. She’s also grappling with the privi
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange of an honest review

CW: racism, racist miscro-aggressions.

If my memory serves me right, Color Me In in the first book with a biracial MC written by a biracial author I have ever read. And the fact that this was written by someone who knows what they’re talking about SHOWS, nothing quite like living the biracial experience to get it right on page. And although I am not white passing so I did not relate to a lot of the things going down in the book,
Kylee Jackson
May 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: my-books, netgalley
Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I always feel bad low-balling books that are semi-autobiographical, because it makes me feel like I'm invalidating someone's life experiences, which is irrational, but here we are. However, as much as I really wanted to love this book, it just didn't work for me.

Honestly, my biggest problem is the characterization of pretty much every character, with the exception of maybe Zeke and Janae, who are pretty consistent throughout. A lot of char
Danielle ❤️ Pretty Mess Reading ❤️
****4 STARS****

Review to come. . .
May 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Color Me In follows biracial character Neveah Levitz, who is struggling to accept and identify as a black, Jewish woman in the face of her parents' separation. This lyrical YA novel is one of few that I've read recently that doesn't just grapple with racism, but with colorism and a character that is "passing" for white. As she grows to find her voice (both in writing and in speech) and learns to advocate for herself and the communities that she is a part of, she starts to understand how she is c ...more
This is probably closer to a 4.5..

Some books just surprise you in the best of ways. When I added this book to my TBR, I only expected to read a nice YA coming of age contemporary, but wow did I get so much more. I’m emotional and delighted and thoroughly impressed, so let me share my thoughts.

Nevaeh’s life is completely turned upside down due to her parent’s separation and she is struggling to find her place in this new reality. She wants to fit in with her mother’s very religious Baptist fami
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

"Color Me In" has a young adult character that I think some readers will definitely enjoy. We follow 15 year old Nevaeh Levitz who is dealing with the fall out of her parents separation. She and her mother are living with her mother's relatives in Harlem while her mother tries to move forward. Nevaeh feels trapped between the world she came from (rich and affluent) and where she starts to feel more comfo
Yesenia Cash
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title is perfect for this book, I enjoyed this story so much! The struggles of being both black and white are immense, the writing is very good. I love when a YA doesn’t feel too young and I can relate to the topic strongly even though it doesn’t pertain to my life personally. Thanks to the author for making me feel her pain with her words.
Kelly Coon
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
COLOR ME IN is rhythm. Music. Poetry. It's a thrumming in your chest, a pulse in your veins. Diaz's words reveal the power of Nevaeh, a young woman torn between two worlds, not knowing who she is or where she fits in, as she fights against the privilege that comes with her skin. It's filled with strong female characters who challenge Navaeh's sense of normalcy, and young males who prove that societal expectations are wrong when it comes to men of color. As Nevaeh learns about her Jewish faith fr ...more
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-authors
****Okay, I need to preface this review by offering some personal background, because I think it affects how I responded to this book. I am white but my husband is Black and our children are multi-racial. I was actually interested in this because it is an own-voices book about mixed identity and white-passing and I feel, as a parent of mixed kids, that it's important to be self-aware and thoughtful about addressing issues that will affect them as they grow up, and also about how to connect them ...more
This was beautifully complex, nuanced, and real
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
The story's a good coming of age tale, asking readers to respect boundaries and understand that labels cause more harm than good. The main character requires a good deal of space to figure what she wants and how her voice will handle society on her own terms. While slow sometimes, I would recommend this story to those seeking validation in a world offering little.
Satya Nelms
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I all but stood up and cheered when I got to the end of this book about a teenage girl coming of age in circumstances that were infinitely relatable to me, having grown up in a blended, multicultural family.

Nevaeh processes trauma, navigates her identity, comes to terms with her own privilege, and discovers a sense of self all in the midst of a narrative that will have you laughing and crying (sometimes at the same time).

This is courageous story-telling and I can’t wait to read more from Natas
Robin Tobin (On the back porch reading)
A wonderful multiracial story working through coming-of-age knocks and bumps while discovering and uncovering the depth of who you are ... The best lesson learned , “ only receive what you are open to, and you are only open to what you believe you deserve.”

PopSugar 2020 - Book with 3 word Title.....
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fiction, jewish
I have a few thoughts about this book. I really loved the narrative of a young woman, black and Jewish, learning to find her place in the world, her school, her family, her friends. I loved learning about Neveah's rich world, illustrated by Diaz's lush language. I loved the nuanced look at race and at colorism, the way different people are treated within an ethnic community, based on color.

Bahni Turpin is one of my favorite narrators, and she brought a lot of passion to this recording. There wer
Sixteen year old biracial Nevaeh Levitz grew up in a upscale suburb of NYC but when her Jewish father and Black mother separate, she is forced to move into her mother's family home. Facing an identity crisis, Nevaeh forges on, trying to make sense of life and figuring out her place in the world. Although Natasha Diaz cleverly addresses multiple and very relevant topics such as racism, religion, sexual assault, poverty, and discrimination in this somewhat autobiographic debut novel, I was unmoved ...more
Celia McMahon
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an OWNVOICES book, everyone!!!

I flew right through COLOR ME IN. I even forgot to eat at one point and I wondered why I felt so weak. This is a story mixed-race girl learning where she fits in. We navigate through two different cultures as our protagonist as she wanders through heartbreak and joy. This book pulled me into Naveah's world. We really see how she grows. This book is definitely going to change its readers. A great debut of 2019!!
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
"If there is one thing I've learned, it is that you only receive what you are open to, and you are only open to what you believe you deserve."

Color Me In is an engrossing slice-of-life YA contemporary that follows Nevaeh as she deals with her parents' divorce and her move from the suburbs into Harlem with her mother. There are a lot of storylines but I thought they were all balanced really well. Each got a satisfying conclusion and they often intersected -- such as the way Nevaeh's journey to be
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Natasha Diaz writes a very important story about a biracial Black and Jewish teenager coming to terms with both sides of her identity and figuring out who she is. I think this is a very important story to get told, however, I don’t think this particular story was told very well.

To start with, the writing was just, not great. If I had to take a shot for every time a character “shouted” or “yelled” or “cried” throughout this book, I would be passed out on the floor within the first 60 pages. Ther
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, covers
4/5 stars!

ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

You know when you read those contemporaries that you don't expect to relate to on a heart aching level, but they just surprise you in so many ways? That was Color Me In for me.

I requested this book from Netgalley for 1. that beautiful cover and 2. because I think it is important to keep my reading diverse and read ownvoices stories from many different kinds of people. Color Me In follows a mixed race Jewish-Af
Veronica (OnWednesdaysWeRead_)
Thank you Net Galley, Natasha Diaz, and Delacorte Press for the eARC of Color Me In! Opinions are my own!

First of all, THANK YOU! Thank you, Natasha Diaz for understanding the ambiguity of being one and the other. I am 100% Jewish and I am Cuban. My father was born and raised in Cuba and is Catholic, whereas my mother is American, from the Bronx, and Jewish. Within the Jewish faith, if your mother is Jewish you are a “real-Jew.” I have always identified with my Jewish side more so than my Cuban
Never Without a Book
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Color Me In by Natasha Diaz follows 16 year-old year old Nevaeh Levitz, who is spending her time between her White Jewish dad and her Black Baptist mom, Naveah is having a difficult time dealing with her parents separation and embracing the two parts of her world that makes her whole.

From my personal experience I’ve seen biracial kids struggle with identity and if it’s not addressed at early age it really can become overwhelming.

Because of her skin completion Nevaeh can easily pass for White, a
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*My review will be up Thursday August 15th on my blog with the post promoted on Twitter. The review will be posted on Goodreads within a week after that.*

Neveah Levitz is still figuring herself out. She's grown up in a wealthy and white suburb of New York City where she's never had much of a chance to explore the fact she's biracial. Because of her light skin she's never really had to. But when her Black mother and Jewish father split up, suddenly Neveah is faced with the clash of the two sides
Samantha (WLABB)
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, ya, arcs, diverse
I was interested in this book, because I have a biracial child. As I read this book, it prompted me to recall a few uncomfortable moments I had experienced myself. For instance, when my daughter was younger, strangers asked me if I went to China to adopt her, and when she was older, she was mistaken for my romantic partner, but it was never assumed that she was my daughter. I can only imagine situations like these being a lot harder on a child, and I was really keen to learn about Diaz's experie ...more
Mari Johnston
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl.

Content Warnings: underage drinking, racism, sexual assault, police brutality

I was not expecting so much emotion from Color Me In, but debut author Natasha Diaz certainly delivered. Inspired by her own experiences, Diaz has given readers a truly authentic story that will stick with them long after they finish reading the last page.

Nevaeh has so many layers to her. We see a great deal of personal growth and development, but
Lisa Mandina
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely going to be one of the best books I've read this year. There was so much to this story, things that if you aren't in that situation, you have no idea about what really happens. Knowing that the author grew up with this type of life totally made this stand out so much for me. But not only was it a really deep look at that, it totally was a teenager's story. First off, as much as Nevaeh was going through herself, she soon had to realize that she wasn't the only one going through ...more
Lisa Ramée
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There's so much to love in this compelling debut! The way Diaz allowed us to see two different cultures without denigrating either was fantastic. And the blossoming love story that defied stereotypes and felt so real. Spoiler alert so stop reading now if you hate that! Although it was painful to read it was so important to include both the suffering of a lost friendship and the pain and guilt someone goes through when they don't know how to say no in a sexual situation--that part of the book was ...more
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ARTBA 2020: Color Me In 3 11 Jun 22, 2020 12:55PM  
Jewish Women's Ar...: Interview with Natasha Diaz, author of "Color Me In" 1 12 Jan 14, 2020 01:15PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Color Me In by Natasha Diaz - Starting January 5, 2020 15 16 Jan 11, 2020 11:50AM  

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Natasha Diaz is a freelance writer and producer originally hailing from NYC and currently residing in Oakland, CA. As a screenwriter, Natasha has placed as a quarterfinalist in the Austin Film Festival and a finalist for both the NALIP Diverse Women in Media Fellowship and the Sundance Episodic Story Lab. Her personal essays have been published in The Establishment and The Huffington Post. Natash ...more

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